The Guitar Player Steven Van Zandt Found ‘Difficult To Copy’

Who comes to mind when we think about an all-encompassing guitarist? Many influential players all across the board, I assume. As fans, it’s tricky to narrow down players and categorize them better than one another; however, when a tremendous player like E Street Band’s Steven Van Zandt calls another the crème de la crème of guitarist players, we’re all ears.

Usually, everyone fixates on the most flashy and outspoken players as they have revolutionized the science of guitar playing. Every once in a while, there are players who don’t receive the same amount of recognition. Some musicians might go underappreciated, although they do the most in their roles. For Steven Van Zandt, that player was none other than the Beatles icon George Harrison, whose approach to the instrument hadn’t received the admiration it deserved.

In a 2018 Q&A with Music Radar, Miami Steve shared that he had the opportunity to rock with the Beatles’ Paul McCartney on stage at the Madison Garden. He shared, “Paul McCartney called me and said, ‘We’re playing Madison Square Garden tomorrow; do you want to come on stage and play a song?’”

“I said, ‘Yes!’” shared Steven. ‘The song was ‘I Saw Her Standing There,’ and I had to learn that solo.” After getting a taste of what the solo entailed, the rocker was more than humbled by the Beatles guitarist George Harrison’s exceptional guitar work on that track.

After having to learn the overwhelmingly impressive solo for ‘I Saw Her Standing There,’ Little Steven gave a shout-out to Harrison in the same Q&A for being undervalued in the industry even though he had significantly contributed to the Beatles. He said, “George Harrison has got to be the most underrated guitar player in history.”

The musician continued, “He may not have been the most versatile guy in the world, but what he did was absolutely incredible, articulate, and extremely tasteful – and difficult to copy.’” Although Van Zandt admitted to Harrison not having that much versatility in his playing, the rocker pointed out that his playing was hard to undertake as it was challenging to replicate.

It’s sad to say, but most of the time, the best of the bunch get overlooked by the array of players in the industry. We have become overstimulated with players coming out of the woodwork left and right, so it has become even more difficult to appreciate players for what they have contributed to the scene and value them for opening doorways. Now that George Harrison is on the radar via Little Steve’s admiration for the guitarist, it’d be good to have a closer look at what he had created for the band’s sound.