Ted Nugent Says People Were Angry That Eddie Van Halen And He Got Along Great
In an interview with Brave Words, rock veteran Ted Nugent opened up about his relationship with the late Van Halen guitarist Eddie Van Halen and claimed that some people were not happy about their friendship.
As you may know, in 2019, Van Halen’s co-founder and renowned guitarist, Eddie Van Halen was hospitalized after battling throat cancer over the previous five years. Unfortunately, on October 6, 2020, his son Wolfgang Van Halen revealed that his beloved father passed away with a statement he posted on social media platforms.
Recently, Ted Nugent joined an interview with Brave Words and shared details of his relationship with the late guitar legend. During the conversation, Nugent mentioned that he will ‘never get past the impact of losing the masterful virtuosity of Eddie.’ He also stated that even though a lot of people thought his first tour was with Black Sabbath, it was actually with Van Halen. Apparently, Ted and Eddie connected immediately after they met since they were the only two guys who created their own guitars.
Furthermore, Nugent stated that not everyone was happy about his great friendship with Eddie. He said that those who claimed they were not getting along well, were simply lying since they managed to keep in touch for years until both of them got busy with their own lives and professional careers. He mentioned that besides his music, Eddie inspired a lot of people with his personality as well. Ted also praised Eddie’s bandmates, Alex Van Halen, Sammy Hagar, Michael Anthony, and David Lee Roth.
Here is what Ted Nugent stated about his relationship with Eddie Van Halen:
“You’re right, it’s always a heartbreaker. Us older guys are dropping like flies out there and we will never get past the impact of losing the masterful virtuosity of Eddie Van Halen. I think I would just be redundant to repeat what a sweetheart he was, what a gifted visionary musical genius he was.
And a lot of people go ahead and say their first tour was with Black Sabbath. Well, that’s not true. Their first tour was opening up for me. And it was the whole band. David and Michael, and Alex and Eddie were just the definitions of killer, uninhibited, irreverent firestorm rock ‘n’ roll. And Eddie and I connected immediately because I use the Gibson Byrdland, which is a really unique guitar in the world of rock ‘n’ roll, I’m the only guy, and Eddie, of course, created his own guitars.
So we got together the very first soundcheck, and I played through his rig, then I played my Byrdland through his rig, and he played my rig, then he played his Eddie Van Halen guitar through my Fender amps. And every time we did any combination thereof, he sounded like Eddie and I sounded like Ted. And we had a great conversation a great relationship.”
Ted also mentioned that not everyone was happy about his friendship with Eddie Van Halen:
“And I gotta tell you, I heard a guy on Howard Stern one time saying how Eddie and I got together and jam, and I was angry because I didn’t know how he did what he did. Why are people so stupid? They were angry that Eddie and I got along great.
In fact, I think the culmination of his and my relationship – we jammed at the NAMM event several times, and we kept in touch over the years, we bumped into each other over every year, we hugged, we reminisced about guitar tones, and exploratory musical adventure, and family, and beautiful girls.
And then when Eddie got clean and sober, he called me, and he thanked me for keep pushing and hammering how important clean and sober is for a quality of life, and quality of family time, and quality of musical creativity. He called me and expressed how he appreciated that I never let up on pushing for clean and sober in everything I do.
And we kept in touch over the years. Now because he was busy and I’m busy, it’s not like we talked every month or even every year. But he and I were friends. I truly revered and valued not just the friendship but his musical inspiration – he inspired everybody, no matter what instrument you play.”
“Eddie Van Halen inspired everybody, much like Jimi Hendrix, much like Les Paul, or Chuck Berry, or Bo Diddley, or Eric Clapton, or Jimmy Page, or Jeff Beck… We had a wonderful relationship, it’s just a tragedy that Howard Stern will let a guy get on his show and lie that Eddie and I had any friction whatsoever.
What kind of punk would just pull such a lie out of his ass and then expose it to the public on a major network like that? But the point being is that Uncle Ted just cleared the air. Eddie Van Halen was a great man, I understand he was a great father, a great husband, an incredible musical genius, and an explorer. Eddie Van Halen’s energy, and piss and vinegar, and his musical adventure are recorded. We have it at our disposal forever. You’d never have to go.
Even a great welder, a great plumber, a great teacher, a great mother, a great father, a great neighbor, a great generous loving person – they’ll never be gone because their donations to humankind will live on to varying degrees with future generations. And Eddie Van Halen’s gifted work, along with Michael, and Alex, and David, and Sammy – it’s always there for us, isn’t it? So he will always be with us.”
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