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  1. #1
    5150 theNine5150's Avatar
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    11.22.16 @ 06:34 AM
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    Default Is Eddie bored with Guitar playing??

    I was enjoying reading several posts in the "Westwood One Interview" thread where several of you musicians were commenting on Ed's playing over the last few years and it compelled me to start this thread..

    Glad Ziggysmalls brought up George, Satriani & Vai. I am not a musician, but as a big fan of Lynch & Satriani (CF), I listen to their newer stuff and my mind always goes to our hero, Ed. Wondering why he isn't active. Stretching out more??

    Then I listen to Neil tear up Personal Jesus & Goin Down on Sam's new album and wonder if these guys just have more passion than Ed these days or what?

    I appreciate Ed has been through allot physically & mentally over the years, but wouldn't that guitar bring him comfort? Why is he not constantly playing like those guys?

    I liked ADKOT allot and appreciate the fact that he played his ass off on that tour.

    However, wasn't it Ed playing Eddie (which is fine) circa 1979?

  2. #2
    On Fire
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    04.23.17 @ 08:53 PM
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    Well based on what Dave has said more recently, it does seem like Eddie, Al and Wolf jam multiple times a week. So he does play often. And I believe in another interview Eddie stated that after the 2008 tour ended the 3 of them basically started jamming for the new album.

    It just seems like he's not that motivated to move quickly to produce new songs for people's consumption. Its interesting we really only have had a clean and sober Eddie for the past 5/6 years I guess. Unfortunately he's also in his 50s so maybe the drive isn't there like we would want.

    I dunno. I don't have a real answers. It just seems to me he is constantly playing but nothing gets revealed to the fans. He could easily stream things like roth does the roth show. He could just stream song clips and the fans would go nuts!

    We'd be posting all kinds of responses to different clips..It would generate buzz for the new album for sure..

  3. #3
    Atomic Punk Eddymon's Avatar
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    12.11.17 @ 02:30 PM
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    Default

    I wonder if Ed has lost his interest in golf?
    Seems like he used to be seen playing fairly often.
    A few weeks back, Alice Cooper was on the Bob and Tom Show and he is an avid golfer who is also very good. They asked him who the worst celebrity golfer was and he said his good friend Eddie Van Halen was. You would think with all the down time over the years he would be pretty good by now.

    Wish I had that much time off to improve my game.
    'Old Van Halen, when I was in it-classic Van Halen-makes you wanna drink, dance and screw, right? And the new Van Halen encourages you to drink milk, drive a Nissan and have a relationship.' - David Lee Roth.

  4. #4
    Atomic Punk bsbll4's Avatar
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    12.11.17 @ 01:56 PM
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    Eddie definitely hit a stage in the mid to late 80's where he got sick of the "guitar hero" rat race. He started branching out more into keyboards, but we have to remember, he was always a piano player first. In fact, he's said over the years that he's written a number of songs on the piano that he's then translated to guitar.

    Every now and then he seems to be reinvigorated to push his guitar playing, like 1998 and 2012. He may still be going through one of those periods right now, but until we actually hear the results, we won't know about it.

    He's admitted through the years that he's gone long periods of time without even picking up a guitar, but I think he's still writing music during those times. He mentioned in that interview after the 2008 tour with Toni Iommi that he's written a ton of music, but much of it wouldn't be considered "Van Halen" music to fans.

    So in short, yes he has gotten bored with guitar from time to time, but he always seems to come back to it.
    CNN may think my opinion matters, but you shouldn't.

  5. #5
    Good Enough extreme red roth's Avatar
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    06.16.17 @ 09:53 AM
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    Default

    Some of my thoughts:

    1. Eddie is more of a song-writer than a lot of the so-called shredders like Vai, Satch, etc. In general, it doesn't seem like Ed likes to release bits unless they are songs.

    2. I think that Eddie does get bored. In 2004, yes he was abusing substances, but I also think he was a little angry and a little bored. I know it had been 5 or 6 years since he had toured last, but to me it seemed like he didn't want to stand up there live during his solo spot and just play the eruption, spanish fly, mean street intro, cathedral solo that he's played a zillion times. Same for some of the songs...I think the tour was half-ass, because of the substance abuse, but I also think general boredom played a part too. Honestly.

    3. It's been said a lot. It's apparent since 2007, that the only motivation Ed has centers on playing, jamming, and writing with Wolf. I still say Wolf is our best chance at any new music feeling different or out of the box for Van Halen. We know he can play any instrument and is a talented young man. I say let the lad do some writing. I bet you that would inspire Ed's playing.

    4. This has also been said, but as much as I dig Sammy...Ed simply doesn't appear to be inspired by that style of Van Halen. His playing on ADKOT was ferocious, and it would appear that Dave just brings out the best in him. I honestly think that Ed is inspired by Dave's lyrics more, and I think Dave has a sensibility with the songs that can't be overlooked. I know this is slightly off topic, but I think we will see another album and we will enjoy it as much as ADKOT. The proof was in that album.
    The Barn Burned Down, Now I can See the Moon

  6. #6
    Atomic Punk edwardv's Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 05:54 AM
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    Ed bored? I mean the guy works his ass off with touring and recording......LOL
    EVH 1979: Well, actually it's not much of a vacation, because we run everything ourselves. We design our own album cover, we have to be in the office every day to sign checks - the whole corporation revolves around us. Nothing can be done without our approval. We even have photo approval.

  7. #7
    Baluchitherium Harpospoke's Avatar
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    12.10.17 @ 07:58 PM
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by extreme red roth View Post
    2. I think that Eddie does get bored. In 2004, yes he was abusing substances, but I also think he was a little angry and a little bored. I know it had been 5 or 6 years since he had toured last, but to me it seemed like he didn't want to stand up there live during his solo spot and just play the eruption, spanish fly, mean street intro, cathedral solo that he's played a zillion times.
    That may be true. I still wonder why he stopped playing particular parts of Eruption and Spanish Fly though. (the fast scalar runs) He still did parts of them...but usually just the tapping stuff and the tremolo picking part of Eruption. Interesting how he always seemed to skip the "harder" stuff. Made it seem like he just wasn't practicing as hard.

    And my reaction to being bored by those pieces would be to write something new to play that was in the same style that used to make me so excited to play guitar. (Eddie could not have gotten that good at those runs without them exciting him enough to practice that hard) However, we are all different in our reactions. I remember reading that Andre Segovia maintained a vigorous and dedicated practice regimen well into his 80s. Others like Steve Vai and Steve Morse also work very hard to keep their chops up. Eddie just might not be that kind of guitarist.
    4. This has also been said, but as much as I dig Sammy...Ed simply doesn't appear to be inspired by that style of Van Halen. His playing on ADKOT was ferocious, and it would appear that Dave just brings out the best in him. I honestly think that Ed is inspired by Dave's lyrics more, and I think Dave has a sensibility with the songs that can't be overlooked. I know this is slightly off topic, but I think we will see another album and we will enjoy it as much as ADKOT. The proof was in that album.
    I've wondered about that too. Dave is flashy. He's out there. He demands attention....like all of it. Anyone sharing a stage with him will have to do something special to get any attention.

    Is it possible that a big part of Eddie's flashy style only existed because Dave was in the band?

  8. #8
    Sinner's Swing! Rokgtar's Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 03:34 AM
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    Default

    I'd like to add a few comments here...

    Steve Vai is a monster guitar player... His songs are instrumentals where the guitar solo is the vocal. They are sonic "soundscape" masterpieces. I love what he does, but his music has no space for a vocalist.

    Joe Satriani is also a monster guitar player, but he has more of a main melody in his instrumental music than Vai does. You could take many of Satch's songs, remove the main solo melody, insert a vocalist, and it would still be a killer tune.

    Ed is a more fragile human being than some. He has used some pretty bad habits to get him through periods of his life. It has taken its toll on him as he has aged. I would almost guarantee that Ed is on some antidepressant meds that stabilize his mood and keep him on an even keel. Unfortunately, those meds that help keep him even keeled can also rob him of his inspiration to create.

