Eddie Van Halen’s Opinion On AC/DC

Although we lost Eddie Van Halen on October 6, 2020, at the age of 65, his work will forever remain legendary. Van Halen was one of the most influential guitarists of his generation and an icon that everyone used to look up to.

Throughout his career, Van Halen has shared the stage with multiple other iconic bands. He has talked about multiple bands but the one that he especially mentioned was AC/DC. The band that was prominent for the rise of Hard Rock.

Eddie Van Halen’s opinion on AC/DC

Although Eddie Van Halen was a legendary guitarist himself, he also used to look up to other musicians and two of them were from the AC/DC, the Young brothers, Angus Young and Malcolm Young.

Both of the bands, Van Halen and AC/DC rose to popularity in the same year 1977. They were a prominent group in the rock society and seeing them perform together should’ve been a truly mesmerizing moment.

People who were there during a festival in 1978 were lucky enough to experience this moment. During that year, Eddie got a chance to see AC/DC’s performance alongside Pat Travers, Aerosmith, and Foreigner.

Initially, Van Halen was supposed to perform with Black Sabbath but they were invited to be with these groups together. After hearing such names, they quickly went on with it and joined the other groups.

During an interview with Forbes in 2019, he recalled the moment when he saw AC/DC performing, “We left that tour because we had an offer to play Day on the Green, which was Bill Graham’s annual festival thing. I think that was Aerosmith and Foreigner playing. We played at high noon following AC/DC.”

“I’m onstage watching AC/DC and 80,000 people in the crowd were just jumping up and down because they got that infectious sound. I love ‘em and Angus [Young], they’re all good friends, and Brian [Johnson], and Angus’ brother. We went and saw them when they played L.A., they’re great guys.”

But I’m going, ‘Holy s**t, we gotta follow these guys.’ So we didn’t blow them away. I’m just saying we blew people’s minds because they are in a funny way very basic as I am. They’re no frills really, except that I do crazier things on my guitar maybe with the techniques,” he added.

Eddie continued, “In a funny way when people started copying the pull-out thing I do, the two-handed thing. I didn’t know whether to take it as a compliment or be embarrassed. I was like, ‘What did I start here?’ But I’d been doing it for years.”

In the club days, my brother told me to turn around, show people how you’re doing that, so they’ll rip you off. When this first record came out people couldn’t figure out what the hell I was doing until they saw us play live. Then everyone started doing it,” he said.

This sure was a legendary moment for the bands, after some time during the the early 80s, the two bands met again while doing a co-headlining tour.

‘Drop Dead Legs’ was an inspiration from AC/DC’s ‘Back in Black’

Van Halen’s popular ‘Drop Dead Legs’ was an inspiration from AC/DC. After the tragic death of Bon Scott in 1980, Brian Johnson was recruited to fill his shoes. The first track the band released with Brian was“Back In Black” which inspired Van Halen.

He told Guitar World about it in 2014, “That was inspired by AC/DC’s ‘Back in Black’. I was grooving on that beat. Although I think that ‘Drop Dead Legs’ is slower. Whatever I listen to somehow is filtered through me and comes out differently. So ‘Drop Dead Legs’ is almost a jazz version of Back in Black. The descending progression is similar. But I put a lot more notes in there,”

Eddie Van Halen’s favorite AC/DC song

When asked about his favorite songs from AC/DC, he mentioned two songs that were released when Bon Scott was still a lead singer of the band.

Angus Young also mentioned that Eddie Van Halen’s favorite songs were from the 978 “Powerrage” album, “Down Payment Blues” and “Riff Raff”. He recalled the moment when Eddie told his favorite songs to Forbes in 2020.

“I remember that time because Eddie liked hanging out with Mal, Brian, and Cliff. They liked going out and having a drink in the bar and stuff. But Malcolm used to say, ‘Eddie keeps going to me all the time, ‘You gonna do ‘Down Payment Blues’?” he said.

Angus continued, “He loved that song. In fact, the last time I saw him was when we were touring. Brian said, ‘Come down to the shows.’ And that is the first thing he said, ‘You gotta do ‘Down Payment Blues?” He liked a lot of, ‘Riff Raff’ and tracks like that,” Angus Young said.

Eddie Van Halen inspired his son to like ‘Powerage”

We can already tell that Eddie Van Halen loved the first album of AC/DC, “Powerage”, but he also influenced his son Wolfgang Van Halen to fall in love with this album.

During an interview in 2022 with Classic Rock, Wolfgang explained how he fell in love with AC/DC and how his father was behind it all.

“The band that I was probably first obsessed with was AC/DC. My father introduced me to them with Powerage. I was thinking of picking that one because it was his favorite album. But a little bit more than that, ‘Highway To Hell’ is probably my favorite album of theirs,” he said.

Although Eddie Van Halen isn’t with us today, his guitar skills and songs will forever carry his legacy. The world will never forget him and just as Angus Young’s statement, he will forever remain “a special gift” in the world of music.

Eddie was a guitar wonder, his playing pure wizardry. To the world of music, he was a special gift. To those of us fortunate enough to have met him, a very special person. He leaves a big hole in a lot of hearts. To the Van Halen family my heartfelt sympathies,” Angus Young posted on his Twitter in 2020.

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