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Hear Eddie Van Halen Cover Jimi Hendrix’s "If 6 Was 9"

Back in 1996, David Garfield – a keyboardist whose lengthy list of credits includes work with Smokey Robinson, George Benson, and Steve Lukather – found himself working with a new friend of his, Eddie Van Halen. 

The two were collaborating on Garfield's Tribute to Jeff Porcaro, the late Toto drummer, but also found the time to record – with singer and guitarist Michael Landau, bassist Will Lee and drummer Simon Phillips – a ferocious cover of the Jimi Hendrix classic, "If 6 Was 9."

Now, after 24 years, the cover is finally seeing the light of day as the latest single from Garfield’s new EP, Guitar Heroes OTB, Vol. 1. You can check it out above.

Garfield told Guitar World (opens in new tab) that he had met Van Halen by chance “at a local cigar store and we got to talking.” When he mentioned Tribute to Jeff Porcaro to Eddie, and asked if he'd like to participate, his response was "a resounding ‘yes!’ "

"I went up to his house to work on the tracks with him, and he was so cool," Garfield continued. "We bonded as keyboard players, too. After that session, we played a live gig together at the Baked Potato, along with Steve Lukather and Michael Landau.

"We continued to stay in touch, and often he would call me out of the blue, asking for help with keyboard related stuff. I even found a guy to travel with him on tour and play additional parts offstage, as well as be his keyboard tech.

“I'm sure sorry we lost him way too soon; I was hoping to collaborate with him again. Rest in peace, my brother Ed."

Jackson Maxwell
Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com and GuitarPlayer.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.