Slash of Guns N’ Roses, Kirk Hammett of Metallica, and Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello paid tribute to Eddie Van Halen at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductees virtual ceremony last night, November 7th, 2020. The program aired on HBO and to stream on HBO Max November 7 at 8 p.m. ET/PT and will replace the live 35th annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony that was originally scheduled for May 2 of this year. Eddie died on October 6 at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, California at the age of 65. The tribute was announced within days of his passing. The band was founded in 1974 and Van Halen was inducted into the Hall of Fame with his band in 2007. The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame 2020 inductee class included Depeche Mode, The Doobie Brothers, Whitney Houston, Nine Inch Nails, The Notorious B.I.G., T. Rex, and Ahmet Ertegun Award honorees Jon Landau and Irving Azoff.
Quotes transcribed by Blabbermouth.net:
Slash said: “Eddie Van Halen was a truly gifted musician. His style and his sound were completely unique to him. He had a massive impact on guitar playing and I don’t think there’s anybody who has picked up a guitar since 1978 who hasn’t been touched in some way by Eddie Van Halen’s influence. I really miss his playing and I really miss him as a friend.”
Hammett added: “Eddie Van Halen was amazing. Not since Jimi Hendrix had there been a guitar player that had so much impact and was so inspiring to me. He just explored the most simplest thing, a harmonic on a string, and brought it into a realm of technique that nobody even thought was possible. He was just like from a different planet.”
Morello stated: “Eddie Van Halen was the Mozart of our generation. He had the kind of talent that maybe comes around once a century. Eddie Van Halen inspired me to practice 20,000 hours to try to get within a hundred miles of his inspired mastery of the electric guitar.”
Other musicians honored in this year’s Rock Hall “In Memoriam” segment included Little Richard, Bill Withers, Neil Peart, John Prine, Ginger Baker, Ric Ocasek, Dr. John, Kenny Rogers and Charlie Daniels.