“He wasn’t even gonna show it to me”: Ted Templeman recalls how Eddie Van Halen’s Eruption solo started as a warm-up exercise

“I’d never heard anything that brilliant, and Ed said, ‘No, it’s nothing.’”

Eddie Van Halen

Image: Ross Marino/ Getty Images

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Producer Ted Templeman has looked back on the humble beginnings of Eddie Van Halen’s legendary Eruption solo on Van Halen’s self-titled debut album.

Speaking in the October issue of Guitar Player, Templeman shares how those 102 seconds of blazing finger work came to be, saying it all started out as a warm-up exercise for the late Eddie.

“I was in this little room making phone calls next to the recording studio, and I walked in and Ed was sitting there kind of playing it,” Templeman says of his first hearing of what will soon become one of the greatest guitar solos of all time. “And I went, ‘What’s that?’ and he said, ‘It’s just something I warm up with before each show.’ And I said, ‘Donn, roll tape!’ and he said, ‘I’m rolling.’”

“He heard it too and he’d already pressed ‘record.’ So it just went – boom – and we got it, just like that. I’d never heard anything like that. I’d never heard that kind of tapping. I’d never heard anything that brilliant, and Ed said, ‘No, it’s nothing.’”

“He didn’t even know,” Templeman adds. “In addition to being a genius, Ed is one of the sweetest guys on the planet. Such a nice guy. He wasn’t even gonna show it to me.”

In related news, Wolfgang Van Halen has weighed in on the pressures of carrying the Van Halen last name and its accompanying expectations, saying “I’m not a person to some people. I’m just an extension of the name.”

Wolfgang, who’s known for his Twitter take-downs and engagement with online trolls, added that “People being rude and trying to say hateful things don’t bother me… It’s when people are stupid: ‘Oh, you’re milking the Van Halen name.’ It’s my fucking name, you grape. Stupidity bothers me more than people trying to hurt me.”

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