SAXON's BIFF BYFORD: 'You Couldn't Go And See VAN HALEN And Not Like Them'

December 20, 2020

SAXON frontman Biff Byford has commented on the passing of Eddie Van Halen, saying that "you couldn't go and see VAN HALEN and not like them."

Byford discussed his appreciation for the groundbreaking musician in a new interview with Canada's The Metal Voice.

Speaking about Eddie's death, Biff said: "Terrible news, really. He went through [a cancer battle] once, and then we thought he was cured. And then it came back again.

"I saw VAN HALEN a few times," he continued. "First time I saw them was at the Rainbow in — it must have been 1978, '79, [on their] first album. I think they just toured with [BLACK] SABBATH, and then they came back a did a one-off show at the Rainbow in London, and I saw that. And then I saw them again on the [1980] tour in Manchester.

"I loved the band," Biff added. "They were total good-time rock/metal, definitely. You couldn't really go and see VAN HALEN and not like them, actually."

Biff went on to say that SAXON was contemplating covering a VAN HALEN track on its upcoming covers album, "Inspirations", which is due on March 19, 2021 via Silver Lining Music.

"We did consider a VAN HALEN song," he said. "I wanted to do 'Runnin' With The Devil'. I love that [song]. But you've gotta be careful.

"I suppose [VAN HALEN's music] did influence the [SAXON] guitarists in a way, because that style — when people saw Eddie play in that style — particularly Paul [Quinn] started [incorporating hammer-ons].

"We are signed up to do another album, actually. So they do have an option. We could do a massively heavy version Of 'Running With The Devil' — it would be great. [We could] make it more like a SABBATH version of 'Running With The Devil'."

"Inspirations" is an 11-track effort containing some of the classic rock songs that influenced Byford and the rest of SAXON, including THE ROLLING STONES' "Paint It Black", THE BEATLES' "Paperback Writer", Jimi Hendrix's "Stone Free", MOTÖRHEAD's "Bomber", AC/DC's "Problem Child", BLACK SABBATH's "Evil Woman" and DEEP PURPLE's "Speed King".

Eddie died on October 6 at Providence Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California. Following his death, fans left flowers at his childhood home on Las Lunas Street in Pasadena, California. Additional flowers, candles and fan mementos were placed on Allen Avenue where Eddie and his brother, VAN HALEN drummer Alex, scratched their band's name into the wet cement of a sidewalk when they were teenagers.

VAN HALEN was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2007.

Rolling Stone magazine ranked Eddie Van Halen No. 8 in its list of the 100 greatest guitarists.

Find more on Saxon
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email

Comments Disclaimer And Information

BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@) with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).