Eddie Van Halen Once Credited Genesis’ Steve Hackett For His Guitar Technique, John Frusciante Recalls
We might argue that anyone with the necessary knowledge might handle a guitar but becoming a guitar hero requires much more than that. Eddie Van Halen, for instance, is regarded as a ‘guitar master’ with his innovative riffs, but to John Frusciante, Eddie’s tapping technique was inspired by another guitarist, Genesis’ Steve Hackett. Frusciante recently shared his views on the matter while chatting with the Broken Record Podcast.
Frusciante discussed how Eddie used the two-tapping technique to create unique guitar riffs when the host, Rick Rubin, asked if the late guitarist was the one to invent the method. Frusciante gave a much-debated response and explained where he believes the Van Halen icon derived inspiration from.
“No, he invented that use of it,” disclosed John as he answered whether Eddie was the first to use the technique. “Like nobody did it, sounding like what he sounded like doing it. There are certain details about patterns like [imitates Eddie’s paying]. Like, nobody was doing that.”
However, Van Halen wasn’t the first to discover the technique. John argued, “Steve Hackett from Genesis was doing that, using his right-hand finger to tap notes, and Frank Zappa was doing the same thing but using the pick, [imitates Zappa]; rather than like, [imitates Hackett].”
The guitarist continued by showing how to make these sounds. “That’s what it sounds like with your finger, [imitates Hackett again]. That’s with a pick. So, he was calling that bagpipe guitar, and that was a good; both those examples were a good three years before Van Halen did.”
Even though Eddie had joked that the idea came to him in the bathroom, the guitarist had admitted that Hackett had inspired him. “He claimed he came up with his on the toilet while he was taking a sh*t, but he went backstage at a Steve Hackett show and told Steve Hackett that he got the idea from being at a Genesis show and saw him doing it.”
John also believed that Steve Hackett’s guitar playing influenced Van Halen. He noted, “I tend to believe that, but Steve Hackett is definitely doing it on ‘Selling England by the Pound,’ the Genesis album. He’s definitely doing that technique.”
Even though other guitarists used the two-tapping technique before Eddie, the guitarist was talented and innovative enough to add his twist and get credited for improving the tapping technique. While many argue that Eddie Van Hale was the tapping technique’s inventor, others credit earlier musicians.