Chris Holmes Says Eddie Van Halen Once Asked Him To Borrow His Guitar

W.A.S.P.’s Chris Holmes recently joined a conversation with Jeremy White and shared a memory about Eddie Van Halen and one of his guitars.

Chris Holmes was both a founding member and the guitarist of the heavy metal band W.A.S.P., which was active in the ’80s rock scene. Van Halen was another band that significantly influenced the sound of the era. While the latter were renowned for their proficiency on the lead guitar as well as their energetic live performances, the former was noted for their shock-rock-oriented concerts.

It is also known that two of the members of the bands, W.A.S.P.’s Chris Holmes and Van Halen’s Eddie Van Halen, had a close relationship with each other. Eddie Van Halen was known not only for his revolutionary instrumentation technique but also for his ground-breaking, patented innovations on the guitar. One of the names who witnessed Van Halen’s unique use of the guitar was Chris Holmes.

In a recent conversation with Jeremy White, Chris Holmes remembered how his long-time friend and fellow guitarist Eddie borrowed his guitar, but it was quite different when he took it back. Holmes recalled Eddie coming to him one day and asking to borrow his guitar for a new album. The guitarist lent him his guitar and asked Eddie to give him a replacement from his.

Months later, when he went to get his guitar back from the V.H. icon’s house, Eddie was not at home, so he met his mother, and then he went to Eddie’s room to find his guitar. He spotted his guitar case among Eddie’s, but when he opened the case, he found something surprising. While explaining that the bridge was off and placed backwards, Holmes noted that the changes Eddie made did not bother him at all, he just wondered how he managed to play it that way.

The musician recalled the incident as follows:

“He goes, ‘Hey, I’m doing an album, another album, can I borrow your Ibanez?’ I go, ‘Yeah, yeah, it’s at home.’ ‘You know, I’m not gonna be playing for a few months here.’ So, I go, ‘Can you loan me one then, cause that’s the only one I got. Can you loan me something for when I get out?’ He says ‘Okay,’ and I got to play the shark guitar for a while. That actual one. But he just borrowed mine, you know.

And it was funny like, when I went he’d already split to hit the road, and I went over to his house, and his mom was there. I go, ‘Hey, is my guitar here Eddie borrowed?’ and his mom was like ‘Go look into his room.’ You know, there were a few guitar cases. I go in there, I find my case, I opened it up, and there it was [laughs].

The bridge was out, the pickup was out. And I was like, the bridge was off, and it was backwards now, and it was just, you know, the kind of bridges you just take off put on. Didn’t have a whammy bar. It was like… like a Les Paul, you can take the bridge off and turn it around. But it was round backwards, I was looking at it, and I was like ‘How in the f*ck did he play this?’ But he probably… who knows, who knows what. It didn’t bother me, you know, I got it, it didn’t really bother me.”

You can check out the full interview on Youtube below.