Ace Frehley Says He Might Have Inspired Eddie Van Halen to Start Tapping: ‘He Probably Got Some Ideas From Me’ tt

“Eddie was down in the pit watching every fucking move I made.”

Ace Frehley Says He Might Have Inspired Eddie Van Halen to Start Tapping: 'He Probably Got Some Ideas From Me'

It’s been debated over the years which guitarist invented two-hand tapping. Although Eddie Van Halen undoubtedly perfected and popularized it, there were others spotted with fingers from both their hands on the fretboard beforehand: Steve Hackett, Brian May, and even an obscure chap by the name of Vittorio Camardese.

Ace Frehley says he might have inspired Eddie Van HalenBut one renowned guitarist who tends to get overlooked in the “who was one of the first two-hand tappers” debate is none other than original Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley, who was utilizing the technique early in the band’s career. In particular, as part of his unaccompanied guitar solo in concert in support of their second album, 1974’s “Hotter Than Hell.”

While recently being interviewed by Foo Fighters’ Chris Shiflett on Premier Guitar’s Shred With Shifty, Frehley was asked if he felt Van Halen stole the technique from the original Space Man, and he indeed voiced his opinion (transcribed by Ultimate Guitar).

“Before Van Halen became famous, Gene [Simmons] discovered them. But all I can tell you is when I was doing my guitar solo at Madison Square Garden before they became famous, Eddie was down in the pit watching every fucking move I made.”

Frehley admitted to a difference between the way he was tapping and the way EVH utilized it. “I did it with the pick, I didn’t go with my finger. Eddie probably got some ideas from me, just like I got ideas from other guitar players. But he perfected it. There’s no way I could play some of the solos that he pulled off.”

Also, when asked how he stumbled upon two-hand tapping, Frehley replied, “As far as I can remember, I think I just came up with it. I don’t know.”

However, in a 2015 interview with the What It Means to Be American event at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, Van Halen himself explained that it was actually seeing Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page in concert at the LA Forum that inspired him to tap and even offered a demonstration.

Van Halen’s 1978 self-titled debut is largely attributed to not only ushering in the era of shred guitar but also inspiring countless other guitarists to incorporate the two-hand tapping technique into their own playing style, thanks to the album’s guitar solo tour de force, “Eruption.”

Frehley’s latest solo album, “10,000 Volts,” will be released on February 23, 2024.

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