Eddie Van Halen’s mark on rock n roll cannot be understated. Eddie Van Halen’s playing style was as revolutionary as Jimi Hendrix’s, and his guitar modification was as revolutionary as Les Paul’s.
Eddie Van Halen was a pioneer of the two-handed tapping technique, which he devised after watching Jimmy Page play hammer-ons and pull offs with his right hand without picking with his right hand. This method would create an otherworldly guitar sound, completely stunning listeners at the time.
Van Halen’s solo on “Eruption” epitomized this innovation, completely redefining what the guitar solo could be or sound like. Eddie Van Halen also lent his guitar skills to Michael Jackson’s hit “Beat It,” playing what is perhaps the most famous guitar solo of all time. Van Halen recorded it for free, and caused the studio monitors to catch fire during the recording. Van Halen’s guitar tinkering was almost as legendary as his playing.
Looking to combine his favorite features of Fender and Gibson guitars, he built his legendary “Frankenstrat” out of miscellaneous guitar parts. Van Halen had effectively opened up an entirely new world of guitar manufacturing, creating a demand for new sounds and new instruments that would capture a new, faster, better sound.
Though he was gone far too soon, Eddie Van Halen’s mark on music at large will not be soon forgotten. As John Coltrane was to the saxophone, Eddie Van Halen was to the electric guitar, reinventing, innovating, and experimenting to push the boundaries of what could be played.
Janis Joplin’s most memorable performances include Monterey Pop Festival and Woodstock Art and Music Festival, making her an icon of the hippie movement. Despite this, most people don’t know about what is possibly her strangest performance. In 1970, Joplin, along with Buddy Guy, The Band, and the Flying Burrito Brothers among others participated in “Festival Express,” in which all participants shared the same train and rode across Canada, stopping to play shows along the way. The train dropped the party off in Toronto, Winnipeg, and Calgary between June 24th and July 5th.
The first show in Toronto was met with protest by potential attendees, insisting that the festival should be free, prompting performers to publicly rehearse in front of the protestors to calm the masses. Footage found of the musicians on the train in between performances shows the artists engaged in a nonstop party, jamming together and consuming a precarious amount of alcohol. In the end, the tour ended up being a total loss of money. Promoters would remark in the 2003 documentary Festival Express that the tour was for the fun of the musicians, not for the audience nor the musicians’ management. The footage from the tour, showcased in the aforementioned documentary, contains classic performances by Joplin and her band, showcasing exactly why Joplin continues to be remembered for her musical talent and genius.
Who Are We?
We are the management staff of WLTL. These are our stories.