Yes guitarist Steve Howe says Eddie Van Halen’s innovative guitar skills shouldn’t be the only thing he’ll be remembered for.
Rock journalist Darren Paltrowitz has shared an excerpt of a recent interview he did with Howe:
“When I heard Eddie, I kind of almost thought… This kind of prowess, almost-impossibly-fast ,and all that double-stopping [finger-tapping], it was a bit alien to me… I wasn’t gonna compete in this department. But I like fast-playing,” began Howe. “One of the fastest players, an incredible choice of notes, is Tal Farlow, the jazz guitarist from the 60s… If you hear him play within his trio, with Eddie Costa on piano and the bass player, it’s like Eddie Van Halen with a different consciousness about melodic usage of notes.
“I was already used to very fast players, some people were just capable of playing so fast. I was tempted to kind of noodle off on that too much.” Added Howe with a laugh. “I think Tormato [the 1978 Yes studio album], I’d like to take about half my notes off the album.”
“Hyperspeed [playing] was subject to taste, and my taste was changing,” continued Howe later in the conversation. “Asia certainly gave me a more simplistic approach. When you hear ‘Wildest Dreams’ or ‘Time Again,’ some of that playing is really aggressively-fast and exciting.” He paused before adding with a laugh, “I hope.”
Notes aside, Howe’s appreciation for Eddie Van Halen remains deep to this day.
“There was an awful lot around Eddie, as much as there was Eddie… Let’s not forget the great hits Eddie had. I was well-aware of those. You can’t escape hits, everyone knows them and loves them.”
Darren Paltrowitz can be heard on the David Lee Roth podcast The DLR Cast with co-host Steve Roth. You can also catch his interviews with various celebrities on his podcast the Paltrocast. His complete interview with Steve Howe can be viewed HERE.