Footage Surfaces of Eddie Van Halen and Leslie West Jamming Out at the House of Blues From Over Two Decades Ago

2020 marked a tragic year for music as the industry lost two amazing talents within a few months of each other. Known for his time with Van Halen, Eddie Van Halen helped the rock band gain worldwide stardom and a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Sadly, he passed away in October of 2020. Just a few months later, in December, the music industry lost another great musician when Leslie West also passed away as he was listed on Rolling Stone’s Greatest Guitarist of All Time. While leaving a giant hole in music, a video recently surfaced showing the two stars jamming out at the House of Blues. 

Videos by American Songwriter

Thanks to Lightyear Entertainment, a performance featuring both Van Halen and West surfaced online. Taking place at the Hollywood House of Blues back in August 2002, both musicians shocked the audience as they completely shredded Mountain’s hit song “Never in My Life.” 

[RELATED: RIP: Leslie West, Legendary Mountain Guitarist]

Eddie Van Halen Gave Leslie West New Life

Revealing how the two became friends over the years, West recalled his time in rehab. “I was going to rehab in Milwaukee. And I stopped playing for six months. So I met Ed, and I introduced myself. After I saw him, it got me playing again. [He was] kicking me up a notch. So I called up Randy Bachman and I said, ‘How would you like a rhythm guitar player for nothing? I just want to get on the tour.’ He said, ‘Great.’ And I went out on the tour, and Eddie and I played every night in the room afterwards, and we became friends.”

Praising his friendship with Van Halen, West also explained how he brought new life to his own craft. “I just think the world of this guy. I can’t explain it to you. Eric Clapton was my original influence in that first tier. But then when Eddie came along, he breathed new life into my playing.”

Apparently, West wasn’t the only one inspired by Van Halen as the musician insisted, “I think he’s singly responsible for making Michael Jackson cross over to the white audience with ‘Beat It.’ Quincy Jones asked Eddie to play that solo, and that’s a motherf**ker of a solo, man. It made that record. There is nobody else, I’m telling you right now, that comes close to what he knows on the guitar. He doesn’t even know it. He’s so talented.”

(Photo by Fin Costello/Redferns)

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