The band Eddie Van Halen could never get into

Eddie Van Halen

Throughout its history, rock and roll has been known to take on many different forms. It’s simple to lump rock bands like The Beatles, Black Sabbath, and Nirvana together. However, none of those groups have ever sounded exactly alike throughout their careers. The fact that so many different people have transformed rock is part of its allure. However, Eddie Van Halen acknowledged he didn’t see anything in The Allman Brothers Band.

But when Van Halen initially appeared on the scene, they appeared to be the complete opposite of jam bands like The Allmans, who were extending their songs into lengthy workouts. Someone with Duane Allman’s level of skill could play a million notes over a massive solo. In contrast, Eddie’s preference was to write songs that jumped right out of the album. The majority of their debut tracks barely made it past five minutes.

But then, by cutting the songs shorter, Eddie wasn’t really giving up anything. He delivered every line with purpose, even during his brief solo breaks that lasted only seconds. He usually brought the house down with audacious line after audacious line that left listeners in awe.

Even though the Allman Brothers Band had done the exact same thing, Eddie wasn’t particularly impressed, stating, “I’ve never really gotten into the Allman Brothers’ feel.” I never liked Dickie Betts, but Duane was a great slide guitarist. Their music was too busy, in my opinion. However, it’s odd to see Eddie so critical of Allman given that Eric Clapton, his idol, was the biggest supporter of their music.

It was Clapton who took Allman under his wing and produced the greatest guitar duel record ever recorded, while assembling Derek and the Dominos. Songs like “Layla” and “Bell Bottom Blues” had some of the greatest guitar licks ever recorded. Those guitar breaks were must-listens for anyone even slightly curious about the potential of a six-string.

Despite all of their impressive licks, Eddie Van Halen was a distinct animal. Some of the best Van Halen projects didn’t waste any time in creating the biggest rock anthems, instead of making the audience wait a long time. Even though the band was free to perform on stage whenever they pleased. At least they were decent enough to keep their track lists concise.

Eddie’s opinion of the Allman Brothers Band as a whole notwithstanding. Allman’s slide guitar playing is worthy of a special place in the rock and roll heavens. Eddie could only make alien noises with his guitar, but Allman was one of the few who could actually get the instrument to talk when he put it on.

Though that performance at Fillmore East is arguably a classic, Eddie Van Halen wasn’t as patient with that style of playing. Music enthusiasts meant this. Van Halen was all about throwing and creating the biggest musical celebration the world had ever witnessed.

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