In a new video from New England Cable News, musicologist John Laurenti talks about the musical style differences of two of the best guitarists of our time — Jimi Hendrix and Eddie Van Halen.
They asked classic rock fans for their opinion. Who is the better guitarist — Jimi Hendrix or Eddie Van Halen?
Unfortunately, the poll was already closed when we discovered it. Van Halen won the poll, with 61% of the votes. (The video and poll were published Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018, and we’re guessing the poll closed after 24 hours).
We always appreciate when websites and news organizations create Van Halen content. But as is often the case, we found a couple little things we kind of disagree with in their short video.
Musicologist John Laurenti said that Eddie “was in a cover band” before Van Halen exploded. Well, yes, like pretty most musicians, Eddie, started out naturally playing other people’s stuff. Van Halen gigged for years in the clubs, with the repertoire of around 300 cover songs at their fingertips.
Anchor Brian Shactman said, “I look at Van Halen as sort of taking from the style [of Hendrix, or others] but is not influenced at all.” But you could say it was basically the opposite of that; Ed was influenced by the people who came before him, but developed his own style (a revolutionary one!) very early on.
When Shactman asks Laurenti who he thinks is the better guitarist, his answer is, “I think because I wasn’t brought up in the ’60s, I have to go with Van Halen. There’ve got more radio friendly songs. Jimi Hendrix… nothing against the way he plays, or the way that the songs were, but his biggest hit with a Bob Dylan cover, which is “All Along The Watchtower,” which is on Electric LadyLand. So, it’s apples and oranges, but I have to go with Eddie.”
Shactman ends the segment with, “Their [Van Halen’s] songs are never longer than four minutes long, and you can guarantee that you’re going to get a great solo!”
You can watch the video here.
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.