Gene Simmons: “Eddie Van Halen talked about being a fan of Eric Clapton. I’m sorry, I don’t see that. What he did was closer to classical music”

(from left) Eric Clapton, Gene Simmons and Eddie Van Halen
(Image credit: Harry Herd / Francesco Prandoni / Fin Costello / Getty)

Gene Simmons recently spoke to Louder to offer his reflections on the late, great Eddie Van Halen. In the piece, Simmons recalls witnessing early Van Halen shows, his friendship with EVH and, in the process, dismisses comparisons to the late electric guitar icon’s own hero, Eric Clapton.

Instead, says Simmons, “Eddie was a complete guitar symphony in his own right” and, as such, the frontman maintains EVH had more in common with classical composers than blues-based players.

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Matt Parker
Features Editor,

Matt is Features Editor for Before that he spent 10 years as a freelance music journalist, interviewing artists for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar,, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.