Eddie Van Halen's death on October 6 provoked an immense outpouring of grief throughout the guitar universe, an outpouring befitting of a man whose incredible skills inspired so many to take their playing to another level, and so many more to pick up a guitar in the first place.
One of these tributes came from a man who himself knows a thing or two about changing the face of rock guitar, and inspiring millions to pick up the instrument for the first time, Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page.
“It is with great sadness that I heard the passing of Eddie Van Halen," Page wrote in an Instagram (opens in new tab) post.
“He was the real deal: he pioneered a dazzling technique on guitar with taste and panache that I felt always placed him above his imitators.
“It was good to see him featured at the Met’s Play It Loud Exhibition. R. I. P. Eddie.”
The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Play It Loud exhibit, which ran from April 8 to October 1, 2019, featured Page's Gibson EDS-1275 double neck and “Number One” 1959 Les Paul in addition to Van Halen's legendary "Frankenstein" guitar, and a reconstruction of his full 1978-era live rig.
It is with great sadness that I heard the passing of Eddie Van Halen. He was the real deal: he pioneered a dazzling technique on guitar with taste and panache that I felt always placed him above his imitators. It was good to see him featured at the Met’s Play It Loud Exhibition. R. I. P. Eddie Photo: Paul Natkin / Getty Jimmy Page (opens in new tab)
A photo posted by @jimmypage on Oct 7, 2020 at 2:04am PDT
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.
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