Mark Tremonti has revealed that he once received an electric guitar backstage from the late Eddie Van Halen.
In a conversation with our friends at Guitar World, Tremonti explains that the envy-inspiring encounter occurred following a concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City in the late ’90s, where the legendary pitcher of axes stopped not only to hand over the precious item, but to also share some tips and give Tremonti a quick little kiss on the cheek.
The Alter Bridge / Creed guitarist explains, “I have really special memories. One of them is when we were opening for Van Halen at Madison Square Garden and Wolfgang was there. He must have been six years old. – he was just a tiny kid! “
Wolfgang would later play for Tremonti, assuming bass duties in his solo group from 2012 to 2016.
“Eddie gave me one of his backstage guitars,” Tremonti continues. “He tapped on it and said, ‘Yeah, feels good, let’s go!’ and obviously it has become one of my most precious possessions. “
The moment was made even more special when the Van Halen guitarist returned – through a lively crowd – to share some crucial wisdom about the instrument.
“When the show ended, we were backstage underground and there were 300 team members, guests, journalists everywhere, invading the place. We saw Wolf, his mom and Eddie come out, ”Tremonti says.
“Eddie saw me out of the corner of his eye and walked through hundreds of people to come and say, ‘Hey, I forgot to tell you – you have to remove two springs for this to work properly – sorry I forgot to tell you that earlier! ‘
Noting how the momentous encounter ended, Tremonti revealed, “Then he kissed me on the cheek and walked through everyone who was clamoring for him again. He did that for me ?!
“He had his child and his wife with him and knew he would be caught up by everyone, but he took his time because he didn’t care about his products and the transmission of knowledge. I saw him in her heart a handful of times and I was lucky It was a very cool thing.
Later in the interview, Tremonti congratulates Wolfgang Van Halen on his recent success with his solo group, Mammoth WVH, who released their self-titled debut album earlier this year. Declaring he is “blown away” by the record, Tremonti shares his thoughts on Wolfgang. “When you take out Van Halen’s name, he’s just a really nice, down-to-earth kid – and he’s super talented,” he remarks.
“When you hear him sing live he’s amazing – plus he’s great on drums, guitar and bass. I found him to be really good at learning things and memorizing parts. Writing a recording is a different skill; it’s very far from being a shredder drummer or a killer.
“I think he’s doing a little better than playing bass for the Tremonti band right now!” I’m happy as hell for him.