TED NUGENT Says EDDIE VAN HALEN Was The 'Best Guitarist' He Has Ever Seen
May 4, 2022
During yesterday's (Tuesday, May 3) edition of "The Nightly Nuge", a news-style clip in which legendary rocker Ted Nugent offers his take on the news of our world every night, he was asked to name the best guitar player he has ever seen. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "There's so many. I'm gonna go ahead and give it to Eddie Van Halen because he was so diverse in not only his histrionics but his groove. He had an unbelievable organic sense of rhythm in his delivery of not just exciting lead guitar parts but his grind of a grooving rhythm as a white kid. He really defied the history of who can groove like that. 'Cause I come from the world of The Funk Brothers of Motown, so I know what the gods of groove look and sound like. And Eddie Van Halen, the times I jammed with him, and just listening to the records, you can tell he had an unbelievable, uncannySuperman sense of rhythm beyond just his outrageous athleticism on the guitar neck."
Two years ago, when Nugent was asked in an interview with Bushnell to name the greatest guitar player of all time, he said: "There are so many miracle workers on the guitar, and I've jammed with the best. I got to jam with B.B. King. I played bass with Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley. I got to jam with Steve Winwood. I played with Stevie Ray Vaughan. I jammed with Eddie Van Halen and Billy Gibbons. I've been on stage with AEROSMITH, with Brad [Whitford] and Joe [Perry]. I've been on stage with HEART and played with those guys. I jammed for an hour with John Entwistle at the NAMM show in California years ago. I played with Brian May. There's so many gifted virtuosos. Derek St. Holmes, who was with me for years, is one of the greatest guitar players that ever lived. Rickey Medlocke, who was with BLACKFOOT, created incredible music with BLACKFOOT and now with LYNYRD SKYNYRD. Tommy Shaw, my fellow Damn Yankee, is just an unbelievable guitar virtuoso.
"So I've really been to the mountain top. I know that the founding fathers — Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Duane Eddy, Lonnie Mack — these guys invented this stuff, so we owe them everything.
"There's just so many unbelievably impacting, musically stimulating adventurous guitar masters out there. I've already named — I don't know, what have I named? Forty of 'em. There are so many that I revere them all.
"Dave Amato with REO SPEEDWAGON. Dave Amato played with me on the 'Little Miss Dangerous' tour and the 'Penetrator' tour. And people might not know the name Dave Amato, but what he plays with REO SPEEDWAGON is as good as any guitar playing on the planet. And I revere and admire those guys."
In a 1987 interview with Guitar World, Nugent called Jimi Hendrix "a master craftsman, a pilot of an emotional roller coaster who came the closest to anyone in the history of the guitar to master the unlimited dimensions of the tonal and lyrical capabilities of the instrument." As for Eddie Van Halen, Ted said the VAN HALEN axeman was "a contemporary leader of the pack with as much impact as any individual guitar player who ever lived — an innovator when innovation seemed to be attacked, an inspiration to every guitar player who wants to take the lyrical interpretation of the instrument beyond its confines." Nugent also weighed in on Yngwie Malmsteen, calling the Swedish six-stringer "a sensational technician — an innovative adapter of classical Baroque into a rock 'n' roll contemporary flash."
Nugent's new studio album, "Detroit Muscle", was released on April 29 via Pavement Music.