Phil Collen’s Only Complaint About Eddie Van Halen

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Collen and Van Halen developed an enduring friendship due to their mutual respect and admiration for each other’s abilities. They worked together on a lot of successful singles. The two also went on many tours in the 1980s, frequently with Collen taking the lead and Van Halen supplying the guitar and backup vocals. The chemistry between them was apparent.

However, Phil had things to say about Eddie’s singing capabilities. According to him, very few good guitarists are good singers too. Even though it may appear like a good guitarist and a good vocalist are complementary skills, it is quite possible to be an excellent guitarist but not a great singer, and it’s all right. This is so because the two skills call for various aptitudes and methods. Understanding music theory and vocal techniques like pitch, breath control, and intonation are prerequisites for becoming a competent singer. In order to expand their vocal range and strength, singers must also rehearse.

The singer felt that it was a shame that Eddie didn’t contribute his voice for a few songs so that we could hear him sing. The musician also noted that Hendrix and Kurt Cobain had been embarrassed by their vocals and had shared Van Halen’s doubts about his abilities. Phil wanted to listen to Eddie more than anyone. According to him, he should have been confident with his vocals. This all happened during his interview with Music Rader in 2015. He talked about Eddie’s ‘lack of singing’ in the show. He said,

“[All] of it is amazing. I just love the feel of the album. I’m really into players like Michael Schenker, Gary Moore, and guys like that. And Eddie did it to an extreme and so well. It was very pure. If Jimi Hendrix invented the rock guitar, which I think he did, then Eddie was responsible for the next progression.”

“The only problem was Eddie didn’t sing; it’s a shame because I think you need to sing. Hendrix was embarrassed about his voice, but it was amazing. It made an incredible part of his music. Same with Nirvana: the first time I heard Kurt, I thought he had a really special voice, very pure. It was an expression.”

Despite this, The bond between Phil Collen and Eddie van Halen was marked by mutual respect, awe, and innovation. In addition to creating some of the best music ever, the two remained friends for more than three decades, up until Van Halen’s passing in 2020.

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