GUITARIST GEORGE LYNCH SHARES HIS MEMORIES OF EDDIE VAN HALEN SAYING, “HE WAS VERY SWEET”
Iconic guitarist George Lynch spoke with the Appetite For Destortion podcast where he discussed another guitar icon, as well an an innovator, and tech genius, Eddie Van Halen, oortions of the discussion appear below (via blabbermouth.net).
When asked how Van Halen’s passing affected him, Lynch replied, “That hit me personally very hard, and every guitar player I know, pretty much, kind of felt the same way. As we get older, obviously, we’re seeing people go away and pass. And that’s just normal, of course. And we’re seeing a lot of that. And so that’s pretty profound. But, I mean, fucking David Bowie and George Michael and all these people — Prince — these giants… Tom Petty. It’s, like, ‘What?’ All at once it seemed like. But Eddie was on another level, because, obviously, we’re a little closer as far as what we do, and we kind of came up in the same place at the same time and had some connections and all that, so that’s why it was more profound, I think. And I learned a lot from him, and I based a lot of my style on him. Even though we were compatriots in a way, he was way beyond me, so I lifted a lot of stuff from him and got inspired by him, as we all did. He’s a Southern California guy, and we were like kind of neighbors and played the same clubs and played on the same stages together and hung out. [Dokken] did [the 1988] Monsters Of Rock [tour with Van Halen, Scorpions, Metallica and Kingdom Come]… So, yeah, that was a pretty tough one. It hits close to home, too, I think, for us when our friends start disappearing, because it’s a lonelier place after that.”
When queried if he had any stories to share that might “display the fun side of [Van Halen’s] personality,?” he reponded, “He was just incredibly shy. He was just a super introvert. I mean, all the guy did was just sit in his room and play guitar his whole life, and drink his beers and smoke his cigarettes, and developed what he developed. He changed the guitar world. I think he was just sort of burdened with this whole fame thing and being a human being in a complicated world. It isn’t always so nice. He was a super-sensitive guy, which allowed him to be this incredible musician, as you have to have that sort of sympathy and empathy. A lot of people thought he wasn’t that nice of a person, but it was just ’cause he was really quiet. He was a little bit scared, but he spoke so beautifully through his instrument.”
“But we had moments,” Lynch continued. “We used to hang out. Monsters Of Rock, we’d go almost every night. When Valerie [Bertinelli, Eddie‘s then-wife] wasn’t out, we’d jam. We’d just sit in our hotel room and just play guitar all night. It was pretty awesome. And actually, I had some issues with my gear out there on the Monsters tour, and [Van Halen] were the headliner, obviously. And he was so sweet, ’cause he was, like, ‘Hey, man, take anything you want of mine.’ So, I did half that tour with his gear. That’s pretty insane, ’cause headliners usually don’t do stuff like that. They’re just, like, ‘That’s your problem, figure it out,’ which is fair. But, he was very sweet, ‘Just take anything you want — heads, cabinets.’ I used his rig for, like, half that tour. It was pretty sweet.”
“He gave my son a guitar lesson,” he added. “My kid was going to GIT, and he wanted to be a guitar player like his dad. And I took him to meet Eddie at a show, and Eddie’s, like, ‘You know what? You’re a guitar player? Let me show you…’ So, they went back in the warmup room and he gave my son a little lesson. That was pretty cool. Who does that?”
Edward Van Halen tragically passed away in October at the age of 65 after a long battle with cancer.