Ted Nugent: “Godspeed, Eddie Van Halen”

David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen with Ted Nugent. 1978.

Ted Nugent contributed to the new hardcover photo book, Eddie Van Halen, by Neil Zlozower. VHND.com has the exclusive on what he had to say about Eddie Van Halen:

“Van Halen opened up for my band in the late 1970s, and this fuckin’ kid started playing shit I’d never heard before, and I was like, ‘Oh, I think I’m a bad motherfucker, but there may be an element of me sitting on my bad motherfuckin’ laurels!’ ”

“He was unbelievable! He did things on the guitar that no one else did. He injected a keyboard/saxophone-gone-mad array of licks and patterns and sounds that were more Yusef Lateef, Sun Ra, and John Coltrane, but never getting into the land of self-indulgence. His inspiration was always so musical. He’s one of those rare, gifted musical warriors that could literally kick the shit out of his guitar with his feet and somehow he’d make it remain melodic, musical, and rhythmic. He has an unbelievable animal touch that defies everything before him. It was really fascinating to see him play, and especially to be there on this first tour and have them open up for me and kick me in the ass. He was and remains very, very inspirational.

“EVH is a musical animal, and I join music lovers everywhere in thanking and saluting him for bringing such infectious fire and attitude to our beloved American rock ’n’ roll music. Ultimately, this man’s creations have dramatically enriched our lives as much as any musical talent in the history of mankind. Godspeed, Eddie Van Halen. You are my guitar blood brother.”

—Ted Nugent