Michael Jackson Guitarist Orianthi Recalls Her Jam With Eddie Van Halen
During her appearance in Dean Delray’s Let There Be Talk, Michael Jackson’s guitarist Orianthi remembered when she first heard of Eddie Van Halen and recalled the time when she had the opportunity to have a jamming session with the guitar legend.
Orianthi is a singer-songwriter and guitarist who was interested in music from a very young age. She has been focusing on music since the age of 14, performing in her first stage show with Steve Vai and jamming with Carlos Santana later on. She released her debut album in 2005 which was called ‘Violet Journey.’
After her appearance at the 51st Annual Grammy Awards, Michael Jackson’s management reached out to her for the audition for This Is It concerts. Orianthi then became Michael Jackson’s lead guitarist and appeared on all rehearsals for Jackson’s This Is It concerts until his death.
Speaking to Let There Be Talk, Orianthi has talked about Eddie Van Halen, the times when she first heard of him and had the chance to jam with him. She said that she thought of him as an incredible guitar player and admired him. Orianthi then stated that at the time when she had to learn the ‘Beat It’ solo she studied his playing and talked to him on the phone when Eddie called her.
According to Orianthi, Eddie congratulated her for her collaboration with Michael Jackson and invited her to jam together. Unfortunately, Orianthi never ended up jamming with Eddie Van Halen because of her busy schedule with Michael Jackson. However, she stated that she still considers it is an honor to even talk to him.
“I always just thought of him as this incredible guitar player but I wasn’t into the shred as much, I just admired and looked up to him. Wow, what a monster player. And then when I had to learn the ‘Beat It’ solo and study his playing, I was like, ‘Holy crap! It’s insane!’ My guitar teacher at the time put me on the phone with him. He called and wanted to talk. And he said, ‘Hey, do you want to come over and jam? Congrats on getting there with Michael.’ He was so cool.
I never ended up going over to his place and jamming because the rehearsals with Michael were so intense – every day, basically. And so that never kind of happened and I went on tour after that. And it was just an honor to even talk to him and have the congrats from him for getting the gig.”
Moreover, Orianthi has commented upon Eddie Van Halen’s death, considering it as a huge loss for the music industry and saying he had gone too soon.