Eddie Van Halen, Slash, Zakk Wylde Name Their Own Guitar Heroes
Eddie Van Halen: In his first major interview as a professional musician in 1978, Eddie Van Halen told Guitar Player magazine about his influences: "My main influence was Eric Clapton," said Eddie. "I realize I don't sound like him, but I know every solo he's ever played, note-for-note, still to this day. My favorites were the Cream live versions of 'Spoonful' [Wheels of Fire, RSO] and 'I'm So Glad' [Goodbye, RSO]. I liked Jimi Hendrix, too."
Slash: "All of my playing is basically influenced by blues players," said Slash in an interview with MusicRadar. "That might sound surprising, but really, that's where my whole trip comes from. [...] Then there was Jimi Hendrix and Mick Taylor and Jeff Beck - all of my information was coming from the classic '60s and '70s players. [...] I realized that the licks were pretty much the same stuff I'd been listening to all along - only the context that was different. I've listened to a lot of great blues guitarists, but the two guys who I go back to consistently are Albert King and BB King. Their appeal never fades."
Zakk Wylde: When Gibson asked Zakk Wylde who his influences were, the guitarist revealed how he came to be a Les Paul player: "Well, there was Jimmy Page, Randy Rhoads, Hendrix, Gary Moore—they all played Gibsons. Plus, I've seen pictures of Clapton and Keith Richards with Les Pauls. I said to myself, 'Okay, that's the guitar for me.' It's just the greatest guitar in the world. The spectrum of sounds you can get with a Les Paul is unbeatable. You can be crunchy, warm; you can play Al Di Meola licks or crank up the super metal. You can't do that on any other guitar. No way."
Joe Perry: Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry revealed to Premier Guitar that the first incarnation of Fleetwood Mac with Peter Green at the helm greatly affected his style as a guitarist: "Peter Green's style, attitude and sound really got to me. These guys didn't care about being rock stars. It was all about the music for them. I became a big fan of Fleetwood Mac. I guess you could say I was most influenced by the second wave of British bands, like The Yardbirds, Mac and The Who." Check out the list from seven more guitar heroes.
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