Taylor reflected on Van Halen’s death and legacy in a new episode of the Talk Is Jericho podcast. He spoke of how he reacted when he discovered he had passed, saying: “I immediately reached out to all the people I knew who knew Eddie. ‘Cause I’d never met him. But obviously, his music touched all of us.”
“Van Halen [the band] were so different, and yet they were the blueprint for a million bands,” Taylor continued, and noted how Eddie Van Halen’s guitar work went beyond the genre and fanbase of his band: “I mean, every band I know, even if they didn’t dig [Van Halen’s] music, they respected the craftsmanship, the diversity, the intricacy that they put together.
“You had to be really good to play a Van Halen song. It wasn’t just one of those things where you could ham and egg it.” Anyone who has tried to learn any Van Halen songs can probably attest to this, and Corey goes on to note that even he can’t play any: “I get close, I start the riff, and then I just start humming with my mouth.”
Despite this, the respect garnered for EVH by guitarists had an impact across generations of music according to Corey, who added: “The influence that he had on not only modern shredders, but the ’80s rock bands, the ’90s rock bands. He influenced 40 years of musicianship. Name another person who’s still alive, really, who’s had that kind of impact.”
For Taylor, that was exemplified in the outpouring of tributes from across every genre of music following Van Halen’s death: “everybody from Tom Morello to John Mayer – I mean, everyone has an Eddie Van Halen story.
“What Pete Townshend said about him really blew my mind. He said [Eddie] was such an amazing musician, and not only that, but just such a great person. He was, like, ‘I could have seen him being president someday.’ I was, like, ‘Holy shit! Coming from Townshend?’ It’s rad, the level of respect.”
Innumerable musicians paid tribute to Eddie Van Halen when he died in October of this year, reflecting the wide-reaching influence that spanned generations and genres Taylor hints at.
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