What was Jeff Beck's opinion on Eddie Van Halen

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What was Jeff Beck’s opinion on Eddie Van Halen

Jeff Beck Van Halen


What was Jeff Beck’s opinion on Eddie Van Halen

The late legendary guitarist Jeff Beck was certainly one of the most inventive and influential artists of all time. Often called a “guitarist’s guitarist”, he first achieved fame as a member of The Yardbirds and then with his own groups or in his solo career, he released albums that became a huge influence of countless artists worldwide. Also had many important collaborations with famous artists like Stevie Wonder, Rod Stewart, Mick Jagger and more.


During his career, Beck showed that he could really play anything he wanted, releasing albums of many different styles. He had the chance to see up-close many incredible guitar heroes appearing over the decades and one of them was Eddie Van Halen.

What was Jeff Beck’s opinion on Eddie Van Halen

Although they never made a  really similar kind of music, Jeff Beck paid attention to Eddie Van Halen and liked his technique, although he once said he would love to see him playing a different kind of music.

He was asked by Guitar World magazine in 1985, what was his opinion on “the whole Van Halen school of guitar”. He said: “I love it, I think it’s the greatest. I’ve been there, y’know, but he lives and dies for that whereas I don’t. I’m not really a heavy metal boy, through and through. I’d love to go and see him but I probably wouldn’t stay for the whole concert. I’d just get a flash of brilliance and then I’d go, saying to myself, ‘That guy is really great.’ I wouldn’t want to get bored with it, which I could easily do with that style of music.”

“I like rock concerts, concerts in general, to go through different moods. But there aren’t too many concerts like that now. I mean, those guys like Van Halen are so great. But they seem to be stuck in that kind of stuff. Still, he’s got the most amazing technique, you’ve got to take your hat off to him for that. The speed and the frantic element. I could do well to learn from him some of those tricks he pulls,” Jeff Beck said.

Around that time, he had also told Guitar magazine that Eddie should take the credit for everything he was doing. For Beck, the Dutch guitarist was an innovator and the first one to record “tapping, hammering-on and harmonic screams”.

For Jeff, it wasn’t Van Halen’s fault that horrible players tried to emulate him

After Van Halen released their self-titled debut album in 1978 and everyone heard Eddie’s incredible technique, immediately, a whole generation of guitar players tried to copy that kind of playing. So Eddie was often blamed for the kind of guitar playing that was common in Hard Rock in the 80s, especially.

But for Jeff Beck, Eddie had no fault that “horrendous” players tried to emulate him. That’s what he said in an interview featured in the photo book “Van Halen: A Visual History”.

“He brought tapping to the forefront, and I still think he was one of the tastiest players doing it. It wasn’t his fault that all these other horrendous people tried to emulate him. I actually saw Eddie play some Blues once and it was really beautiful. I would be great to hear him play more in that style,” Jeff Beck said.

Eddie and Alex Van Halen once went to see Jeff Beck play

Although Jeff Beck was already a famous musician in the 60s, it was only in 1975 that Eddie Van Halen started listening to his records.

As he recalled in an interview with Rolling Stone in 2011, “Blow By Blow” (1975) and “Wired” (1976) were some of the Beck albums he liked.

“Jeff Beck is definitely a standalone. You never know what the hell he’s gonna do. My brother and I were in France 20 years ago, and Jeff Beck was playing. He was doing a rockabilly thing. And we were like, ‘What the hell is this?’ You never know what to expect with him,” Eddie Van Halen said.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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