TOTO Guitarist STEVE LUKATHER Talks EDDIE VAN HALEN's Influence On '80s Guitarists - "They Misinterpreted What His Musical Intent Was And Turned Guitar Into More Of A Sport"
June 8, 2021, a week ago
Toto guitarist Steve Lukather recently spoke with Guitar Magazine about his new solo album, I Found the Sun Again. During the conversation he looked back on the guitar player community of the '80s.
Lukather: "These were the times when guitar players were trying to show what they had. Each guy had something and they wanted to show it off! It was healthy, no-one was trying to one-up anybody else; that came a little later in the '80s with all the intense über-shredding that started and Ed (Van Halen) was sitting there going, 'I created a monster, fuck!' They misinterpreted what his musical intent was and turned guitar into more of a sport. I know that always bothered him. We were friends for 40 years and I miss him terribly. Every single day man. It just shows how fallible we really are. At this point I’m on borrowed time. I know that but I took the road the hard way. They tell me I had a blast!"
Read the complete interview here.
In a recent Guitar World feature, Lukather paid tribute to his friend and late Van Halen guitar legend, Eddie Van Halen, who passed away in October 2020. An excerpt follows:
"I first met Eddie at the CaliFFornia World Music Festival in 1979. Van Halen was headlining one night after their first album. Toto’s first album was out and we had a hit with 'Hold The Line'. I loved him from the moment we met. It was like I’d known the guy my whole life.
"I was close with Ed for 40-plus years. And he was more than my guitar buddy. Of course, we played each other whatever we were working on, just showing off our shit and going, 'Look what I’m doing!' But we didn’t speak about guitars a whole lot.
"With Ed, he always showed me love, and I had the deepest respect for him. And there’s no doubt he was one of the greatest of all fucking time. Who could ever dispute that – how he changed everything?
"But he was just a humble little guy who just loved to mess with shit and do things different. Like, the worst thing that could have happened to Eddie Van Halen would have been guitar lessons. When it came down to details about equipment and how he liked to do things, he always had an “adventure” mentality. He knew what he wanted. And he wanted really weird shit."
Read Steve's full tribute to Eddie at Guitar World.
(EVH photo - Mark Gromen)