Girl, 14, rocks Internet with cover of classic Van Halen guitar solo
Eddie Van Halen is regarded as one of the greatest guitarists of all time, and his solo on the 1978 song "Eruption" is second on Guitar World's list of the 50 best. A 14-year-old girl on YouTube named Tina S. is now racking up views with her spot-on cover of the rock classic.
Uploaded on May 20, more than 1.7 million people have watched Tina as she plays seated, almost no emotion on her face, fingers dancing along the neck of her Vigier Excalibur Custom electric guitar.
For a minute and a half, Van Halen fans of the 1970s and '80s can close their eyes and be transported back to the postered walls of their bedrooms -- look, there's you, with the feathered hair!
"Eruption" originated in an interesting fashion for Van Halen. According to Guitar World, Van Halen says the song wasn't even supposed to be on the band's debut, self-titled album. "I showed up at the studio early one day and started to warm up because I had a gig on the weekend and I wanted to practice my solo-guitar spot," Van Halen said. "Our producer, Ted Templeman, happened to walk by and he asked, 'What’s that? Let’s put it on tape!'"
Van Halen says he played the bit twice for the record and they kept one. "I didn’t even play it right --there’s a mistake at the top end of it. Whenever I hear it, I always think, 'Man, I could’ve played it better.'" But he also told Guitar World that he liked the way "Eruption" sounds and had "never heard a guitar sound like that before."
The commenters on YouTube are perfectly happy with the way Tina plays it, with many joking that they're giving up the guitar in the wake of such young talent.
"Everyone else go back to guitar hero," writes 943TheSharkRocks. "You have lost the race."
Van Halen himself, now 58, is obviously all over YouTube in videos that capture his version of "Eruption." A quick scan puts the number of views of the top-surfacing videos somewhere around 30 million. Here's one (note to Tina: lit cigarette in the head of guitar for seasoned rockers only):
Other videos on Tina's page show her playing Van Halen's solo on Michael Jackson's "Beat It"; a cover of AC/DC's "Back in Black"; and the acoustic solo from the Eagles' "Hotel California" in 2008 ... when she was about 9 years old.