Paul Gilbert Responds To Rumors About Being Able To Play Every Van Halen Song

There is no doubt that most rock fans are familiar enough with Van Halen’s songs to recognize them shortly after they start playing. However, performing them, especially without rehearsing, is easier said than done. Judging by the interview he gave to Premier Guitar, Paul Gilbert is one of the few musicians who can play Van Halen tracks on call, as he knows the band’s songs by heart.

“As I get older, I forget more and more, but that was sort of my training ground as a kid,” the guitarist said when asked about his capability to play VH tracks without any rehearsals. “Those records would come out, and I would just try to learn everything. Now, I should say that the solos I never even attempted because, first of all, I could tell the spirit of it. You go hear Eddie play it, he wouldn’t play it the same way.”

He continued, “Like an amazing freak out in B minor and a couple of little signature things you want to grab. But overall, it was more just the spirit of it. But the rhythm parts I try to get. And it’s funny, like, later on, I’d sort of realize, like, my fingering got different. Sure. But overall… Well, name one [Van Hale song].” Here, the interviewer named ‘Ain’t Talk About Love’ and Gilbert started playing it.

When the interviewer also asked for ‘Somebody Get Me A Doctor,’ Gibson talked about how much he loved that song. “Okay, let me get my string back in tune. I love that song. I teach that at my online school, so I know that one. This is the magic of Eddie.” And yes, he was able to play this song fluently too.

Paul Gilbert, as you know, decided to fly solo after starting his journey with Mr. Big, and he has managed to enter many ‘best guitarist’ lists. We don’t know how many times he rehearsed Van Halen’s songs until he memorized them so well, but many would agree that spending his formative years working this way has made him one of the best.

Gilbert released his most recent album last year. He took a break from the stage afterward and doesn’t have any scheduled shows for now. This may be because he is preparing for an exciting tour. Mr. Big had announced a reunion for mid-2023 and said that original guitarist Paul Gilbert would be there as well.