Randy Rhoads Liked Eddie Van Halen Afterall: “I do a lot of the same licks as Eddie Van Halen. Eddie is a great player.” – INTERVIEW – 2022

Guitar World:

Turns out Randy Rhoads did have a nice thing to say about Eddie Van Halen: “Eddie is a great player.”

You can read the entire feature @ this location. An excerpt can be found below.

Speaking to Guitar World in 1982, Rhoads distanced himself from the argument that he learned his chops from Van Halen, instead revealing he had skipped the imitation/innovation stage that many aspiring players go through.

In the same breath, he also praised Van Halen as a “great player”, and one who clearly has his own unique style of playing – something he said he also wanted to develop naturally by himself.

Randy Rhoads:

“Everything happens so fast that I haven’t had enough time to think about what I want to do.“

“I have my own personality on the guitar, but as of yet, I don’t think I have my own style. For instance, I do a solo guitar thing in concert, and I do a lot of the same licks as Eddie Van Halen. Eddie is a great player, but it kills me that I do that.

“For me it’s just flash that impresses the kids. I’m trying to make a name for myself as fast as I can. I wish I could take time and come up with something that nobody else has done. But that’s gonna take a few years yet.”

During a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Ozzy Osbourne said Randy Rhoads “didn’t have a nice thing to say about Eddie.”

Randy Rhoads, the first guitarist Osbourne worked with after Sabbath, wasn’t a big Eddie Van Halen fan.

Before joining Osbourne’s band, Rhoads had played guitar in the glam-rock group Quiet Riot, which had been gigging on the Sunset Strip at the same time as Van Halen. Both Rhoads (who was recently recognized by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame) and Van Halen were guitarists to watch in the mid-1970s, playing with a similar flare and incorporating finger-tapping into their fleet-fingered solos. Still, Eddie Van Halen became a guitar hero before Rhoads, thanks to Van Halen’s immediate success. “I heard recently that Eddie [Van Halen] said he taught Randy all his licks … he never,” Osbourne says. “To be honest, Randy didn’t have a nice thing to say about Eddie. Maybe they had a falling out or whatever, but they were rivals.”

In May 2022, Guitar World premiered an exclusive excerpt from the Randy Rhoads documentary – Randy Rhoads: Reflections of a Guitar Icon. The clip (located below) contained archive audio of Rhoads discussing his six-string influences, as well as an exploration of the “cross-town rivalry” he had with Eddie Van Halen.

In additional archive audio, Eddie Van Halen could be heard discussing Rhoads himself, saying:

Eddie Van Halen:

“He was one guitarist who was honest, anyway. Because he said everything he did, he learned from me.

“He was good, but I don’t really think he did anything that I haven’t done. And there ain’t nothing wrong with it. I’ve copied some other people, you know?”