Guitarist Mick Mars spoke with  Rock Of Nations With Dave Kinchen And Shane McEachern, where he discussed the early days of the Sunset Strip and the emerging guitarists on the scene.

He said (as per blabbermouth.net), “Randy [Rhoads] and I didn’t know each other, but I went to see him a few times at the Starwood when he was with Quiet Riot — right before Ozzy[Osbourne] stole Rudy [Sarzo] and Randy. And I saw him a couple of times, and I went, ‘That kid’s really, really a good player.’ So I went to see him a couple of times. And I wasn’t surprised that he got there with Ozzy, but it was cool to see that. But Eddie Van Halen was running around at that time too. And Ed and I go way, way back, when he was, like, 19 years old. Ed and I were, like, not close pals or anything, but we knew each other. We’d goof around and tell jokes, and that kind of stuff, and that was a blast. So, yeah, [they were] a few of the guys that I fully respect during that time.”

Mars was also asked about other guitarists playing Van Halen‘s material, particularly as it relates to the upcoming 2024 tour called, The Best Of All Worlds, featuring Joe SatrianiSammy HagarMichael Anthony and Jason Bonham that will focus largely on the music of Van Halen. Mars stated, “No one can ever duplicate [Eddie]. No one. I mean, look how many people are trying to imitate Jimi [Hendrix] after all these years. It doesn’t work. You can hit the notes, but you know what? The hands, your feel, the way that you connect with your guitar, or whatever instrument that it is you’re playing, is different.”

He continued, “When you get somebody as good as Satriani that goes, like, ‘I can’t play this lick,’ an Eddie lick…. He’s Eddie Van Halen. Or he’s Randy Rhoads, dude. You’ll never copy it. You can mimic it, but not copy it. So that’s the way I feel. If you can stand behind a curtain, you can certainly tell who’s who.”

Mick Mars’ forthcoming solo album, The Other Side of Mars, will be released on February 23rd, 2024, through Mars’ own label 1313, LLC, in partnership with MRI. Mars released the album’s first single, Loyal to the Lie, on Halloween, and it can be heard here.

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