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Brian Coonan

Power User
Sad - his contribution to music and the way he literally changed what generations thought a guitar could do or sound like will never be forgotten. He’ll continue to inspire people as long as there are guitars and music in the world. RIP.


Like so many of you, he was the reason I started playing guitar. My first concert I ever saw was the Diver Down tour when I was 13. I was never the same after that. He changed the way guitar was played and the way it sounded. Celebrity deaths usually don't get me down that much, but this one hurts.

Project Mayhem

More than just Inspiring us to pick up the instrument...he literally changed the instrument.

His playing speaks for itself, but what always set him apart from the others I looked up to was the constant smile. Van Halen was always fun....turn it up and instant party wherever you were.


This is the end of an era. There will never be another quite like him on a number of levels.

On a personal note, I studied him when I was learning - from using Cathedral as a solo audition piece for my first full-time pro theater gig, to playing Spanish Fly in my freshman year classical recital (and got some interesting looks from the faculty), to playing so much of his material in bars over the years.

It's hard to process the depth of his contribution to the rock guitar canon.
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