Home » Renowned Rock Journalist Unveils Ritchie Blackmore’s Criticism of Eddie Van Halen Rooted in ‘Severe Insecurity

Renowned Rock Journalist Unveils Ritchie Blackmore’s Criticism of Eddie Van Halen Rooted in ‘Severe Insecurity

In a recent interview with Rock History Music, veteran rock journalist Steve Rosen shed light on a moment when Ritchie Blackmore criticized Eddie Van Halen, attributing it to ‘severe insecurity.’ Rosen began by recalling an encounter with Blackmore, stating:

“I introduced myself to Richie, and as I was about to say, ‘Richie, this is Ed,’ he extends his hand to Edward and says, ‘Hi, I know you. Don’t you play guitar?’ It was like, ‘Oh, my God, Richie, you really said that tonight of all nights.’ You had to be Richie Blackmore tonight.”

Unraveling the Motivation Behind Blackmore’s Actions

The journalist proceeded to provide insight into the encounter between Ritchie and Eddie: “It was clear he knew who Eddie was. The curious aspect about Richie, and I emphasize this in the book, is that he had nothing to prove to anyone. Even if he perceived Edward as one of the ‘young terps,’ as I describe him in the book, tapping at his shields, this marked the emergence of a new generation of Strat players.”

Unveiling the Quiet Fallout from the Encounter

Steve further commented on the aftermath of the encounter, expressing the impact it had on Eddie and his interpretation of Blackmore’s behavior:

“Ritchie Blackmore was a legend, my God. Even if he had only recorded ‘Machine Head,’ it would have sufficed, but he achieved so much more. However, such a greeting could only stem from a place of severe insecurity – a refusal to acknowledge who you are, coupled with a generally unpleasant demeanor. So yeah, that was horrible. On the ride home, Edward didn’t say anything. I was hesitant to bring it up, but I could sense he was hurt.”

Van Halen’s Appreciation for Blackmore’s Legacy

On the flip side, Eddie drew significant inspiration from Ritchie’s swift guitar riffs and solos. In a 2015 interview with Billboard, Van Halen shared his favorite riffs, highlighting one from Deep Purple’s 1974 track ‘Burn.’ Beyond admiring Blackmore’s riffs, Eddie also expressed his appreciation for Blackmore’s use of the vibrato bar in a 2011 Rolling Stone interview. He remarked:

“Ritchie Blackmore, I liked because of his vibrato bar use on ‘Deep Purple in Rock.’ Also, they come out with great riffs. I mean, come on, ‘Smoke on the Water’ is one for the history books.”

In a 1978 interview with Classic Rock magazine shortly after Van Halen’s debut album release, Eddie further commended Blackmore for sparking his interest in the whammy bar. Feel free to watch the full interview below.

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