Award-winning producer/songwriter/guitarist John Shanks clearly recalls the first time he heard Van Halen. “I was 12 years old, doing my homework, and I put their first album on,” he says. “All of a sudden, ‘Eruption’ comes on and you’re like, ‘What?’ No one had ever heard that. It freaked us all out. To me, it was Hendrix, Beck, Page, Gilmour and Clapton. That was it — the big five. And of course The Beatles. And then, one day, Van Halen.”
Van Halen are continuing to shake up their set-list as their North American tour pushes on. Last night, "Jaimie's Cryin'" made its tour debut in Reading, Pennsylvania, marking the first time the band has played the track since 2008. You can watch fan-filmed footage below.
The all-new April 2012 issue of Guitar World counts down the 50 Best Van Halen Songs of All Time. With Van Halen riding high on the release of A Different Kind of Truth, their first new album in 14 years, we celebrate the best tracks in their catalog -- from "Runnin’ With the Devil" to "Tattoo."
On Tuesday, March 13, Van Halen rolled into Manchester, New Hampshire, and played to a packed house at the Verizon Wireless Arena. The city was taken over by Van Halen fever. Every bar I walked into was packed to the gills, cranking stuff like “Drop Dead Legs" from 1984.
You could go back and forth for years trying to choose the best Eddie Van Halen guitar solo on any individual Van Halen album. But to try to pick his best guitar solo ever? Damn near impossible. But that's exactly what we asked you to do two weeks ago.
Here's one from the vaults: In this interview from the January 1981 issue of Guitar World, a 24-year-old Eddie Van Halen discusses his roots, his technique and his appreciation of Bluesbreakers- and Cream-era Eric Clapton.