Mark Tremonti recalls the time Eddie Van Halen gifted him a guitar backstage

Mark Tremonti and Eddie Van Halen
(Image credit: Gina Wetzler/Getty Images / C Flanigan/Getty Images)

If you’d ever had the chance to meet the late Eddie Van Halen, the encounter would probably have included a fair bit of stunned silence followed by some nonsensical, awe-struck mumbling. 

For Tremonti, however, his meeting with Van Halen went a far cry better, and saw him leave New York’s Madison Square Garden with a free electric guitar, some sound-shaping axe advice and even a kiss on the cheek. 

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Matt Owen
Senior Staff Writer,

Matt is a Senior Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.