Like most fans of rock n' roll last night, I went down a bit of an Eddie Van Halen rabbit hole on YouTube after hearing the tragic news of his passing. I was watching solos, music videos, tributes, covers, live performances - you name it, I was putting it on.
Pretty late into the night, somewhere around 1-2am, I noticed that Rick Beato (who runs my favorite account on YouTube, he's basically the cool music teacher you wish you had in high school) had just uploaded a video the day prior entitled, "What If Eddie Van Halen or Eric Johnson Played the “Stairway to Heaven” Solo?", and that got an instant click from me. What timing, I thought.
I was then pretty blown away by the content of video itself, because even by Rick's standards, this one was just phenomenal. He recreated and completely tracked the solo section of Led Zeppelin's 'Stairway to Heaven' with a couple friends and then laid down the solo "as" Peter Frampton, trying to play what he would've played if Zep had brought him in to do the solo instead of Jimmy Page. Then, he has Phil X (Richie Sambora's replacement in Bon Jovi) play the solo "as" Eddie Van Halen (8:20 into the vid) which is an amazing listen as well, and finally - this motherfucker got ERIC JOHNSON HIMSELF to lay down what he would've played (9:46 into the vid). If that name doesn't ring a bell, maybe you're my age and just getting into rock or something, think Guitar Hero III 'Cliffs of Dover' Eric Johnson....
Just tremendous. Johnson's 'Stairway' solo is freaky good too, unsurprisingly. Shoutout Rick Beato for putting this together.