Mick Mars: “No one can ever duplicate Eddie Van Halen. No one”

“You can hit the notes, but your hands, your feel, the way that you connect with your guitar is different.”

Mick Mars and Eddie Van Halen

Image: Tim Mosenfelder / Paul Natkin / Getty Images

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You can mimic his licks, but you’ll never copy them, so says Mick Mars of the late guitar legend Eddie Van Halen.

In a recent interview with Rock Of Nations With Dave Kinchen And Shane McEachern, the former Mötley Crüe guitarist looks back on the time he witnessed Randy Rhoads’ talents at a Quiet Riot gig as well as the days of running in the same circles with some of guitar’s biggest names.

“Randy [Rhoads] and I didn’t know each other, but I went to see him a few times at Starwood when he was with Quiet Riot – right before Ozzy [Osbourne] stole Rudy [Sarzo] and Randy,” Mars says [via Blabbermouth].

“And I saw him a couple of times, and I went, ‘That kid’s really, really a good player.’ So I went to see him a couple of times. And I wasn’t surprised that he got there with Ozzy, but it was cool to see that.”

“But Eddie Van Halen was running around at that time too,” he adds. “And Ed and I go way, way back, when he was, like, 19 years old. Ed and I were, like, not close pals or anything, but we knew each other. We’d goof around and tell jokes, and that kind of stuff, and that was a blast. So, yeah, [they were] a few of the guys that I fully respect during that time.”

Mars then shares his thoughts on the upcoming The Best Of All Worlds tour, where Joe Satriani, Sammy Hagar, Michael Anthony and Jason Bonham will be diving head first into the Van Halen catalogue, saying, “No one can ever duplicate [Eddie]. No one.”

“I mean, look how many people are trying to imitate Jimi [Hendrix] after all these years. It doesn’t work. You can hit the notes, but you know what? The hands, your feel, the way that you connect with your guitar, or whatever instrument that it is you’re playing, is different.”

“When you get somebody as good as Satriani that goes, like, ‘I can’t play this lick,’ an Eddie lick…. He’s Eddie Van Halen. Or he’s Randy Rhoads, dude. You’ll never copy it,” Mars explained, adding “You can mimic it, but not copy it.”

“So that’s the way I feel. If you can stand behind a curtain, you can certainly tell who’s who.”


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