Have you picked up “Guitar World Presents 40 Years of Van Halen” yet? Zactly – I didn’t even know it existed until I saw it in a bookstore (remember those? lol). Anyhow, I’m always amazed at how I think I’ve memorized every word ever written about Ed and his gear and then I read something I don’t remember reading.
(Maybe alcohol really does kill brain cells….)
Anyhow, there’s a lot I’m going to pull out here and there from that book/mag, but here’s a ditty I don’t think I ever knew. But first, listen to this, notably the lead at 1:24:
That sound like Edward Van Halen riffage to you? Wellllllll, here’s the story (Ed talking):
“He [Gene Simmons] wanted me and Al to play on his solo album but we couldn’t because we were on tour. A couple songs on the record we played on the demo tape, and they sounded much better.
“‘Tunnel of Love,’ but [the final version is] done different – it’s half-beat on this one, but it was more rock when me and Al played it.
“And the other one was Christine Sixteen.’ Remember the solo in that? I wrote the solo for that and it sounded so good when we played with him because I double-tracked it. It was a double solo, a double lead [I'm thinking he means harmony lines?].
“It sounded so good, and then all of a sudden their record comes out [Love Gun] and they played the same solo, but it sounded like he [Ace or producer] used some kind of octave box. It didn’t sound the same.”
“[The solo as Ed wrote it] sounded good. It was a good melodic little thing that really fit in.”
Unfortunately I couldn’t find the studio version of “Christine Sixteen” with the MXR Blue Box-sounding lead. Anyhow, now listen to this and imagine it faster with Ed and Al kicking the crap out of it:
Chased down the credit for the lead on that tune: Joe Perry! WTF! This one too:
Back to Ed and Al: Would love to hear those tracks and I’m sure I’m not alone. You listening, Gene? It’s more dollar$ for ya!
> Ed: “I was surprised with Ace Frehley’s solo album. I liked it. It’s just more ‘up.’ At least he stepped out a little bit.”
> Some vintage Ed and Al, courtesy of Gene: