Guitar World has recently compiled quotes from Eddie Van Halen dating back to 1981.
Below are just some of those quotes. You can read the entire collection of Eddie’s thoughts chasing new tones, new songs and good times from Guitar World‘s website HERE.
The Natural (GW, January 1981)
“My Father has been a professional musician all his life, and he said, ‘Kid, you’ve got it,’ Some people have got it and some people don’t. Even people who don’t have it can practice long enough to get it down to a point. But there’s always a difference between a person who has the feel and those who don’t.
“The difference is in the amount of emotion expressed in your playing. I listened to Debussy by two different pianists and it was like day and night. One guy had it and every note was beautiful. The other guy had lead fingers.”
…And a Song Called “Jump” (GW, January 1984)
“I think this next one is going to be a hellified record. The majority of the solos will be overdubs. It just depends on how it feels right. There’s a fast boogie called Hot for Teacher.
“There’s another one called Anytime, Anyplace with a live solo in it. Lots of overdubs. My dad might play an intro for a song. There’s a song called Panama with a live solo. And a song called Jump.”
Pickin’ ’n’ Grinnin’ (GW, July 1988)
“I use my thumb and my middle finger when I pick. Actually, it depends. Normally, I pick like that, but when I do the hammer-on shit I hold it like that [wedges the pick between the first and second joints of his middle finger]…
“You see a lot of people go [sticks the pick between his teeth], and I just had to figure out somethin’ else… And sometimes, when I use the wiggle stick, I hold it with my pinky and pick like that [holding the pick between his thumb and index finger, with the last three fingers slightly curled to form a fulcrum for the bar], pick the Mel Bay style – the way, I guess, you’re supposed to, up and down, up and down.
“My bar is so loose that I don’t have to keep these fingers straight. Those are the three different ways that I lose a pick.”
Might As Well Spank! (GW, September 1991)
“Let me tell you where the title of [Spanked] comes from. Anyone who has ever spent any time in 5150 complains about the placement of our monitor speakers. They’re strange because the room used to be a racquetball court. So Andy Johns walks in for the first time and says, ‘Hey, mate, your speakers sound kind of spanked.’ Spanked! That killed me. When something is beat to shit, it’s ‘spanked’. We quickly adopted it into our vocabulary and Sammy wrote a song around it.”
Takin’ No Prisoners GW, August 2004
“I get easily bored playing the same thing, so I have given myself the freedom to change and play variations within the context of a song. Who made the rule that you have to play the same rhythm part under every verse? I’m not afraid to fall on my face. I think my ability has grown tenfold over what was on our early records, and it’s because I care so much.
“I care so much that I don’t care. It means so much to me that I allow myself to fail. I’m very simple in my complication and very complicated in my simplicity. If I hear a sound in my head I will stop at nothing to achieve it, because I feel there is nothing given to me that can’t be achieved. It’s a matter of letting go and being open to any possibility. I don’t take prisoners ’cause I don’t know where to store ’em. [Laughs]”