SLIPKNOT and STONE SOUR frontman Corey Taylor has reflected on the passing of Eddie Van Halen, saying that the legendary VAN HALEN axeman was an "incredible" musician who "influenced 40 years" of aspiring rockers.
Corey discussed his appreciation for the groundbreaking musician during an appearance on a recent episode of the "Talk Is Jericho" podcast. He said (hear audio below): "The sad thing is that [Eddie's death] happened on my [first wedding] anniversary. Me and [my wife] Alicia, we're getting dudded up and getting all ready, and then all of a sudden, we get the news. And everybody was hitting me up. So I immediately reached out to all the people I knew who knew Eddie. 'Cause I'd never met him. But obviously, his music touched all of us.
"VAN HALEN were so different, and yet they were the blueprint for a million bands, dude," he continued. "I mean, every band I know, even if they didn't dig [VAN HALEN's] music, they respected the craftsmanship, the diversity, the intricacy that they put together. You had to be really good to play a VAN HALEN song. It wasn't just one of those things where you could ham and egg it. I can't play a [VAN HALEN] song. I get close, I start the riff, and then I just start humming with my mouth.
"He was incredible," Corey added. "The influence that he had on not only modern shredders, but the '80s rock bands, the '90s rock bands. He influenced 40 years of musicianship. Name another person who's still alive, really, who's had that kind of impact, man."
According to Taylor, VAN HALEN was "the first band to bring that party atmosphere" into its live show. "I remember seeing video from the '1984' tour, and it looked so rad that you wanted to be there, as a dude," he said. "And then every '80s band tried to take that, and it just never seemed genuine. It looked fun, but it never seemed as genuine or as dangerous — that good dangerous. You look at 'Mean Street', and you look at 'Panama' — there was just something there that just created this total party [atmosphere], that it was just, like, you can either get high, loaded or laid at that party."
Corey went on to say that he was thrilled to see the outpouring of love for Eddie in the weeks following his death.
"I'm sure he got it in his lifetime, but seeing all the people come out from every genre — everybody from [Tom] Morello to [John] Mayer — I mean, everyone has an Eddie Van Halen story, man," Corey said. "What Pete Townshend said about him really blew my mind. He said [Eddie] was such an amazing musician, and not only that, but just such a great [person]. He was, like, 'I could have seen him being president someday.' I was, like, 'Holy shit!' Coming from Townshend? It's rad, the level of respect.
"I know the last handful of years were tough for [Eddie due to his health issues], man, and it was really sad," he continued. "I heard some crazy stories. But I don't even wanna fucking think about that. I love the fact that so many people have come out and really paid tribute and really paid their love."
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.