Revered Van Halen guitarist Eddie Van Halen has spoken about his friendship with the late Les Paul and what inspired him to create his own line of guitars and amps.
Speaking with Guitar Center, Van Halen said that he and the legendary guitar innovator formed a friendship after discovering that they shared an equal aversion toward guitars available at the time: “I was amazed at how much we had in common. Our approach – we didn’t like anything that existed – so, we became friends because we’d always piss and moan about, ‘Why doesn’t this do what I want? …we became very close friends.”
Van Halen, explained that like Les Paul, he launched his own line of guitars and amps, called ‘EVH Gear’ because of the lack of variety on the market: “Not a year would go by where we wouldn’t talk and just have it out about other people’s gear and just cartoon on stuff. Everything we did was out of necessity. Nobody else made what we needed.”
He added that a signature guitar wasn’t enough for him to achieve the sound he desired and that a line of products was the only viable option: “Another reason is that most guys don’t build their own amps and they play a personalized version of a company’s standard issue guitar. I build my own guitars and amps. These are the tools I need to do my job.”