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Hear Red Hot Chili Peppers pay tribute to Eddie Van Halen in emotional new single, Eddie

John Frusciante and Eddie Van Halen
(Image credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for SiriusXM / Daniel Knighton/Getty Images)

Yesterday, Red Hot Chili Peppers shared a sneak sonic peek at Eddie – an emotional new single, which will serve as a tribute to the late electric guitar legend Eddie Van Halen.

Now, the band has dropped the heartfelt single in its entirety, along with new details regarding their second full-length LP of 2022, Return of the Dream Canteen, which arrives October 14.

Eddie is a fitting tribute to one of the greatest guitar talents to ever play the instrument, with RHCP’s own resident six-string hero John Frusciante delivering emotive lyrical lead lines aplenty over the top of Flea’s heartfelt bassline.

It was Flea who first conceived the idea of Eddie the day after Van Halen passed away, according to frontman Anthony Kiedis, something that can certainly be heard – Flea takes a starring melodic role throughout, keeping himself busy with rolling rumbles and galloping low-end motifs.

Frusciante gets the chance to personally pay tribute to one of his heroes on two occasions, too, following up a reflective mid-song solo with a blazing, whammy bar-tinged outro effort. There’s no two-hand tapping acrobatics a la Eruption, but there is plenty of emotion.

“Sometimes we don’t realize how deeply affected and connected we are to artists until the day they die,” Kiedis commented. “Eddie Van Halen was a one of a kind. 

“The day after his death Flea came into rehearsal with an emotional bassline,” he continued. “John, Chad and I started playing along and pretty soon with all our hearts, a song in his honor effortlessly unfolded. 

“It felt good to be sad and care so much about a person who had given so much to our lives. Although the song doesn’t speak to Eddie by name, it talks about his early days on the Sunset Strip and the rock n roll tapestry that Van Halen painted on our minds.

“In the end, our song asks that you not remember Eddie for dying but for living his wildest dream.”

Red Hot Chili Peppers Return of the Dream Canteen cover

(Image credit: Press)

The band’s fondness of Eddie Van Halen is well-documented, with Frusciante himself telling Total Guitar that his love for the late guitar legend informed Red Hot Chili Peppers’ new material.

“I really love guitar players like Randy Rhoads and Eddie Van Halen for the way that they could make the instrument explode through hand and whammy bar techniques,” he said. “But I also really like the way people like Greg Ginn or Kurt Cobain play without it being so much about technique – although there are all kinds of unconventional techniques in there – but the focus is definitely a more visceral thing. 

“Eventually, by the time we were recording, my concept was to find a bridge between those two conceptions of the instrument: that idea of making it explode with the electricity of the human energy that comes through the strings.”

Eddie is the second single from Return of the Dream Canteen, following the release of Tippa My Tongue. When the album arrives, it will be the band’s 13th studio album and their second of 2022, joining Unlimited Love.

In that same conversation with Total Guitar – which took place at the time of Unlimited Love’s release – Frusciante revealed the group had written 48 songs, and that they “saved some of the best stuff for the potential next album”.

Unlimited Love and Return of the Dream Canteen are the band’s first two albums since Frusciante rejoined Red Hot Chili Peppers in 2019.

Return of the Dream Canteen is everything we are and ever dreamed of being,” the band said in a joint statement. “It’s packed. Made with the blood of our hearts.”

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Matt is a 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.