Greg Brown

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Remembering that time Eddie Van Halen was invited to perform a guitar solo for Michael Jackson’s ‘Beat It’

LAS VEGAS, NV – MAY 17: Guitarist Eddie Van Halen of Van Halen performs during the 2015 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 17, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Sad news about Eddie Van Halen.  Such an amazing talent…

I love the story of Eddie getting a call from Quincy Jones, who was producing Michael Jackson’s Thriller album at the time.  Quincy asked Eddie if he would come to the studio and record a guitar solo for the song Beat It…as a favor!

When he got to the studio, Eddie asked what they wanted him to do?  Quincy said, “Whatever you want!”

After listening to the song, Eddie convinced Jones to move some parts of the song to accommodate his idea for a solo. Eddie started to improvise on his guitar and two takes later, he locked in the solo that you hear. Beat It went to Number One!

Eddie did the job as a favor and wasn’t paid…unless you count the 2 six packs of beer that were brought in for him!

– Greg Brown