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Thread: The Day Eddie Van Halen Met Nirvana

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    The Day Eddie Van Halen Met Nirvana

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    I knew this was going to be about the ethnicity question incident.

    Beyond that? Boring.
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    I always thought Kurt's response to Eddie ("you can come up onstage after we finish our encore and just solo by yourself") was a fairly cutting remark, particularly in 1993 when Eddie's flash guitar style was no longer en vogue.

    It was like "yeah, why don't you go onstage and have a guitar wank by yourself, you drunken passe rock icon: that's what you're best at"...priceless.
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    Considering these guys do a music podcast you'd think they'd be a little more knowledgeable about music. I can understand why younger people think Nirvana was comparable to the Beatles as far as their influence but their remark about EVH being the first look at me guitar virtuoso showed how little they actually know about the history of rock and roll. Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page were doing guitar "parlor tricks" way before anyone ever heard of Eddie Van Halen.
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    You can add Jeff Beck, Brian May, and maybe Pete Townsend (at least as far as showmanship)...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    I always thought Kurt's response to Eddie ("you can come up onstage after we finish our encore and just solo by yourself") was a fairly cutting remark, particularly in 1993 when Eddie's flash guitar style was no longer en vogue.

    It was like "yeah, why don't you go onstage and have a guitar wank by yourself, you drunken passe rock icon: that's what you're best at"...priceless.
    It's a different ethos and began before Nirvana. A lot of 80's pop-rock "Indie" (or then known as college radio) bands were more influenced by punk than classic rock and prized integrity-of-the-song over musicianship, probably U2's The Edge being the biggest example. He gets mocked here but the Edge does have some chops, but sees guitar as means to an end and chords as color renderings on a canvas rather than worrying about virtuosity. I think The Smiths' How Soon is Now is a prime example...
    Last edited by Nickdfresh; 05-18-2017 at 02:46 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    You can add Jeff Beck, Brian May, and maybe Pete Townsend (at least as far as showmanship)...
    Townsend came to mind but as far as I know he never did long solos with some signature trickery like Hendrix and Page. I know he was famous for his arm swing move he (I think jokingly) said came from bowling but I'm not aware of any "parlor tricks" he was famous for. Chuck Berry and his duck walk while playing could have been mentioned as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    It's a different ethos and began before Nirvana. A lot of 80's pop-rock "Indie" (or then known as college radio) bands were more influenced by punk than classic rock and prized integrity-of-the-song over musicianship, probably U2's The Edge being the biggest example. He gets mocked here but the Edge does have some chops, but sees guitar as means to an end and chords as color renderings on a canvas rather than worrying about virtuosity. I think The Smiths' How Soon is Now is a prime example...
    With The Edge, I've always gotten the feeling that he is using the guitar to service the song. Even as far back as U2's first album, when they were coming out of that punk period (which was much bigger in the U.K. than it ever was in America)...I mean, you take probably their best-known song off that album, "I Will Follow"...the main riff is simplistic but powerful, and the band is fairly straightforward in the delivery, but they're not using the music as a mere bludgeon unlike a lot of the lesser punk bands of that 1977-1979 period. And what does the solo in that song consist of? Some standard harmonics and a muted repeat of the main riff. And you know what? It got the job done.

    And to his credit, I think Eddie Van Halen had a great blend of rhythm, riffs and fills, great ability coming up with choruses AND an incredible facility with rock guitar solos. Sadly, a lot of rock guitarists who come out in the wake of Van Halen's success seemed only to grasp the flash guitar aspects of what Eddie was doing, and neglected the rest of the package: Eddie had killer solos, but just as important those solos were merely the icing on the cake of what were killer SONGS. And I'll say, with little qualification, that in terms of the songwriting department all the Warren DeMartini's, Steve Vai's, George Lynch's and the like who came onto the scene in 1984 in terms of visibility had precious little to offer beyond great guitar solos.

    By the time 1991 rolled around, that whole era of excessive hair metal which had been (in no small part) inspired by CVH was on the wane. Fairly or not, since Eddie had inspired so many of those hair metal band guitarists, Eddie was symbolic of that excess...of style over substance, technique over integrity, etc. Sort of guilt by association, or guilt by inspiration. I think Eddie once commented that he wasn't responsible for all these younger guitarists who were playing like typewriters, referencing his two handed technique...nor was he responsible for rock guitarists picking up on one aspect of what he did and running that technique into the ground. However, the hard rock style Eddie had helped inspire produced a lot of shite, so Eddie got lumped into that pile by newer rock acts who found more in common with The Melvins or Black Flag than Van Halen.

    I still thought Cobain's comment was a funny one.

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