“Only Eddie Van Halen and Jimi Hendrix created a paradigm shift in rock"
Issue #6 of the UK based Rock Candy Magazine features an exclusive candid interview with legendary rock guitarist Steve Vai. Vai may be an acknowledged guitar genius himself, but the man who has received so many plaudits himself is convinced that it was only Eddie Van Halen and Jimi Hendrix who fundamentally changed the shape of rock music.
Exclusive Issue #6 Steve Vai article preview:
Speaking exclusively about his deep appreciation of Edward Van Halen in the new issue of Rock Candy magazine, Vai told editor Howard Johnson, “There are so many guitar heroes I love, and maybe even prefer over Edward in a sense. But the two guitar players who really created a paradigm shift in my opinion were Jimi Hendrix and Edward Van Halen. Everybody else has contributed wonderfully to the art form. But when you look at scope of their individual contributions and how they became pivotal turning points for guitar playing, those two guys were the most effective.”
In a wide-ranging interview all about the Van Halen legend that forms part of Rock Candy mag’s 14 page VH feature in the current issue, Vai recalls hearing Edward’s playing for the first time when he was a student at Berklee College of Music in Boston in the late ‘70s.
“’You Really Got Me’ came on the radio, with the ‘Eruption’ solo tagged on at the start,” he explained. “We were just all completely stunned.”
In a long and illustrious career, Steve Vai has produced some of the most loved guitar music ever recorded, while also bringing his outstanding combination of flash and technique to some of rock’s greatest acts, including Whitesnake and, of course, David Lee Roth. Between 1985 and 1989 Vai performed a number of Edward’s songs alongside the former Van Halen frontman during the height of Roth’s solo career.
“Playing Van Halen songs is such a hoot,” he told Rock Candy. “Especially when you’ve got David Lee Roth singing them! ‘Panama’ is just great. ‘Unchained’ and ‘Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love’ too. We’d play a whole lot of Van Halen tunes and they were always wonderful. The parts were constructed perfectly, because Edward has real completeness as a guitar player.”