John Frusciante Nearly Abandoned Eddie Van Halen Tribute Solo
John Frusciante admitted he struggled with the guitar solo at the end of “Eddie,” the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ tribute song to Eddie Van Halen.
He described the experience as a “mind fuck” in a new interview with Guitar Player, saying he came close to cutting the end section of the song since he was so uncomfortable with the concept.
“When we’re in the studio and between takes, I’m always doing things like two-hand tapping,” Frusciante explained. “I’ll play really flashy stuff during breaks. But when it comes to recording, I’m doing what I think is right for the song, and in most cases that doesn’t involve playing really flashy.”
The solo for “Eddie” was the last one he tracked out of the 48 songs assembled for the Chilis’ two 2022 albums, Unlimited Love and Return of the Dream Canteen. “Doing that solo was a mind fuck, I’ll tell you that. I saved it for last, because the idea of having a song about Eddie Van Halen, you’re basically saying to people, ‘Think about Eddie Van Halen.’ And then when it comes to this long guitar solo at the end, you’re going, ‘Now watch this!’ And I did not like that idea.”
Listen to Red Hot Chili Peppers’ ‘Eddie’
Frusciante added that he was “thinking of cutting the solo entirely” at one point. “I was trying for a while, and I wasn’t happy with anything I was doing,” he noted. “I was either going too far in the Eddie Van Halen direction, to where it was too busy and there was too much two-hand tapping and it didn’t sound like me, or I was just doing it and it only sounded like me.”
Things changed when he managed to stop being "self-conscious” about the subject of the song. “I took maybe a 15-minute break," Frusciante noted. "And when I came back in, I just did the whole thing … in one take." He said the result encapsulated "the love that I’ve felt for his playing since I was 8 years old."