February 24, 2014

Eddie Van Halen: the 1978 Guitar Player interview

Guitar Player has unearthed first ever interview with Eddie Van Halen, orginally published in 1978:

I do whatever I want. I don't really think about it too much-and that's the beauty of being in this band. Everyone pretty much does what they want, and we all throw out ideas, so whatever happens, happens. Everything is pretty spontaneous. We used to have a keyboard player, and I hated it because I had to play everything exactly the same with him. I couldn't noodle in between the vocal lines, because he was doing something to fill it up. I don't like someone else filling where I want to fill, and that's why I've always wanted to play in three-piece bands.

About his main guitar:

It is a copy of a Fender Stratocaster. I bought the body for $50 and the neck for $80, and put in an old Gibson PAF pickup that was rewound to my specifications. I like the one-pickup sound, and I've experimented with it a lot. If you put the pickup really close to the bridge, it sounds trebly, if you put it too far forward, you get a sound that isn't good for rhythm. I like it towards the back-it gives the sound a little sharper edge and bite. I also put my own frets in, using large Gibsons. There is only one volume knob-that's all there is to it. I don't use any fancy tone knobs. I see so many people who have these space-age guitars with a lot of switches and equalizers and treble boosters-give me one knob, that's it. It's simple and it sounds cool. I also painted this guitar with stripes. It has almost the same weight as a Les Paul.

» Guitar Player

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