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Vinnie Moore says Eddie Van Halen inspired him to take a chisel to his Strat

Shred legend and UFO guitarist Vinnie Moore has been chatting to American Musical Supply (opens in new tab) about his career and playing development and you can watch the full interview right here. 

In the discussion, Moore recalls his first loves – The Beatles, Deep Purple and Jeff Beck – before reflecting on the impact Eddie Van Halen had on him after the release of Van Halen I in 1978. Eddie opened his eyes to a brave new world of guitar.

“When Eddie came out, at that point I wasn't even playing a blues scale yet. I didn't even know what a blues scale was!” chuckles Moore. 

“I was just like learning chords and stuff… I heard Eruption and the tapping at the end – I had no idea what it was. I thought it was like physically impossible to be able to play that fast.

“What I thought he was doing was maybe playing a note or two and there was a delay, like an echo, adding a higher note, because a human couldn't play like that, of course. It had to be some kind of electronic trickery!”

Moore says that he figured out the tapping side of things – and that Eddie Van Halen had really played that material – once he started learning lead. But then misadventure soon followed. EVH's influence was not always helpful.

“He was using the Floyd Rose,” recalls Moore. “And at that point I had a Stratocaster with three single-coil pickup and thought I’d try to put a Floyd in that! All I had was a hammer and a chisel. That didn't go very well – at all.” 

Fortunately, Moore soon discovered his trusty Kramer Pacer, which came equipped with a Floyd Rose and did not wait around. 

“I was quick to jump on it,” says Moore of the Pacers. “I picked up a Candy Apple Red Pacer and used that for at least three or four years, man. I put so much wood-shedding time in on that guitar. I was really working on my picking. I still have the body and you can see through multiple layers of finish on the guitar [where] my small finger kind of rubs…”

Elsewhere, the guitarist discusses his time with Alice Cooper, opening for Rush on their Roll the Bones tour and how he came to return to Kramers. 

Check out the full interview above and head over to Vinnie Moore’s site (opens in new tab) to keep up to date with the man himself.

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Matt Parker
Matt Parker

Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk (opens in new tab), which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.