Greek guitar virtuoso Gus G., well known in rock and metal circles for his work as Ozzy Osbourne's guitarist and as leader of his own band FIREWIND, has reflected on the passing of Eddie Van Halen, saying that the legendary VAN HALEN axeman was a huge influence on him and millions of other guitar players.
Gus discussed his appreciation for the groundbreaking musician in a brand new video posted on his official YouTube channel. He said: "Obviously, it's been way over a month since [Eddie's] passing, and I've seen a lot of tributes online. Since he died, he's been all over the news all over the world, all the magazine covers, everything. You can see what a big of an impact this man has had in the music world, and, of course, for the guitar community. You don't need me to tell you that he was such a pioneer and an innovator. All these words, actually, they describe somebody like Eddie Van Halen perfectly. He has done so much, he has given us so much in music, and he has done so much for the guitar. From introducing the modern-age sort of hard rock/heavy metal guitar; the way he used whammy bar techniques; introducing tapping techniques to the world. There's no way you're playing hard rock or heavy metal and you're not using some stuff that he popularized — there's just no way.
"I was shocked when I read the news, obviously, and I was kind of lost for words," he continued. "Eventually, I wrote a few words for some magazines that have done some specials on him, some tributes. But I haven't posted anything on my own web sites, on my own social media or anything.
"I can go on and on about how Eddie has influenced me and millions of other guitar players. I just wanna take this chance to say thank you, Eddie, for all that you gave us. Unfortunately, and sadly, I never got to see VAN HALEN live. I'm not even go into about meeting them — I never to meet Eddie or anybody from the band — but I never got to see VAN HALEN live either, because I live in Greece, and VAN HALEN very rarely played in Europe; they mainly toured in America. And when I was spending a lot of time in America, I never got a chance to see them. Even when they did the last reunion a few years back, I was never in town to catch their show. So that's one thing that I regret; I wish I'd seen them on stage.
"But regardless, Eddie, thank you — thank you for all that you did for the music world and for the guitar community," Gus added. "Your legacy lives on."
Eddie died on October 6 at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California at the age of 65. His wife, Janie, was by his side, along with his son, Wolfgang, and Alex, Eddie's brother and VAN HALEN drummer.
The iconic VAN HALEN axeman died from complications due to cancer, his son confirmed.
VAN HALEN was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2007.
Rolling Stone magazine ranked Eddie Van Halen No. 8 in its list of the 100 greatest guitarists.