Eddie Van Halen inspired many. It is therefore not surprising that after his death last year, many musicians brought up memories of the rocker. The most recent is Mark Tremonti.
Tremonti, the guitarist behind Creed, Alter Bridge and his namesake solo vehicle, already received the gift of his life when Van Halen gave him one of his guitars. Years later Wolfgang Van Halen, the son of EVH who now runs Mammoth WVH, will play bass in Tremonti until 2016.
It all comes down to Tremonti having “really special memories” involving Eddie, as he shared with Guitar World on Tuesday (October 5).
“One of them is when we opened for Van Halen at Madison Square Garden and Wolfgang was there,” Tremonti continued. “He must have been six – it was just that little kid! Eddie gave me one of his guitars backstage. He tapped on it and said, ‘Yeah, that feels good, there you go!’ and, of course, it has become one of my most precious possessions. “
The story doesn’t end there, however. Eddie would later walk through a crowd to make sure Tremonti put the ax right, echoing the kind of gear advice he would also give Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen.
“When the show was over,” Tremonti recalls, “we were backstage underground and there were 300 crew members, guests, reporters everywhere, invading the place. We saw Wolf, his mother. and Eddie come out. Eddie saw me come out of the corner of his eye and walked through hundreds of people to come and say, “Hey, I forgot to tell you, you gotta get out two [tremolo tension] springs to make it play properly. Sorry, I forgot to tell you earlier! ‘”(EVH notably used two springs on his guitar bridge, compared to three or four.)
But that’s not all. “Then [Eddie] kissed me on the cheek and walked through everyone who was crying out for it again, “the musician recalls.
“Did he do this for me ?!” Tremonti marveled now. “He had his child and his wife with him and knew he would be caught up by everyone, but he took his time because he didn’t care about his products and the transmission of knowledge.… I could. seeing her heart a handful of times and I was lucky. It was a very cool thing. “
As for Wolf, Tremonti had equally kind words for his former bandmate, saying, “When you take out Van Halen’s name, he’s just a really nice, down-to-earth kid and he’s great. talented. When you hear him sing live he’s amazing. Plus he’s great on drums, guitar and bass. “
Tremonti’s latest album, Walk in time, arrived last month. Mammoth WVH released a debut LP in June. Check out upcoming Tremonti tour dates and get tickets at marktremonti.com.
Top 66 Hard Rock + Metal Guitarists of All Time
Countdown of the greatest rock and metal guitarists.