Nuno Bettencourt shares his first meeting to Eddie Van Halen: “Like an idiot, I kicked into the solo from Get the Funk Out”
Extreme’s Nuno Bettencourt has recalled his first encounter with late shred legend Eddie Van Halen while the duo were working on Dweezil Zappa’s Confessions.
READ MORE: Extreme’s new album Six is a homage to Van Halen: “I felt some responsibility to keep guitar playing alive”
In a new interview with Guitar World, Bettencourt detailed his first meeting with Van Halen while working on the 1991 album. “The first time I met Eddie I was working on Dweezil Zappa’s album, and he handed me his guitar and said, ‘You’ve gotta check out this pedal.’ And it’s like, ‘You want me to play while I check out this pedal?’”, Bettencourt shared.
“So now Eddie is leaning in front of me, dialing in stuff on his pedalboard. And what do you do when the alien who walked off the spaceship that changed your life is in front of you? What do you play? Like an idiot, I kicked into the solo from [Extreme’s] Get the Funk Out. I became a cover of myself.”
As it appears Van Halen did not object at first, Bettencourt continued with his solo. “But the second I go into the tapping part, Eddie turns around and stops me. He goes, ‘Hey, hey, none of that silly stuff.’ That scared the shit out of me,” Bettencourt continued. While he initially was shaken, Bettencourt recalled he had recently done an interview where he responded to the statement “You’re doing tapping your own way.” with the humble reply: “To be honest with you, I feel silly when I do tapping. Not because it’s embarrassing, but because it’s so Eddie.”
Bettencourt later confirmed that Van Halen had indeed read the interview before they met. “I was like, ‘Wow, Eddie Van Halen read an interview I did!’ Even that shit seemed impossible to me,” he said.
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