Eddie Van Halen hasn’t talked to the press in a while, but one of his his friends has – Dweezil Zappa tells Glide Magazine that he has been hanging with his old friend Eddie Van Halen recently, and that Eddie played him some of his “new stuff from his record”!
Glide Magazine: How did growing up around your father and the countless amazing musicians he employed change the course of your musical development?
Dweezil Zappa: The thing is, I could always tell that what my dad did was on a different level than other music that I heard, so I always had this sense of, you know, “I could never do that.” So the music that got me inspired to play guitar was different from my dad’s music. My first biggest influences were Randy Rhoads and Eddie Van Halen. I never got to meet Randy Rhoads, but I did get to meet Eddie Van Halen. So seeing how he did things up close really changed my abilities quickly, because when you can see how somebody does something up close, if you’re the type of person that’s going to spend some time practicing, it’s like I had all these images that were burned into my mind forever that started that whole thing.
It’s kind of funny, because I’ve recently been spending some time with Eddie Van Halen after being out of touch for a while. He was playing me some new stuff from his record, and I was playing him some stuff that I had been working on for this project, you know, playing Frank’s music. He actually came to the Jeff Beck show the other day too. [Dweezil is talking about the recent LA show on 4/17/10 when he opened for Jeff Beck – VHND] But one thing that was actually a pivotal and hilarious thing to me was that I was showing him some stuff, these different ways I had worked out to play quintuplets, and he said “Uh, you lost me there. I don’t even know what you’re talking about. Who would have thought after all these years, you’d be giving me a guitar lesson.” To me, that was hilarious because I couldn’t have envisioned that myself, and also the flipside of him coming to a show of mine when I had been to so many of his. There he was, in the dressing room before we went on, and we saw him after the show and everything, and it’s just such a role reversal. But it’s definitely a strong and good memory for me because I think it would have to be really be rare for anybody to have the ability to have that kind of communication with the thing or the person that inspired you so much to begin with, and have this mentor type of relationship and have some common ground in a different way after all these years. It is a unique and cool experience to have.
Dweezil Zappa performs “Eruption,” Feb. 26, 2009, Dodge Theater, Phoenix, AZ: