An extended version of Eddie Van Halen performing Jimi Hendrix’s “If 6 Was 9” has just been released.
The track (above) has been included on a new EP released by keyboardist David Garfield called ‘Guitar Heroes OTB, Vol. 1’. The original version of the song appeared on the 1997 Garfield album “Tribute to Jeff”. Both the original and extended version features singer and guitarist Michael Landau, bassist Will Lee and drummer Simon Phillips. It was recorded in 1996 at Chick Corea’s Mad Hatter Studios in Los Angeles and engineered by Alan Hirshberg. Eddie’s overdubs were done at his own 5150 Studios.
Garfield, who has played with everyone from Larry Carlton and Steve Lukather to George Benson and Smokey Robinson, told Guitar World he first met Eddie at a local cigar store. At the time he was working on a project titled ‘Tribute to Jeff Porcaro’, in honor of the late Toto drummer.
“I mentioned it to Eddie,” said Garfield. “[I asked] if he’d like to participate. Eddie’s response was a resounding ‘yes!’ “
Garfield continues, “I went up to his house to work on the tracks with him, and he was so cool. We bonded as keyboard players, too. After that session, we played a live gig together at the Baked Potato, along with Steve Lukather and Michael Landau.
“I’m sure sorry we lost him way too soon,” added Garfield, who said he had continued to stay in touch with Eddie since the ’96 recording. “I was hoping to collaborate with him again. Rest in peace, my brother Ed.”
Eddie Van Halen photo credit: Neil Zlozower