What do you play if Eddie Van Halen hands you a guitar and asks you to plug in and play?
That was Nuno Bettencourt’s dilemma one day, circa 1990. He shares his story about suddenly finding himself at a Van Halen rehearsal, seeing Ed’s rig and guitar and thinking, “There it is. There’s that tone.” And he imagined everybody leaving the room, and standing there alone, plugging in Ed’s guitar, playing through that rig, and “Finally sounding like Eddie Van Halen!”
And then the band takes a break, and the first thing Ed does is turn to Nuno and shout, “Come and play my rig!”
Then Ed walks over and puts his guitar around him, and now Nuno is plugged into Ed’s rig. Ed asks, “Just play, man, I want to try this pedal out”, as he kneels down and messes with a new pedal. Nuno thinks “Oh oh! This is crazy. What’s the first thing you play in front of Eddie Van Halen? And I was panicking.”
Listen to Nuno’s interview to hear what happens next.
Nuno also discusses Extreme bandmate Gary Cherone’s stint with Van Halen, and how Extreme always strived for the “warm” sound of Van Halen’s early albums in the studio.
Watch the video below.