Eddie Van Halen Never Wanted to Record Eruption

Eddie Van Halen via Andrew William Wright on YouTube
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As far as the guitar community is concerned, the entire world shifted on a dime the first time you heard “Eruption.”

After years of people learning licks from the likes of Jimmy Page or Tony Iommi, Eddie Van Halen turned himself into a bonafide superstar within just 2 minutes, showcasing his classic tapping licks and making an entire guitar solo into one long musical hook.

If Eddie had had it his way though, there’s a good chance that the solo we hear today would have never been recorded. 

In the early days of Van Halen on the Sunset Strip, the band was always very secretive about Eddie’s playing, with Michael Anthony saying:

I remember when we would play shows, Dave would tell Ed ‘when you go into one of your hammer on solos, turn away from the crowd because we don’t any of the guitar players out there seeing what you’re doing.’”

It was always on the down low for a while, until one day producer Ted Templeman went to see the band perform at soundcheck.

As Eddie tells it, “I showed up at the recording studio early one day and started to warm up because I had a gig on the weekend and I wanted to practice my solo guitar spot.

Our producer, Ted Templeman, happened to walk by and he asked, ‘What’s that? Let’s put it on tape!’ So I took one pass at it, and they put it on the record.”

Even with the final version blowing minds across the world, Eddie kept thinking that there was some wasted potential in the song, saying later:

I didn’t even play it right, There’s a mistake at the top end of it. To this day, whenever I hear it, I think ‘Man I could have played it better.”  

When asked why he sequenced it as the second track on the ‘Van Halen’ album since he hadn’t even originally planned to put it on the album, he explained:

“I think they [presumably the record label] put it there because it was different, but I’m not really sure. At that point in my career, I really didn’t have any control over anything.

I was just like, ‘Yes, sir. Whatever.’ We barely had any input in the early days of the band.”

While there’s a lot of humility in what Eddie said about his origins, the fact that he says he screwed up on the record is enough to strike fear in the hearts of every guitar player in the world.

If you think playing along to the recorded version is bad, just imagine what the actual correct version must sound like.

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