Guitar World has posted Steve Vai’s tribute to Eddie Van Halen. In it, Vai illustrates Eddie’s ability to endlessly and effortlessly tap into his creativity.
Below is an excerpt from Vai’s article submitted to Guitar World on October 14th, 2020:
The innocence of genius is fascinating. This idea was prominently on display through the entire career of Edward Van Halen.
We have a tendency to believe that “genius” is restricted to intellectual giants, but perhaps another perspective of “genius” is the ability of an individual to seamlessly connect to their uniquely inspired creative intuitions.
“Geniuses” are capable of manifesting these intuitions into the world effortlessly, elegantly and without any excuses or fear; this is their natural and organically creative state of being. The potential to realize this lies within all of us.
Edward was not an intellectual (thank God), but he was a genius. He had the gift of focused intention, undaunted confidence and palpable passion, and he didn’t even know it; it was just natural to him. When it came to his musical vision, he was oblivious to obstacles.
Any obstacles a person might encounter in expressing their creative inspirations are only ever the negative thoughts they have about reaching their goal. Those obstructions aren’t in the outside world, as commonly believed. It’s an inside job. They are the insecure and fearful thoughts that cut at the root of a person’s ability to discover and express their own simple, creative brilliance that’s already there.
Edward never fell prey to these kinds of thoughts. Instead, he followed his bliss. In doing so, he created a paradigm shift that evolved the entire guitar community. His goals were set minute by minute, so he was constantly challenging and satisfying himself.
The experience of having an inner pull to play something a certain way, and then hitting that goal and instantly creating another can become quite intoxicating and fiercely addictive. And when he put it all together, if either Sammy swooned or Dave swagged all over it, it didn’t matter; he was going to crush it regardless. No exceptions.
You can read all of Vai’s piece through Guitar World‘s website HERE.
Here’s a clip of Vai circa 1990 talking about Eddie Van Halen: