The awkward first meeting between Eddie Van Halen and Ritchie Blackmore
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    Default The awkward first meeting between Eddie Van Halen and Ritchie Blackmore

    The awkward first meeting between Eddie Van Halen and Ritchie Blackmore

    THU 26TH OCT 2023

    The late Eddie Van Halen was never scared to discuss his influences, given that a broad range of artists helped him establish his distinctive and searing style.

    One of those who had a tremendous impact on him was Deep Purple legend Ritchie Blackmore.

    Notably, Blackmore was a master of the string-tapping technique before Van Halen popularised the method and made it a staple of modern metal and virtuoso playing.

    He also heavily used his whammy bar, creating a pulsating sound that is as unique as the group he made his name in.

    When reflecting on his career, Eddie Van Halen openly listed Blackmore as one of his ultimate heroes. When discussing his formative influences during an interview with Rolling Stone in 2011, Van Halen noted how the use of the whammy bar had a life-altering consequence on him.

    He said: “Ritchie Blackmore I liked because of his vibrato bar use on Deep Purple in Rock (1970). Also, they come out with great riffs. I mean, come on, ‘Smoke on the Water’ is one for the history books.”

    Given that both Van Halen and Blackmore are two of the most influential rock guitarists of all time, it was only fitting that they would cross paths. According to keyboardist Don Airey, who played in Blackmore’s supergroup Rainbow, their first encounter was incredibly awkward.

    Airey revealed the story during an interview with Mulatschag TV. He claims that one night, Van Halen and Gary Moore – another celebrated figure the keyboardist had worked with – went to see Rainbow perform in Los Angeles, but Blackmore wasn’t hospitable in the slightest.


    “There was once when Gary Moore first came to LA; he befriended Eddie. Because for the first time in his life, he had someone that seriously frightened him.

    They came to a Rainbow gig at Long Beach, and they both looked so young, especially Eddie,” Airey recalled.

    Adding: “Eddie wanted to meet Ritchie. I suddenly saw Ritchie coming, and I said, ‘Hey Ritchie! I want you to meet two people. This is Gary Moore, and this is Eddie Van Halen’.

    Ritchie kind of stormed off (laughs). I don’t know what he thought. (Maybe that) I was trying to set him up or something”.

    It seems that Blackmore did take some issue with Van Halen. During an interview with Guitar World in 1991, he criticised the Dutch-American for kicking off the “tapping movement”, which many guitarists would agree with.

    However, following the younger axeman’s death in 2020, Blackmore penned a candid tribute to his fallen peer, writing:

    “Eddie Van Halen was a brilliant guitarist who started a technique of guitar playing which was emulated by a whole generation of guitarists”.

    He even called Van Halen “the ultimate guitar hero”.


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    I've said this before but Idk know why.

    I'd be nervous to meet Blackmore. That good nervousness though.

    He has that aura about him, to me at least.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaboChris View Post
    I've said this before but Idk know why.

    I'd be nervous to meet Blackmore. That good nervousness though.

    He has that aura about him, to me at least.
    Blackmore is a dick. Look that fucker in the eye and ask for his autograph.

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    Default The awkward first meeting between Eddie Van Halen and Ritchie Blackmore

    No matter what Blackmore has said since Ed has passed, he’s still a complete and utter cocksucker. He only said a fairly nice thing because Ed died, and I guess he even he has limits about speaking negatively about the dead.

    The stupidity of him blaming Ed for people tapping is one of the dumbest fucking things I’ve ever heard in my life. “OK Ed, stop tapping because shitty players do it.” Stupid.
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    I agree! . It was part of Eddie.
    Beauty is life when life unveils
    her holy face.

    But you are life and you
    are the veil.

    Beauty is eternity gazing at itself
    in a mirror.

    But you are eternity
    and you are the mirror.

    -Kahil Gibran

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    Eddie told that story years ago, nothing new here.
    Little Dreamer

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett View Post
    No matter what Blackmore has said since Ed has passed, he’s still a complete and utter cocksucker. He only said a fairly nice thing because Ed died, and I guess he even he has limits about speaking negatively about the dead.

    The stupidity of him blaming Ed for people tapping is one of the dumbest fucking things I’ve ever heard in my life. “OK Ed, stop tapping because shitty players do it.” Stupid.
    Ooookay but at least he didn't go David Crosby or Roger Waters way.

    Plus, he praised EVH earlier on. Even in the inteview you are talking about (from 1991) he said:

    He is probably the most influential player in the last 15 years ’cause everybody’s gone out and bought one of those, what does he play, Charvel, Carvel … Kramer, with the locking nut. Yes, with the locking nut! So everyone’s gone hammer-on crazy! So he’s obviously done something, he’s a great guitar player. But I’m more impressed by his recent songwriting and keyboard work, I think he’s going to be remembered—he could be the next Cole Porter.”

    Plus, he is really funny, sometimes I prefer to listen to him talkin' than to his guitar - you gave to get his dry sense of humour,:



    This one is cool too:


    As some guys stated:
    I've always loved his sense of humor. I've also always liked the fact the most people don't get the jokes.
    love how Ritchie is still able to keep a straight face when telling his stories while laughing at how serious the interviewer reacts.

    There was one more cool video when he talked about visiting Ian Gillan in an insane asylum but the video is now set to private. I guess these interviews were made for one of his DVD releases - The Ritchie Blackmore Story.

    "- So as you're getting older, you get more patient and more relaxed?

    Not really. When I see him, we always fight. But we like fighting, it's good exercise to keep fighting.

    We have spaghetti fights. One day I put spaghetti in his face because he ruined my food. So we're going back and forth - it's good fun".


    And his most recent official opinion non EVH was:

    Eddie Van Halen was a brilliant guitarist who started a technique of guitar playing which was emulated by a whole generation of guitarists. He was one of the nicest musicians I ever met in the music business, very shy and not at all conceited about his ability as a guitar player. Frank Zappa said [Eddie] reinvented the guitar. I agree. He will be sadly missed but his brilliant legacy will always be remembered, the ultimate guitar hero

    Oh, and he is a brilliant guitar player, Deep Purple without him and John Lord is only a shadow of the band they once were. One more thing - he's getting older and he won't be with us forever -
    I grew up with his music (pretty safe to say I was raised on DP) and appreciate every day we have with him.


    "If you ever speak to me like that again, you better be wearing a cup" - EVH, 1996

    "Stupid neighbors called the cops/Now the party's over/Angry housewife wants my name/Tell her it's 'Ben Dover"

    Sammy Hagar made Van Halen even better. Deal with it.

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    I'm a big fan of both Rainbow and Purple. Not all, but most of their records.

    Albums like Rising + Long Live Rock'n'Roll and Machine Head + Burn have some of the best stuff that Hard Rock brought to this world.

    That said, I really think Blackmore's opinion is just pointless, something like in 01 ear and out the other.
    TT: "Wow, you can play acoustic guitar?"
    EVH: "Sure. What's the difference? It's got six strings... It's a guitar!" - 31.12.1978
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