How Eddie Van Halen recorded a solo for Michael Jackson

“Now, in my opinion, he will either get his bodyguards to kick me out for redoing his song, or he will love it,” Van Halen said after writing the solo for Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.”

Eddie Van Halen and his role in creating a hit michael jackson "Beat It" 

Eddie Van Halen - one of the most original and influential guitariststhat shook the musical scene, creator hard rock bands Van Halen. His parents were very fond of classical music, so Eddie was forced to learn how to play piano in childhood that he absolutely hated. Instead, the boy took guitar and spent clock in the room, practicing on the instrument. Van Halen was a big fan Eric Claptonconstantly listening to him records and learning to play each solo a musician.

With drummer brother Alex, bassist Mark Stone and vocalist David Lee Rotom he formed group, which was originally called Mammoth. Considering several other options names, the band members settled on Van Halenbecause they liked the way it sounded.

In the history of the group there was a big Breakthroughwhen Jin heard them Simmons, band bassist "Kiss". They eventually signed with "Warner Brothers" and released their debut albumwho has reached the status diamond in USA. Over the years, the group has released a number of other hit songs. albums, and Eddie's reputation as phenomenal guitarist soared higher and higher.

The legendary Eddie Van Halen
The legendary Eddie Van Halen

Working on "Beat It"

Single by Michael Jackson "Beat It" from the 1982 album "Thriller." would not have sounded so beautiful without Eddie Van Halen. The guitarist not only played a 20-second solo, which adds a little rough rock to Jackson's pop sound, but also completely overhauled construction songs.

Van Halen was not the first to King pop music approached with an offer to work on "Thriller.". Founder of the legendary British band "The Who. Pete Townsend spoke in a magazine interview «Rolling Stone" after death Van Halen October 6:

“Michael Jackson once asked me to play guitar on the Thriller album. I said I couldn't do it, but I recommended Eddie, whom I called later and we chatted. I remember his smile was simply charming. The man was in his rightful place, he was so happy to do what he loves.

Michael Jackson (Michael Jackson) on the set of the video "beat it"
Michael Jackson (Michael Jackson) on the set of the video "Beat it"

Townsend added about Van Halen:

"He was not just an innovative and stylish musician with good taste, he was also a laid-back virtuoso showman who simply amazed on stage every time."

In an interview CNN in 2012 Wang Halen spoke about his contribution to the album "Thriller.", shared the details of how he was involved record how it went Job in the studio and like Michael Jackson reacted to the song after he received it in his arms.

Eddie admitted that initially skeptically related to working with Jackson and asked questionwhether they have anything in common. But Michael wrote "Beat It" how rock- a song based on the hard and funky sound of guitarist Steve Lukatherso Van Halen became interested. According to Eddie, legendary producer Quincy called him. Jones and asked if he would like play on one of the plates Jackson. Van Halen was not completely sure, which is actually Jones called him so he said Quincythat will meet him in studios and they will discuss the work there.

Eddie Van Halen and Michael Jackson on stage
Eddie Van Halen and Michael Jackson on stage

When Eddie arrived at the studio, Jones and Jackson already waited. Listening to the original version "Beat It", Van Halen asked if he could change some parts. As soon as he received agreement, then changed the order couplets. On that moment Jackson in a studio did not have: he left so as not to interfere with work on the single. Van Halen played two solo for the song, and Michael returned. Not knowing how he accept new version of the song guitarist told Jackson about the changes.

"Now, in my opinion, he will either get his bodyguards to kick me out for redoing his song, or he will love it."

Fortunately, Michael appreciated the idea and even thanked Van Halen. After Jackson listened to the new version said:

"Wow, thank you so much for having the passion to not just come and rock a solo, but actually take care of the song and make it better."

Michael Jackson and his chimpanzee Bubble
Michael Jackson and his chimpanzee Bubble

An hour and two cases of beer, which Quincy and Eddie said were his payment, Van Halen's work on "Beat It" was completed, but other - history music.

Single became song number one in the country in Billboard Top 100 for three consecutive weeks in 1983. With the help of Van Halen "Beat It" got five platinum certificates. Plate "Thriller." won "Record of the year Michael Jackson" and "The Best male rock vocal performance" at the awards Grammy Awards in 1984.

Role of Van Halen

Despite adding two huge parts to the song, Van Halen never didn't pay for his solo and he was not listed in albumand also did not appear in video clip. Still fans immediately learnedthat it was Van Halen, since solo included his signature tapping on the fretboard and shrill guitar sounds.

Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson
Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson

After the release of the album Van Halen often remembered how purchases at Tower Records, so far "Beat It" played in the background. He told:

"It's a solo and I can hear the teens in front of me saying, 'Look, this guy is trying to sound like Eddie Van Halen. I patted him on the shoulder and said, "It's me!" It was fun".

According to informationprovided along with video, the performance below took place on July 14 1984 in Dallas, Texas. Eddie and his guitar ended up in city that night, so he joined to Jackson on the the scene.

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