Eddie Van Halen’s Reaction When Compared To Roger Waters

eddie van halen

In a conversation with Songfacts, Gary Cherone, the well-known frontman of the rock band Extreme, shared some interesting tales from his time with Van Halen. He also revealed how he persuaded Eddie Van Halen to lend his vocals to one of their songs. What Gary revealed shed light on the band members’ creative journey and provided a unique glimpse into the guitarist’s personality.

Over the years, Van Halen had its fair share of collaborations, but one song that truly stands out is “How Many Say I” from their 1998 album, “Van Halen III.” This track was exceptional due to its distinctive sound and featured Eddie Van Halen as the lead vocalist, a departure from the band’s usual style. It turns out that Gary Cherone played a pivotal role in convincing Eddie to take on this role, revealing a different facet of the legendary guitarist.

In the interview, Gary explained how the creation of “How Many Say I” was a unique experience for him. He didn’t sit down with the guitarist for hours to craft the song. Instead, Eddie showed a keen interest in the lyrics Gary had penned and inquired if he could compose music for them. This collaboration resulted in a beautiful piece.

Gary described his experience working with the late musician as follows:

“Previously, with me and Nuno [Bettencourt], we’d always take turns – I’d share a lyric with Nuno, and he might create music for it. However, with my time in Van Halen, that’s not how Eddie worked. So, that was one of the new things we did together. I had a lyric – perhaps I wrote it over three days – and he glanced over my shoulder one day and asked, ‘What’s that?’ I replied, ‘I’m finishing up this lyric called ‘How Many Say I.” He said, ‘Do you mind if I take it?’

He took it, and I headed to bed in the guest house while he stayed up through the night. When I woke up the next morning, he showed me what he had done on the piano. He sang it – he had created a rough demo. I thought it was brilliant. His voice reminded me of Tom Waits or Roger Waters.”

Gary went on to explain that he was the one who convinced Eddie to sing the song on the record. Eddie initially had some reservations, but Gary believed the demo was so remarkable that it deserved to be shared with the world. His encouragement and comparison of Eddie’s vocals to Roger Waters helped the guitarist overcome his doubts and embrace the challenge.

Gary reminisced:

“I was the one who pushed him to include it on the record. He was a bit hesitant. Over the years it has faced criticism over the years because Eddie sang it, but I found the initial demo inspiring. For me, it was clear: ‘You should sing it.’ I had to persuade him a bit, but then he embraced it because I likened him to Floyd. His demo carried so much emotion – I thought it was fantastic.”

Gary Cherone’s conversation provides a fascinating glimpse into the special bond he shared with Eddie Van Halen during their time together in the band. Gary’s encouragement for Eddie to step out of his comfort zone and take on lead vocals for “How Many Say I” demonstrates the incredible power of collaboration and trust among musicians.

Despite the song receiving some criticism, it still showcases the guitarist’s remarkable range and offers an intriguing peek into the creative process of one of rock’s most iconic bands.

Leave a Reply

You May Also Like