Vito Bratta says he used to get “bothered” by Eddie Van Halen comparisons, reveals advice the late guitarist gave him
White Lion guitarist Vito Bratta has spoken about how he dealt with comparisons to guitar legend Eddie Van Halen early on in his career.
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Speaking to Guitar World, Bratta says that comparisons to the late guitarist were rampant at the time, something that “always bothered me.”
“I read all of it back in the ’80s. Guys will say they don’t read people’s words, but I did. I remember seeing it in magazines, and people would tell me, ‘Oh, you sound and play just like Eddie.’ At one point, it got under my skin enough that I called Eddie,” he recalls.
“I won’t say all that Eddie told me specifically – I’ll take that to my grave – but I will say that he told me, ‘I love the way you play. We’re a lot alike, but you’re different. Remember that.’”
“I was 16 when I first heard Eddie play,” Bratta says. “Even though I knew next to nothing about anything, I knew that the guy re-wrote the book on guitar. And who do you think bought that book? If you guessed me, you’d be right!”
He continues: “People tell me all the time how good I was. But it was never about that. I just loved to play guitar, and for most of my life, I’ve never been able to put it down. Things were different after my injury, but within the last year, I’ve re-learned all my White Lion solos – which was fucking tough – and I went from only being able to play for a few minutes at a time with extreme pain to being able to play for two or three hours straight.”
The guitarist also says that while he got tired of the music business back then, “rock is still where it begins for me.”
“I love them, but I only venture off into classical and jazz when I get bored with the rock stuff. I’m thankful to be able to play and even more thankful to be talking with you today. After all these years, I’m glad someone still cares about what I did. I’m just happy to be remembered.”
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