Greg's Opinion Greg's big blog of whatnot



Nobody ever said they were writing Shakespeare back in the day, but man were the guitar players better ...

A quick digression here: How good of a guitar player is Paul Gilbert? Consider the following guitarists who have had a significant and noticable impact on Eddie Van Halen (inarguably, the greatest of them all). Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page are Eddie's biggest, most obvious influences. The two-hand tapping bit is reportedly influenced by a one-off use of the technique by Page. Jimmi Hendrix is evident in any rock guitarist's playing. Alvin Lee of Ten Years After is pretty much the quintessential bridge between the arena rockers of the 60s/70s and the LA-bred speed shredders of the 80s, Eddie moreso than most. Each of those three are great guitarists who influence any of us who pick up a slab of wood with a few strings connected to it. But the solo of the above song by Mr. Big was the onset of Eddie Van Halen ripping the technique off for the song "Poundcake." That's right ... Paul Gilbert does something cool and innovative enough that Eddie Van Halen learns a new trick and updates his own bag of tricks. Wikipedia serves as my witness.

To my way of thinking, this is the equivalent to Whataburger being so good that they force McDonalds to create a "Texas burger." You know you're good when you accomplish something like that. And that, my friends, is what makes Paul Gilbert great.

Seriously, though. Mr. Big. House of Blues. Tuesday. All kinds of awesome!

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