Eddie Van Halen Hates Copycats!

By fearzero General Music Lessons, Guitar Lessons, Lessons 7 Comments on Eddie Van Halen Hates Copycats!

Eddie Van Halen Hates Copycats!


It’s true, Eddie Van Halen hates copycats.

Back in 1979, Eddie did an interview with a well known guitar magazine , just as his band Van Halen was making it’s way up the ladder popularity wise.

In mid 1978, Van Halen opened for mega pop rock outfit Boston when Eddie got his first taste of the imitators.

Here is what Eddie had to say about the experience: “…Tom Scholz from Boston, we played right before them…and I do my solo. And then all of a sudden he does my solo. I was drunk and I got pissed…I started talking to the other guitarist and I told him, “Tell him (Tom) I think he’s fucked.”

Safe to say Eddie was not happy being upstaged by the headlining act.

Van Halen had achieved headliner status later in 1978 when Rick Derringer, formerly of The Johnny Winter Band, opened for them.

Mr. Van Halen saw it go down like this:  “The things I do like Eruption and Spanish Fly, I hate to say it but I came up with it. Rick Derringer opened up for us last year (1978) and he did my exact solo. After the show…I said, “I grew up on your ass, how can you do this?” He’s goin’, “yeah yeah yeah.” Next night he does my solo again and ends his set with You Really Got Me. I kicked him off the tour.”

Now we need the evidence, right?

Well, thanks to Youtube, I have uncovered some footage that basically confirms what Eddie was saying.

Check out the video below, and also as an added bonus,  I teach you the intro to Hot For Teacher by Van Halen.

Tab follows.

See you next time!



Double Click To Enlarge TAB

  • Share:
  • Bob
    Posted on October 16, 2020 at 4:10 pm

    I had read too, about Scholz borrowing Van Halen’s tapping technique. I’m a huge Boston fan, but I have to agree with Eddie here. Not only did Scholz utilize the tapping technique but unfortunately the tapping section of his guitar solo was actually way too long and honestly kind of boring. However, Tom and Barry Goudreau did insert a small segment of tapping in the solo of the song “Party” on the Don’t Look Back album which was recorded prior to Van Halen being Boston’s opening act.

    If you listen closely to They Only Come Out at Night (Edgar Winter album), Derringer does have some tapping techniques snuck within his guitar lead work. Certainly not to the extent that Eddie used it, though.

    Thanks for the video.

    • fearzero
      Posted on October 26, 2020 at 5:23 pm

      Thanks for the comment, interesting take!

  • Benoit Belanger
    Posted on December 30, 2020 at 5:18 am

    Totally agree. Scholz took Eddie‘s technique. I just found out tonight when I came across a Boston old show. Couldn’t believe my ears. It was so obvious.

  • Thomas
    Posted on April 30, 2021 at 5:09 pm

    To be fair, Eddie Van Halen pretty much landed on the brown sound while trying to steal Tom Schulz’s high gain sound. Piece of mind came out in 76. Van Halen 1 came out in 78. Can’t be mad when the guy you borrowed from borrows back.

    • fearzero
      Posted on May 4, 2021 at 7:21 am

      I think they are pretty different. Eddie is using a strat to get his tone along with a variac and an amp that has been biased to that lower voltage. Scholz’s sound is more tame by comparison, more compressed and distorted. Thanks for the comment.

  • Tony Doyle
    Posted on May 16, 2022 at 1:08 am

    Eddie Van Halen is so overrated. Scholz around long before EVH. Scholz is a fine musician, inventor, and an educated MIT engineer genius. EVH could never hold a candle to Scholz’s all around musician status. EVH could have been better if he wasn’t so drunk and high all the time. Not to mention his arrogance and ego clashing with David Lee Roth.

    • fearzero
      Posted on October 22, 2022 at 8:48 am

      Aside from all that, Scholz, being a man of innovation himself, knew innovation when he heard it which is why he did indeed steal Eddie’s licks and played them out when opening for Van Halen. I don’t blame Eddie for his irritation at Scholz over this. Eddie was a better guitarist and overall composer and the record sales and longevity bear it out.

Comments are closed.