    The other guys... They are businessmen as well as artists... They know how to market themselves, they have always stayed away from serious substance abuse, and they generally have stable family lives. EVH has always had a frontman to do this for the band while he created music and pickled his liver. It was killing him. It had to stop.

    I'd bet that Janie keeps a close eye on him personally and professionally and keeps him on the straight and narrow. That's what he needs to survive. If he feels creative, he'll put something out. But I'd bet most days he is just hanging out and playing guitar when and only if he wants to.

  9. #9
    Sinner's Swing! Rokgtar's Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 03:34 AM
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    I started off talking about Vai and Satriani and got off point, but the point I wanted to make about them is that they are not like Yngvie or other shredmeisters, shredding solos all over the place for the sake of it. There's real substance in their music. These guys are masters of the guitar. They deserve all of the accolades they get.

  10. #10
    Good Enough Kevin Dodds's Avatar
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    09.15.17 @ 08:03 AM
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    I'm not sure if anyone else here has been playing guitar since 1967 -- if you have, pipe up.

    But think about that -- that's almost 50 years of playing guitar, the first 20 of which were essentially not-stop. It should be absolutely no surprise given the mix of breakups, substance abuse, exhaustion, hand issues, etc. that the guy would want to put it down for a while from time to time.

    When VH was young -- they were hungry; both literally and figuratively. After a good decade or so, they had stuffed bellies so to speak. What was said before was true, Ed truly did want to almost make a wholesale transfer to keyboards. The one (and only) copy of Keyboard World that I have is from 1988 and has Ed on the cover and says "The Making of a Keyboard Hero."

    Vai and Satriani have never expressed the slightest interest in anything like that. Plus, physical skills aside, Vai and Satriani have not even come within a light year of VH's sales. I have Vai and Satriani albums -- and back in the 80s I was enormous fans of those guys. But except for a few tracks, I personally find their "songwriting" skills to be abysmal. Soundscapes is a better word for it. Just a bed track for insane soloing.

    I listened to some Yngwe the other day just to show my 11-year-old son what that was all about. He actually laughed -- the massive arpeggio sweeps sounded like something a child would immitate -- "bloo-duh-duh-DEE!-bluh-duh-duh-doo!" But the background music...oh dear lord. It was so awful. Nothing but a simple drum beat, a static bass line, and a terrible keyboard making very few but pretty ridiculous neo-classical chord changes. Simply nothing more than background music while he goes on yet another shred-a-thon.

    So if there's a spectrum, it goes something like this, maybe:

    1. Ed = LISTENABLE! An everyman's guitar hero.
    2. Satriani = Still listenable, but mostly for guitarists.
    3. Vai = Approaching unlistenable, absolutely inedible for general consumption.
    4: Yngwe = UNLISTENABLE, only freaks like it.

    IMHO.

    KBD3

  11. #11
    Top Of The World CHI-TOWN FAN2's Avatar
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    09.14.17 @ 06:01 PM
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    Default

    I think Ed is just like any other super successful guy in that he has accomplished such a great level in his area that he is in a semi-retirement mode at this point. He will work hard, but he doesn't have to any more. He has had a phenomenal career for 30 years.
    He had the apex of success with 2 different bands for 20 years in his prime. That is twice as much as Jimmy Page and Led Zeppelin. People forget how hard and how long Ed and CO. worked for the vintage Van Halen, and then they amped up again and did it for another ten years with Sammy. Not a lot of musicians can even come close to their level of effort and sacrifice for their art. I give Ed a pass on slowing down a bit - he gave it all during his hay day. Just bring Dave, Sam and Mike back for one final tour that's all I hope for and it will be a career worthy of Van Halen!

  12. #12
    Sinner's Swing! Rokgtar's Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 03:34 AM
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    Can't argue with your assessment much, Kevin... I give Satch a little more credit than you do maybe, but then again, I didn't hear a thing in Chickenfoot that tweaked my ear, so I can't totally disagree. At least the music of Satch and Vai is not an embarrassment like Yngvie's stuff is.

