During a recent appearance on The Howard Stern Show, the host posed a question to the band, inquiring about the most challenging Eddie Van Halen riff to play.
Sammy Hagar expressed his love for tracks like ‘5150’ and ‘Summer Nights,’ but he emphasized that the most challenging riff comes from Van Halen’s “early days.”
Joe Satriani turned to the camera, questioning if the riff was impossible to play. He then bravely attempted to play the intro to ‘Mean Street,’ the opening track from Van Halen’s 1981 album ‘Fair Warning.’
Howard Stern, acknowledging the difficulty, exclaimed, “That’s nuts!” Michael Anthony chimed in, providing context, stating, “That was an intro to a song called ‘Mean Streets’ from early Van Halen stuff. You listen to that, and it blows your mind.”
Sammy Hagar added his perspective, describing it as “lunatic.” He highlighted the uniqueness of Eddie Van Halen’s style, noting that many young guitarists imitate him without fully understanding the nuances. Hagar praised Joe Satriani, stating that having someone like him on the tour, who comprehends and interprets Eddie’s work rather than merely imitating it, adds depth to the performance.
Hagar shared a moment where he thought Eddie was “just messing around,” while Satriani explained the intricacies, showcasing the difference between imitating and understanding the music.