Eddie Van Halen was one of the guitar masters of rock music. Gaining international fame with his works as a member of his band, Van Halen, the guitarist brought the community the tapping guitar solo technique. As he contributed to his band’s every one release, Eddie Van Halen was the key member of his band. Although he passed away in October 2020, his musical legacy is still an inspiration for young people.
Throughout his musical effort, the guitarist collaborated with a lot of musicians, as well as created music for his band. Releasing solo work and partnerships, the musician worked with worldwide artists, such as Gene Simmons, Brian May, Roger Waters, Sammy Hagar, and Black Sabbath. He also recorded a guitar solo for Michael Jackson‘s hit Beat It taken from Thriller, which was the musician’s highest-selling album of all time.
As he spent more than 5 decades in the rock scene, the guitarist created numerous connections with unique musicians. Ted Nugent was one of those musicians who was a friend of Eddie Van Halen. In the early years of the band, Van Halen opened for Ted Nugent, and both sides became friends immediately. Nugent and Eddie were a little bit close to each other, as they had the same passion as Gibson Byrdland.
However, recently, Ted Nugent sent praising words for the late guitarist and once again paid his tribute to him. Revealing the thing he was fascinated by Eddie Van Halen back in 1977, Nugent admitted that the guitarist’s handmade guitar affected him heavily.
“On that stage, I was fascinated to see what this guy was doing with a handmade guitar, back in ’77,” Nugent said. “And I went up and I said, ‘Hi, Eddie. I’m Ted. What is this rig? It’s awesome.’ And he whipped out those unbelievable, unique licks of his. And he handed me his guitar.
“And even though it was this unique rig and the amplification and all these effects and just one of a kid, as soon as I started playing his bastard Stratocaster, it sounded like me, because of the way I touch the instrument. But not quite like a Birdland, because a Birdland just feeds back uncontrollably [laughs] — it’s like an angry, pissed off beast. And I handed him the Birdland and it fed back and fed back.”
Ted Nugent Says ‘We All Worship The Gift Eddie Van Halen Gave Us’
Later then, Nugent continued sending heartwarming words for Eddie Van Halen. Saluting him and his legacy, the rocker said he was pleased with the gift Eddie left them. Touching on his friendship with Eddie, Ted said he had a miraculous touch on the guitar, as well as recalled one of his favorite moments with him.
“Here’s the takeaway: it’s in the hands and in the heart,” he continued. “It’s in the spirit of the musician. And when Eddie played my Birdland, and I was able to back it down a little bit so it wasn’t so out-of-control feedback, on my Gibson Birdland through my Fender amps, it sounded like Eddie fucking Van Halen, because he is it. And even with his rig — I would play some of my licks; I played the ‘Cat Scratch’ lick and I played the ‘Free-For-All’ lick — it sounded like Ted fucking Nugent.
“But my point is: Eddie Van Halen, we all worship the gift he gave us. There was never a negative moment between Eddie and I. He and I got along just great. And we loved the same kind of music. And he had a miraculous touch on the guitar, and I had my own touch. And that moment, with those two different guitars and two different rigs, it proves that it really is in the hands of the individual. And it was a great, great moment. I cherish that moment.”
Back this past May, Ted Nugent named Eddie Van Halen the best guitarist of all time. Explaining why he thought Eddie Van Halen was the best, Nugent mentioned his organic sense of rhythm.
“There’s so many [guitarists that I like]. I’m gonna go ahead and give it to Eddie Van Halen because he was so diverse in not only his histrionics but his groove. He had an unbelievable organic sense of rhythm in his delivery of not just exciting lead guitar parts but his grind of a grooving rhythm as a white kid.
“He really defied the history of who can groove like that. ‘Cause I come from the world of The Funk Brothers of Motown, so I know what the gods of groove look and sound like. And Eddie Van Halen, the times I jammed with him and just listening to the records, you can tell he had an unbelievable, uncanny Superman sense of rhythm beyond just his outrageous athleticism on the guitar neck.”