Yes’ Steve Howe revealed his preference for Steve Morse’s playing over Eddie Van Halen’s during their heyday. The guitarist opened up about his admiration for Morse and his thoughts on Van Halen in an interview with Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz. As you will find out, Eddie Van Halen was not Steve Howe’s cup of tea after all, especially that there was a Steve Morse to sweep his feet away.
Steve Howe’s preference in the 70s rock scene was definitely The Dixie Dregs. The singer loved the band so much at first listen that he had to get them on the phone. On one side, The Dixie Dregs were giving rock fans a blast as Steve Morse shredded his guitar onstage, on the other side, Eddie Van Halen had started to build up his future legacy with Van Halen. However, Steve Howe’s preference remained Steve Morse.
In a recent interview, Howe revealed that, for him, Steve Morse was the guitarists who caught his heart. The Dixie Dregs’ music struck a chord with Howe, and their tunes resonated deep within his soul. While he appreciates Eddie Van Halen’s undeniable talent, it was Morse’s playing that really struck a chord with the guitarist.
“I think before I was fully aware of Eddie, I was highly aware of Steve Morse because what happened was, I got that first album produced by Ken Scott who’s one of my favorite Brit guys. Basically, I put this record on and I went ‘What! Who are these guys? Get them on the phone!’ So, I was so infused, I loved Dixie Dregs to pieces. I thought it was a hit record, I thought wasn’t everybody realizing how great it was.”
“There was an awful lot of round Eddie as much as there was Eddie. But my heart went to Steve Morse. I was more in tune with all the albums he had made.”
Steve Howe has shared his affinity for Steve Morse’s playing over Eddie Van Halen’s. Even the most accomplished musicians have their personal preferences, and that one artist’s style can resonate deeply with another. Keep in mind, this doesn’t mean that Howe doesn’t think Eddie’s playing is great, he just thinks Steve’s is better.