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Keyboardist Nails Van Halen's "Mean Street" Intro on a Synthesizer

(Image credit: Christie Goodwin/Getty Images)

Here's a little something we spotted over at the Van Halen News Desk.

It's a new clip—posted to YouTube September 2—of keyboardist Derek Sherinian playing the intro to Van Halen's "Mean Street," a classic Fair Warning track, on a synthesizer (a Moog Minimoog Voyager XL, to be exact). And it's incredible, particularly considering how he captures the sound, feel and dynamics of Eddie Van Halen's original fire-and-flash guitar part.

We've included (middle video) a live performance of the song from Van Halen's 2012 tour for a bit of reference. If you need more reference, check out Eddie's isolated "Mean Street" guitar parts right here.

Sherinian is one of the most-heard keyboardists in guitar-based rock. The former Dream Theater member (and, we might add, Black Country Communion co-founder) has recorded and/or toured with Billy Idol, Alice Cooper, Yngwie Malmsteen, Kiss and Joe Bonamassa, to name just a few. In the following video, also posted this year, watch as Sherinian tackles another Van Halen classic, "And the Cradle Will Rock," on his Wurlitzer 200A. On the original Van Halen recording, Eddie blended his guitar track with a Wurlitzer to create a truly unique effect. Sherinian explains it all in the clip below.

Damian Fanelli

Damian is editor-in-chief of Guitar World magazine. From 1998 to 2014, he was one third of Mister Neutron, an instrumental rock act that toured the universe and elsewhere and released three albums via Austin-based Deep Eddy Records. These days he performs with several New York City-area bands and can often be spotted with one of his many, many, many B-bender-equipped guitars. In past lives he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor – and he still can’t believe he got to write the liner notes for the latest SRV box set.