[tweetmeme] [fbshare type=”button”] AC/DC hero Angus Young doesn’t rate himself as a guitarist – but he believes Eddie Van Halen is comparable to Jimi Hendrix.
The school-uniform-clad veteran reveals his thoughts in an article he’s contributed to a coffee table book devoted to the Van Halen guitar hero.
In the publication he says: “AC/DC played on a bill with Van Halen back in 1978 or 1979. I didn’t know much about Van Halen then except that I remember seeing film clips of them, especially the one of Eddie playing the solo piece Eruption – and I was very impressed.
“I didn’t meet Eddie until years later when there was a Monsters of Rock open-air festival in England. I was shocked to hear he liked my playing, because I’ve never rated myself as a guitarist.”
Young describes Van Halen as an “innovator” and compares his influence on rock music and guitar players, to that of Hendrix, who followed English masters including Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck.
“When Eddie came along he spawned so many imitators,” says Young. “Like Hendrix, suddenly you started to see people wanting to buy the same guitars he played, and also play his licks. He turned the rule book upside down in terms of his approach.
“When Jimi Hendrix came along it was like, ‘Where did this guy come from?’ I think it was the same feeling with Eddie. When Eddie appeared on the scene every guitarist I ran into said, ‘You’ve gotta hear this guy!’”
Photographer Neil Zlozower’s book, entitled Eddie Van Halen, is due for publication on October 12. It includes contributions from Jimmy Page, Joe Perry, Les Paul, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Phil Collen, Mick Mars, Scott Ian, Dave Navarro, Tom Morello, Gary Moore, Zakk Wylde and many others.