Tool’s Adam Jones Calls Meeting Eddie Van Halen “One of the Best Things That’s Ever Happened to Me”

  • Axl Rosenberg

In 2019, a likely-baked Tool fan (is there any other kind???) made headlines when he asked Eddie Van Halen to take his photo at a Tool concert… apparently with no clue whatsoever that he was talking to Eddie Van Halen. That dude now has either the best or worst story to tell at cocktail parties for the rest of his life (assuming he has now realized that he has a photo of himself taken by one of the most influential musicians of all time).

For Tool guitarist Adam Jones, though, that concert had a completely different highlight… which was meeting Eddie after the show (Adam, of course, realized with whom he was speaking).

In a new interview with Guitar World, the Tool guitarist recalls that fateful evening:

“Eddie’s son Wolf is a big Tool fan and a really cool guy, and he brought his dad to our show at the Staples Center [in L.A.] last year. I don’t know if you saw that thing online where there was a guy in the audience that asked someone to take his photo, and he doesn’t realize the guy he asked is Eddie Van Halen, the greatest guitar player ever. It was great.

“Afterward, Wolf brought his dad to my dressing room and we had a good talk. Eddie was so humble and I was really happy to have that moment with him. To have one of your ultimate heroes shake your hand and say, ‘Hey, what you’re doing, it’s really cool,’ it’s like a trophy.

“Meeting Eddie Van Halen and having him tell you that he thought your show was really cool and you’re a good guitar player? That’s one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. I feel lucky to have had that music in my life and to have that influence. And even though people can’t pinpoint it to what I do, it is absolutely there. Especially my riff writing – it’s influenced by Eddie Van Halen. Absolutely.

“I worship that music. I connect with the way he experimented, and just the idea of taking what you do as far as you can take it. One hundred years from now, when people talk about music and the history of music, they will talk about Van Halen, and Eddie’s name will always be there. That guy will live forever.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Jones addressed how EVH has influenced his own work:

“A lot of people, when I’d tell them how much I like Eddie Van Halen they would say, ‘Well, I don’t really hear it in your guitar playing…’ And yeah, I’m more of a rhythm guitar player, and my leads are more like a vocal. But Eddie had stuff like ‘Ain’t Talkin’ ’Bout Love’ – his leads in that [song] are very vocal-ish and very structured, with a lot of discipline. My ringtone is ‘Ain’t Talkin’ ’Bout Love.’”

And here I’ve always assumed Adam Jones’ ringtone was Philip Glass “Koyaanisqatsi” or something like that. This gives me hope that someday Tool will produce the world’s most unusual Van Halen cover.

You can read the entire interview here.

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