Nuno Bettencourt Talks About Meeting Eddie Van Halen
via SiriusXM / Youtube
One of the perks of being a well-established musician is that you can finally get to meet your legendary idols. With that, let’s look back at the time when Extreme guitarist Nuno Bettencourt got to meet his favorite guitarist of all, Eddie Van Halen.
Inside Sirius XM’s interview, Bettencourt shared his thoughts about Extreme vocalist Gary Cherone’s gig as the lead singer of Van Halen. “Gary was not the biggest Van Halen fan; he was a [the] Who guy, [Led] Zeppelin, he loved Queen. And Van Halen was like me and Pat [Badger] were more obsessed,” he said.
“So, it was kind of ironic that Gary ended up in Van Halen and did that,” he added. Thankfully though, Bettencourt got the chance to go to Van Halen’s infamous 5150 studios, where the Cherone lineup of Van Halen was rehearsing. However, that wasn’t the only time that the guitarist got to meet the legend.
After working on Dweezil Zappa’s album Confessions (1991), Zappa left for a moment to get something, so Nuno joined him. Going into the studio, they discovered that Eddie was already there, rehearsing. “[And] the doves flew; the angels sang in,” was how Nuno described the moment he saw him. He also hilariously admitted that other than Elton John, he’s the 2nd musician who kissed him on the lips, yet felt betrayed when he found out that Eddie also did it with several other musicians such as Kurt Cobain.
By then, he imagined everyone leaving the room, and with Eddie plugging his guitar, Nuno wanted to finally sound like he’s Van Halen himself. “Then the first thing he does, he takes a break [and said] ‘Come and play my rig!’ And I was like, ‘did he just hear me? Did I say it out loud?’ And then everybody took a break and he was like ‘No, no, just play man. I want to try this pedal on. I’m like ‘This is crazy.’ And now he puts the guitar on me and I’m playing his rig and he’s kneeling down in front of me; facing the other way, and he’s trying some pedal out.”
And as a massive fan of Van Halen and as a kid, what on earth will you play in front of Eddie? “I panicked, broke glass, and went into the solo ‘Get the Funk Out,’” the musician explained. “So, I went in and started doing it, and I got to that part where I started tapping, and he turns around and stops me.” By then, Eddie replied, “None of that silly stuff here.”
You can watch the interview here.