Slash has once again paid tribute to Eddie Van Halen, calling him a guitar “innovator,” “a gifted musician” and “an amazing artist.”
The GUNS N’ ROSES guitarist offered his latest comments in a new interview with Consquence Of Sound which focused primarily on the new GUNS N’ ROSES pinball machines, as well as his new custom collection with Gibson Guitars.
Slash said: “The thing about Eddie is that he was such a gifted musician. Any instrument he had chosen to play would have been phenomenal, because he just had that pure musical talent. And he chose guitar, because that’s what turned him on. And for somebody with that kind of musical talent to get turned on to rock ‘n’ roll guitar was sort of unique unto itself, because most of us guitar players are a ragged bunch of rock ‘n’ rollers who don’t have too much technical ability or schooling. We just sort of go for this raw thing. And he had that, but he also had this musical, sort of classical gift. Then, on top of that, just being somebody sort of like Les Paul, who hears something in his head or has an idea and creates it. So it made him a triple threat. He was a great guitar player, but he was also this amazing musician, so it just made his guitar playing that much greater. And then he was an innovator on top of it, creating new things with whatever his imagination came up with. So he was just an amazing artist, period.”
On the day that Eddie died, Slash told WGN News that he was “a little shocked” by the legendary VAN HALEN guitarist’s passing. “It’s hard for me to verbally say anything, other than I’m just devastated,” he said. “Eddie was really cool. And I’ve been talking to him — we’ve been texting. And I knew he was sick, but I didn’t wanna ask him how sick he was. But he was in a hospital in L.A. for a while. And I knew [expletive] was up, but I didn’t expect that today at all. So I’m floored.”
Asked what he thinks Eddie‘s legacy will be, Slash told WGN News: “Eddie changed guitar playing. I picked up the guitar, I guess it was 1979, 1980. The first VAN HALEN record came out, and Steven Adler, who was GUNS N’ ROSES‘ original drummer, when we were kids, we used to just hang out and ditch school and go to the pizza place and whatnot. And we used to listen to that first VAN HALEN record, and it was just insane. It was, like, ‘What the [expletive]?’
“He changed guitar playing,” Slash continued. “He was such an amazing musician, amazing guitar player, amazing innovator and just a hell of a guy. And we really lost a major contributor to rock and roll today.”
Eddie died on October 6 at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, California. His wife, Janie, was by his side, along with his son, Wolfgang, and Alex, Eddie‘s brother and VAN HALEN drummer.
The iconic VAN HALEN axeman died from complications due to cancer, his son confirmed.
Eddie and Alex formed VAN HALEN in 1972 in Pasadena, California, with David Lee Roth on lead vocals and Michael Anthony on bass.
VAN HALEN was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2007.
Rolling Stone magazine ranked Eddie Van Halen No. 8 in its list of the 100 greatest guitarists.