    Believe it or not, I was listening to Satch yesterday at work and wondering what Sammy might sing over a tune like "Summer Song", "Motorcycle Driver", or "Speed of Light". I have heard nothing of the sort from Satch in CF.

  13. #13
    Atomic Punk Get The Show On The Road's Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 05:34 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Dodds View Post
    I'm not sure if anyone else here has been playing guitar since 1967 -- if you have, pipe up.

    But think about that -- that's almost 50 years of playing guitar, the first 20 of which were essentially not-stop. It should be absolutely no surprise given the mix of breakups, substance abuse, exhaustion, hand issues, etc. that the guy would want to put it down for a while from time to time.

    When VH was young -- they were hungry; both literally and figuratively. After a good decade or so, they had stuffed bellies so to speak. What was said before was true, Ed truly did want to almost make a wholesale transfer to keyboards. The one (and only) copy of Keyboard World that I have is from 1988 and has Ed on the cover and says "The Making of a Keyboard Hero."

    Vai and Satriani have never expressed the slightest interest in anything like that. Plus, physical skills aside, Vai and Satriani have not even come within a light year of VH's sales. I have Vai and Satriani albums -- and back in the 80s I was enormous fans of those guys. But except for a few tracks, I personally find their "songwriting" skills to be abysmal. Soundscapes is a better word for it. Just a bed track for insane soloing.

    I listened to some Yngwe the other day just to show my 11-year-old son what that was all about. He actually laughed -- the massive arpeggio sweeps sounded like something a child would immitate -- "bloo-duh-duh-DEE!-bluh-duh-duh-doo!" But the background music...oh dear lord. It was so awful. Nothing but a simple drum beat, a static bass line, and a terrible keyboard making very few but pretty ridiculous neo-classical chord changes. Simply nothing more than background music while he goes on yet another shred-a-thon.

    So if there's a spectrum, it goes something like this, maybe:

    1. Ed = LISTENABLE! An everyman's guitar hero.
    2. Satriani = Still listenable, but mostly for guitarists.
    3. Vai = Approaching unlistenable, absolutely inedible for general consumption.
    4: Yngwe = UNLISTENABLE, only freaks like it.

    IMHO.


    KBD3
    That pretty much sums it up for me. I had guys telling me I should listen to those guys when they found out I played guitar and I gave it a whirl. I tried to get into it, I really did. But you're right, the music is pretty terrible and as much as I love the guitar I don't care to hear a bunch of shredding solos for the sake of playing shredding solos.
    The only genre I really know is Van Halen.

  14. #14
    Atomic Punk ziggysmalls's Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 05:02 AM
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    I am in the minority but yeah Ed got lazy. He also showed his insecure side as well during the mid 80's when you think about it. He LOVED being the guy who came in and shocked the guitar community at its core. However he couldn't handle being the guy once others caught up.

    When Randy died, somebody asked Eddie what he thought of him. He made a comment about "well everything he did, he took from me." Now unless you are tone deaf, Eddie and Randy are complete opposites. Sure Randy tapped in about three or four songs and part of his main solo. That was the only comparison. That was the first time somebody was threatening him and he was disrespectufl

    Then Yngwie came around and we get "oh I don't listen to anybody but Peter Gabriel's So album. Thomas Dolby too." I don't see how one can fall in love with rock music and guitarists like Clapton, Richie Blackmore, Tony Iommi, Angus Young, Allan Holdsworth and then shut it down completely. Are you not interested? Allan inspired him until he got ticked off by not being able to produce him. Anyway thought it was strange he didn't get any inspiration from Yngwie's first album.

    Through the years you never hear him talk about anybody new. Not that you have to play like Yngwie, Vai or Satch however you hear positive things about Eddie from Page, Beck and Gilmour. They still were able to go "lets check this Eddie guy out."

