The Extreme guitarist Nuno Bettencourt recently spoke to Guitar World and recalled the first time he met Eddie Van Halen while working on Dweezil Zappa’s 1991 album, ‘Confessions.’ According to Bettencourt, coming together with his guitar hero greatly impacted him, like seeing the matrix.
Bettencourt has always been publicly open about his admiration for the late Van Halen guitarist. He even revealed not long ago that Extreme’s upcoming album, ‘Six,’ was a homage to Eddie. The musician explained that Van Halen’s passing had been devastating for him. So, he felt this responsibility to keep guitar playing alive by doing his best in their new record.
When talking about his first encounter with Eddie, Bettencourt recalled that the late guitarist initially wanted him to try a certain pedal. However, he was pretty excited and scared playing in front of his guitar hero. Nuno started playing Extreme’s ‘Get the Funk Out,‘ but Eddie stopped him when he went into the tapping part and told him not to do that.
Then, Bettencourt realized that Van Halen had read the article where he said he felt silly while tapping. He felt really flattered when Eddie confirmed that he had read it. Nuno also disclosed during the interview that his favorite Van Halen album was 1981’s ‘Fair Warning.’ He then returned to his first meeting with Eddie and compared it to when Keanu Reeves saw the matrix.
Nuno Bettencourt recalled meeting Eddie Van Halen for the first time, saying:
“It took me a minute, and then I said to myself, ‘He knows who I am. He reads.’ Because, at that time, an article had just come out – it may have even been in Guitar World – and the interviewer asked about ‘Get the Funk Out.’ He said, ‘You’re doing tapping your own way.’ And I told him, ‘To be honest with you, I feel silly when I do tapping. Not because it’s embarrassing, but because it’s so Eddie.’”
His words on his favorite Van Halen record:
“I love all the albums, but ‘Fair Warning’ is my favorite because of the funkiness. That ‘Mean Street’ intro isn’t just tapping; it’s this banging kind of thing. And then ‘Dirty Movies’? That was it. It was like the moment when Keanu Reeves sees the matrix. I went, ‘Okay, Eddie is talking to me.’”
It looks like Bettencourt and Van Halen’s admiration for each other was mutual, as Eddie used to play one of Nuno’s riffs regularly during Van Halen’s soundchecks. Van Halen’s guitar tech even believed after listening to it on every single soundcheck that it was a Van Halen riff that never got released.