John Frusciante admits he nearly cut EVH-inspired solo from Return Of The Dream Canteen

The guitarist also explains why he still ‘gets chills’ when listening to Eddie Van Halen’s playing.

Red Hot Chili Peppers Guitarist John Frusciante

Image: Rick Kern/Getty

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John Frusciante has shared his love for Eddie Van Halen in a new interview, and explained why the pressure to pay tribute to the guitarist in Red Hot Chili Peppers’ new album almost became too overwhelming.

Speaking with Guitar Player last week (14 December), the Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist opened up about his playing in the band’s most recent album, Return Of The Dream Canteen.

It was here that Frusciante shared insight into fan-favourite track, Eddie, and admitted that he nearly left out the Van Halen-inspired solo due to it making him feel “self-conscious”.

“Doing that solo was a mind fuck,” he said. “I was even thinking of cutting the solo entirely, because I did not know how to go about it. I was either going too far in the Eddie Van Halen direction, to where it was too busy and there was too much two-handed tapping and it didn’t sound like me, [or] it only sounded like me… in a song about Eddie Van Halen.”

“[In the end,] I stopped being self-conscious about the idea that the song was about Eddie Van Halen and just did what was natural,” he added.

Elsewhere in the discussion, Frusciante explained that this pressure stemmed from his love of the guitarist, which is still going strong after forty years.

“Whatever Eddie Van Halen is in [my playing style], it’s just there because of my love for him and the love that I’ve felt for his playing since I was eight years old” he explained. “[Even] the parts of his style that don’t involve playing fast are just really exciting to me – playing in a way that feels spontaneous.”

“To this day, those things give me chills… This isn’t some guy standing in the control room punching in. This is a guy going out on a limb and taking risks. Throughout both of these albums, I tried to do a lot of that.”

Return Of The Dream Canteen, the band’s second album this year, is out now.

Check out the Eddie Van Halen-inspired track below.


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