    Anyway I think Eddie in the mid 80's figured out he was not going to do much more with lead and came up with the "worried about the songs..." That was a cop out IMO. He didn't want to work at it. He got lazy. Like a baseball player with a new contract. Not that he had to learn sweep picking like Lynch. Or practice scales like Tipton but he could have still tried to push the envelope. He used to say "fall down the stairs and land on your feet." From 85 on it was "why walk down when I can take that electric lift that old people use to go up and down stairs."

    Yeah he wrote some great songs but not so memorable leads. Before 5150, he wrote great songs with memorable leads. If somebody said "give me something that makes Eddie Van Halen a great lead player." 9 out of 10 would play something from the first 6 albums. NOTHING TO DO WITH ROTH OR SAMMY. He just was on fire back then. That was like early Clapton when he smoked.

    Anyway just my thoughts. I know people will disagree and that is fine. No hard feelings or anything. I know people find greatness in his lead playing from 5150 on. I simply view that guy as Clapton on steroids. ehhhhh

  15. #15
    Hang 'Em High Reckless Fable's Avatar
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    11.28.17 @ 10:56 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Dodds View Post
    I'm not sure if anyone else here has been playing guitar since 1967 -- if you have, pipe up.

    But think about that -- that's almost 50 years of playing guitar, the first 20 of which were essentially not-stop. It should be absolutely no surprise given the mix of breakups, substance abuse, exhaustion, hand issues, etc. that the guy would want to put it down for a while from time to time.

    When VH was young -- they were hungry; both literally and figuratively. After a good decade or so, they had stuffed bellies so to speak. What was said before was true, Ed truly did want to almost make a wholesale transfer to keyboards. The one (and only) copy of Keyboard World that I have is from 1988 and has Ed on the cover and says "The Making of a Keyboard Hero."

    Vai and Satriani have never expressed the slightest interest in anything like that. Plus, physical skills aside, Vai and Satriani have not even come within a light year of VH's sales. I have Vai and Satriani albums -- and back in the 80s I was enormous fans of those guys. But except for a few tracks, I personally find their "songwriting" skills to be abysmal. Soundscapes is a better word for it. Just a bed track for insane soloing.

    I listened to some Yngwe the other day just to show my 11-year-old son what that was all about. He actually laughed -- the massive arpeggio sweeps sounded like something a child would immitate -- "bloo-duh-duh-DEE!-bluh-duh-duh-doo!" But the background music...oh dear lord. It was so awful. Nothing but a simple drum beat, a static bass line, and a terrible keyboard making very few but pretty ridiculous neo-classical chord changes. Simply nothing more than background music while he goes on yet another shred-a-thon.

    So if there's a spectrum, it goes something like this, maybe:

    1. Ed = LISTENABLE! An everyman's guitar hero.
    2. Satriani = Still listenable, but mostly for guitarists.
    3. Vai = Approaching unlistenable, absolutely inedible for general consumption.
    4: Yngwe = UNLISTENABLE, only freaks like it.

    IMHO.

    KBD3
    I must be a freak, because while I can't stand Yngwie as a person, I like the music he creates. It is fun, rocks hard and I actually enjoy the absurdity of how unapologetically metal it is. Most 80's metal makes me vomit, however Yngwie is so damn ridiculous and honest about it, that I find it entertaining. However, some of the orchestrated work that he does is pretty mind-blowing from a composition standpoint.

    Speaking of which, to pivot of Rok's statement, it drives me fucking bananas when I hear people saying that Satch and Vai cannot write songs. They don't write pop songs for general consumption. They deliberately write songs in a specific genre, which has an extremely limited listening audience. Within that genre, they are masters at what they do. It might not be one's cup of tea stylistically, but to claim they can't write songs is incorrect.

    The comparisons to Ed are natural, considering they both played with ex-VH singers. But I think Vai's music is more comparable to Frank Zappa (his mentor) than anything Eddie did. Frank's music wasn't for anyone, but he was a genius and a master of composition.

    If one is a guitar player and/or a composer, I think you are missing out on some very different ways to think about and enjoy music if you dismiss Satch and Vai. But, to each their own.

 

 

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