Edward Lodewijk Van Halen or better known as Eddie Van Halen was one of the greatest guitarists of all time. This multi-talented and dynamic personality was a musician, songwriter, producer, and lead guitarist of the famous American rock band Van Halen. With an ear attuned to music, he created some of the best guitar solos, inspiring and mesmerizing millions. Often known for popularizing the tapping guitar solo technique, he was truly a master of his craft. Music is a form of magic, and the melodies that Eddie Van Halen could create with his guitar were incredibly powerful and gorgeous. Dominating the hard rock scene throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Eddie was one of the greatest musicians of this era.
Born in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Eddie grew up with his older brother Alex Van Halen. Music had embedded itself into his life from a very young age as his father was a Dutch jazz pianist, clarinetist, and saxophonist. Eventually, Eddie and his family moved from the Netherlands to the United States, where they settled in Pasadena, California. Both Eddie and his brother learned to play the piano from a very tender age of six. Eventually, Eddie had honed his skills playing the piano, and he also won first place in the annual piano competition from 1964 to 1967, which was held at Long Beach City College. But, deep in his heart, Eddie was drawn towards rock music and wanted to dwell into this exciting and peppy genre of music.
Soon after, Eddie and his brother had both started playing rock music and they used to perform in their school, where they had formed a band called ‘The Broken Combs’. And Eddie later mentioned that this was the moment when he first felt the desire to become a professional musician. Growing up, his inspiration were legendary musicians like Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page. And gradually with passion and dedication, Eddie had reached a new level and attained extraordinary guitar skills. He mentioned later on in an interview, that while playing in his school band he had learned almost all of Eric Clapton’s solos and had mastered them all.
Eventually, in 1972 Eddie and his brother Alex formed a band, and two years later they changed its name to “Van Halen”. With his phenomenal musical skills and melodious creations, his band had become a staple of the Los Angeles music scene and also used to perform at famous clubs like the Whisky a Go-Go and more. In 1977, Warner Records offered Van Halen a recording contract, and it was the first step to success in their musical journey. Eddie and his brother Alex released their debut album ‘Van Halen’, and it was a solid hit that reached number nineteen on the Billboard Pop Music Charts, becoming one of the greatest hard rock albums of all time. It was hard rock’s most commercially successful debuts. With a fusion of both heavy metal and hard rock, their music was truly energetic and radiated a powerful and peppy vibe.
Gradually, their album went on to become five times platinum and their lead single “Jump” became a number one hit earning them a Grammy nomination. Soon after, Van Halen won the 1992 Grammy Award for the best hard rock performance on their music album “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge”. The band went on releasing several amazing albums, creating new and unique fusions of hard rock music which earned them a place in the hearts of millions of rock music lovers. Later on, Van Halen was also introduced into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Eddie’s incredible and awe-inspiring guitar performances earned him various awards and worldwide recognition for being one of the best rock guitarists. Eddie’s famous guitar “The Frankenstrat” was a custom guitar that he built from various parts. The maple neck and ash body had a knot in it, and the tremolo arm was taken from a Fender Stratocaster. The Frankenstrat was originally a black colored guitar but later was re-coated with red bicycle paint, giving it the iconic cool and funky look.
Throughout his career, this guitar hero played on various musical instruments that he often used to modify and create according to his preferences. He performed and delivered several stellar creations and gave the rock and roll genre some truly incredible music. Considered as one of the most legendary guitarists, Eddie and his band Van Halen was one of the most successful rock bands of the nineties, and his music is still as punchy and powerful as it was back then. Dominating the rock music scene throughout his marvelous musical career, Eddie Van Halen is definitely a music legend and his melodies will remain in our hearts forever.
Check out this amazing EVH solo.
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