By 1978 the guitar world had already experienced many flashy solos and evolutions of style. The astonishment of listeners hearing The Wizard of Waukesha, Les Paul playing with tape speeds and inventing overdubbing, the technical precision of Chet Atkins then later the rock scene with Chuck Berry's fiery playing to the 60's icons Clapton, Beck, Page Hendrix and others.
But these legacies were forged over the course of time (at least an album or so) . Who before or since has thrown the rock world on it's collective ear in less than TWO MINUTES?
Eruption redefined guitar vocabulary conclusively . It became the Black Belt test for aspiring guitarists , pull it off convincingly at an audition and you were in . Other players had previously added chromaticism to blues scale licks, Jimmy Page, Billy Gibbons and many other rock and non-rock players had experimented with right hand hammer ons . There were others who made or highly customized their own guitars , modded amps and effects . But no one until Eddie had put these ingredients together in such a dynamic explosive expression of rock guitar bliss with the right amount of danger and recklessness.
It is easy to forget how Eruption sounded to ears that had never heard it before. The depiction in "Back To The Future" is not far off . In the days before tablature and Youtube a poor bastard was stuck with a 33 rpm record or cassette tape and a sense of futility when trying to tackle the beast. In time the secrets became the standard techniques until the saturation point made the imitators a bit of a joke but the original performance and the man behind it still stand tall and cast an eternal shadow for all who follow.
~James H., GuitarHD