John Mayer pays tribute to “guitar superhero” Eddie Van Halen

ohn Mayer performs onstage at Bridgestone Arena on August 08, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee
(Image credit: Leah Puttkammer/Getty Images)

John Mayer has joined the loud chorus of voices paying tribute to Eddie Van Halen in the wake of the guitar legend’s death at the age of 65 after a long battle with cancer.

“Eddie Van Halen was a guitar superhero,” Mayer wrote on Instagram. “A true virtuoso. A stunningly good musician and composer.

“Looking up to him as a young kid was one of the driving forces in my needing to pick up a guitar. I was so blown away watching him exert such control and expression over his instrument.

“Learning to play the guitar taught me so many things, but still absolutely nothing about how to play like Eddie Van Halen. And for that reason, I never stopped watching him in adolescent awe and wonder, and I promise you I never will.

“So very sad to learn of his passing. My love to his family, his bandmates, his friends and his crew. EVH FOREVER.”

This is not the first time Mayer has talked about Eddie on his Instagram page. Back in 2014, he discussed his connection to both Ed and Guitar World in a post that read:

“Back in 1991, at the age of 13, I bought a Guitar World with Eddie Van Halen on the cover and fell in love with his Music Man signature model (and his playing.)

“23 years later I reached out to Ernie Ball/Music Man and asked if they could make my childhood dream come to life by building one more of these long-discontinued guitars. 

"Here it is, made from original parts stored away since 1991. The dream machine. Complete with ‘JCM’ monogram on the headstock. Can't begin to describe the joy."

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.