Gene Simmons calls Eddie Van Halen “the most important musician since Jimi Hendrix”, says everyone should know of his talents
“For fuck’s sake, parents should be slapping mobile phones out of their kids’ hands and telling them to check out this guy.”
Image: David Redfern / Jeff Kravitz/ Getty Images
Gene Simmons has reflected on the legacy of the late Eddie Van Halen, and how it upsets him that younger generations are unaware of the guitar legend’s genius.
In a new interview with Classic Rock magazine, Simmons spoke of his affections for the late guitarist, saying Van Halen’s death hit him “like a punch in the face”.
“He was such a kind and beautiful soul, a genuinely nice person. He was so non-judgmental,” the KISS rocker said. “It’s impossible to think of him without remembering that ever-present smile of his, or the way that his fingers always flew across the guitar.”
“Those that had the honour of having met Eddie Van Halen will know that he never said a bad word about others,” Simmons added. “Eddie didn’t bad-mouth rival bands. He conducted himself with a shrug of the shoulders. He reminded me of Charlie Chaplin; at the end of a movie he could be left with nothing, tattered and torn, and he’d walk off down the road with nonchalance.”
“That part of his character was always a bitchslap to me, with my big ego. I’m full of myself and I love the sound of my own voice. Spending time in the presence of Edward made me think: ‘I should probably stop this’. You know, give up the airs and stupid stuff and just concentrate on being a human being.”
“Eddie was all about the music, not just the chicks or the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle. That’s something I always admired about him. He was a lover of life. Whenever you met him he smiled from ear to ear.”
The rocker also admitted to being “a little furious” at the way modern audiences have supposedly overlooked Van Halen’s genius, saying “As much as his death was upsetting, it also made me a little furious that so many of our so-called ‘younger generation’ remain unaware of his talents.”
“For fuck’s sake, parents should be slapping mobile phones out of their kids’ hands and telling them to check out this guy. Our millennials need to know about the most important musician since Jimi Hendrix.
“There will never be another like him,” Simmons concluded.
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