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 Posted: Fri Oct 9th, 2020 03:50 pm
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KGB

 

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Even today it’s a running joke on Guitar Player magazine’s excellent “No Guitar Is Safe” podcast that it’s impossible to interview any notable guitar player who works in any genre, be it jazz fusion or neo-soul, for more than an hour without Eddie Van Halen’s name coming up. Of course, even those who have zero interest in the technical aspects of guitar playing are aware of EVH’s cross-cultural influence in one significant way — the unmistakably EVH solo on Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.”

The story goes that Eddie Van Halen, who was never really a session player, didn’t want to solo against the section of the song that had been cued up for him. He wanted to solo against the chord changes in the verse, so he ended up rearranging the song in the studio without Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson knowing he was messing with the track. After he was done, the song had to be stitched back together with quite a bit of clever engineering, which was not easy in the days everything was recorded to magnetic tape. But the solo EVH came up with was so memorable and well-phrased, no one disputes it’s a highlight of Thriller, the second-bestselling record of all time.




How Eddie Van Halen Changed The World Of Music Forever



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