Guitar legend Joe Satriani saluted the late Eddie Van Halen during an appearance on the Behind The Vinyl podcast. Blabbermouth quoted Satriani as recalling, “The first time I heard Eddie was when ‘Eruption’ came to the radio, and I was sitting there with my guitar just jamming along with the radio, and, yeah, my jaw dropped. And I put my hands down and I went, ‘Oh my God. I’m in the presence of greatness. That guy knows how to use things that I know.’ It’s, like, I’ve got all the tools laid out on my table just like him, but wow, look what he’s doing with them.’ And it just made me smile. I was so happy.” Satriani, who later co-founded Chickenfoot with Van Halen’s bandmates Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony, went on to remember: “The other part that made me so happy was because he played so aggressively and so melodically — the whole song, like it was a whole Eddie Van Halen world that he would show you. But it was fun. It was rock n’ roll. It wasn’t perfect. It wasn’t pretentious. It was still, like, ‘Let’s just have fun.’ And I thought, ‘I need to get everybody that I know in this town to like this, because this is gonna be good for all of us guitar players that really wanna play.’ “
Satriani said that it went against the grain of the time for guitarists: “I was feeling like people were telling us, ‘Slow down. Don’t play so many notes. No feedback. Try to make your guitar sound like clean guitars from the ’60s or something like that.’ We were waiting for somebody like Eddie to come along and just like reinvent it. And he did. And it was truly great.”
- Chickenfoot was formed in 2008 featuring Joe Satriani, Sammy Hagar, Michael Anthony, and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith — with John Mellencamp / John Fogerty drummer Kenny Aronoff subbing for him on the road. As of now the band, which has never split, is on what seems to be a permanent hiatus.
- The band’s 2009 self-titled debut hit Number Four on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Its followup, Chickenfoot III, topped out at Number Nine in 2011.
- 2012 saw the release of the band’s live album, LV.
CHECK IT OUT: Eddie Van Halen in 1978 performing “Eruption” live in Fresno, California: