AC/DC axeman Young tributes Eddie Van Halen and compares him to Hendrix – but believes his own abilities fall short

Angus Young

Wonderstruck: Angus Young

AC/DC hero Angus Young doesn’t rate himself as a guitarist – but he believes Eddie Van Halen is comparable to Jimi Hendrix.

The school-uniform-clad veteran reveals his analysis in an article he’s contributed to a coffee table book devoted to the Van Halen mainman.

In the publication he says: “AC/DC played on a bill with Van Halen back in 1978 or 1979. I didn’t know much about Van Halen then except that I remember seeing film clips of them, especially the one of Eddie playing the solo piece Eruption – and I was very impressed.

“I didn’t meet Eddie until years later when there was a Monsters of Rock open-air festival in England. I was shocked to hear he liked my playing, because I’ve never rated myself as a guitarist.”

Young describes Van Halen as an “innovator” and compares his influence to that of Hendrix, who followed English masters including Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck.

“When Eddie came along he spawned so many imitators,” says Young. “Like Hendrix, suddenly you started to see people wanting to buy the same guitars he played, and also play his licks. He turned the rule book upside down in terms of his approach.

“When Jimi Hendrix came along it was like, ‘Where did this guy come from?’ I think it was the same feeling with Eddie. When Eddie appeared on the scene every guitarist I ran into said, ‘You’ve gotta hear this guy!’”

Photographer Neil Zlozower’s book, entitled Eddie Van Halen, is due for publication on October 12. It includes contributions from Jimmy Page, Joe Perry, Les Paul, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Phil Collen, Mick Mars, Scott Ian, Dave Navarro, Tom Morello, Gary Moore, Zakk Wylde and many others.

Meanwhile, the mother of 70s AC/DC frontman Bon Scott has died at the age of 94. Isa Scott had lived in Western Australia since the family emigrated from Scotland in 1952. Singer Scott, who died in 1980, was born in Kirriemuir, Fife, in 1946. Isa had retained an interest in the band, attending shows when they played near her home up until recently.

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