Yep, even Eddie Van Halen is a fan-boy, just like you and me. In a recent interview, Mr. EVH shared his personal guitar riff favorites. And he shared some other insights, including his real thoughts about his band mates. I’m not interested in that part, honestly. Too much drama. But Eddie Van Halen picking his favorite guitar riffs of all time, that’s certainly worth looking at a little closer.
Before we go there, the Billboard Magazine interviewer asked Eddie about what, to him, makes a guitar riff special. His answer, unsurprisingly, is consistent with what I would guess is the reason for all of us: power, energy, rawness. Then, in typical Eddie fashion, he makes it very clear that at this point in his life, he actually doesn’t listen to any music (other than his own, I presume). However, he was willing to share what guitar riffs back in the day inspired him the most.
He starts off with Black Sabbath’s “Into the Void” from Master of Reality. Good for you Eddie, because if you’re into heavy guitar riffs and don’t like that one, there is something wrong with you. Okay, I take that back – but my point is, I couldn’t agree more with Eddie here.
Next in line is Cream’s “Sunshine of your Love”. Again, bull’s-eye, as far as I’m concerned. This too is one of my all-time favorite riffs. I would go as far as saying that after I heard Cream’s Royal Albert Hall performance of that tune (on tape), I decided to learn to play the guitar.
Number 3 is Deep Purple’s “Burn”. While I’m not the biggest Deep Purple fan, I do love this song and the riff is certainly as good as it gets.
Last but not least, Eddie mentions AC/DC’s “Down Payment Blues” Need I say more? No, again, total agreement yet again.
Alright, check out the video here of Eddie talking about his favorite guitar riffs by other bands, since he was not allowed to bring up his own (hahaha).