Chris Holmes wouldn’t be playing the guitar the way he does if it wasn’t for Eddie Van Halen
Former W.A.S.P. guitarist Chris Holmes was recently interviewed by Jimmy Kay for Canada’s The Metal Voice in advance of the guitarist’s upcoming Born Wild Canadian Tour 2020 across Canada from April 16, 2020 to May 9, 2020, which is organized by Front Row Productions. Holmes spoke about growing up with Van Halen in Pasadena, California.
Holmes indicated (with slight edits): “If it wasn’t for Eddie Van Halen, I wouldn’t play guitar the way I do, I would not have the sound that I have. We hung out back in the day. Eddie even borrowed a guitar of mine for the second [Van Halen] album. As for David Lee Roth he has always been the same. I have some friend who went to high school with him and they said he was the same in high school as he is today. Dave never had the best voice but it had charisma and it was unique and what he sang about you can’t beat it. Van Halen as a band was in a class of their own.”
In terms of Eddie Van Halen‘s influence, Wikipedia states (with slight edits): “Van Halen‘s approach to the guitar has influenced an entire generation of guitarists. Van Halen, like many rock guitarists, has never, fully, learned to read music.
The 1978 instrumental “Eruption” by Van Halen, which was voted No. 2 in Guitar World’s readers poll of the “100 Greatest Guitar Solos”, showcased a solo technique called tapping, using both left and right hands on the guitar neck. Although Van Halen popularized tapping, he did not invent the tapping technique, which had been used infrequently by various guitarists. Steve Hackett, lead guitarist with Genesis in the 1970s, is said by MusicRadar to be “widely credited with inventing two-handed tapping” and was an influence on Van Halen. When asked about this, Hackett said, “Eddie and I have never spoken about it, but yes, he has credited me with tapping… Eddie is a fine player, of course, and he’s the one who named the technique.”
George Lynch also said in an interview that he and Van Halen saw Harvey Mandel tap at the Starwood in the 1970s. Van Halen also named Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin as an influence, saying in one interview with Guitar World: “I think I got the idea of tapping watching Jimmy Page do his “Heartbreaker” solo back in 1971. He was doing a pull-off to an open string, and I thought wait a minute, open string … pull off. I can do that, but what if I use my finger as the nut and move it around? I just kind of took it and ran with it.”
Van Halen holds a patent for a flip-out support device that attaches to the rear of the electric guitar. This device enables the user to play the guitar in a manner similar to the piano by orienting the face of the guitar upward instead of forward.”
You can read other excerpts from the interview with Chris Holmes at The Metal Voice‘s website and/or listen to the interview below:
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