Eddie Van Halen Plays Clapton’s “Crossroads” Solos in Classic Clip

July 26th, 2016


By Christopher Scapelliti | Photo: Paul Natkin/Getty Images

As most guitarists recall, from the late Sixties until the late Seventies, Cream’s version of “Crossroads” was the definition of virtuoso guitar soloing. Recorded live at the Winterland Ballroom in 1968 and featured on Cream’s 1968 album Wheels of Fire, “Crossroads” condenses into four minutes all the melodic blues-based licks and masterful technique that made Clapton such a guitar sensation in the Sixties.

By the late Seventies, however, a certain young guitarist named Eddie Van Halen took the spotlight off “Crossroads” with a jaw-dropping bit of guitarwork called “Eruption” that raised the bar on virtuosity. Suddenly, “Eruption” became the song every aspiring guitarist had to master.

But as you might imagine, Eddie Van Halen is himself a fan of “Crossroads” and, like many of us, made a point of learning Clapton’s amazing solos.

You can hear it for yourself in the video below. In this 1984 interview with journalist Lisa Robinson for the show The Inside Track, Van Halen plays a nearly note-for-note rendition of Clapton’s “Crossroads” solos.

Robinson gets the ball rolling. “You can play many different styles of guitar, can’t you?” she asks him. “You were telling me before you can play ‘Crossroads’ note for note.”

Eddie takes it from there, playing the song’s opening section and moving on to tackle the solos. Enjoy.

  • Wonderful. This reinforces Eddie Van Halen’s genius. I knew from interviews that he was a Clapton admirer but this takes it to satisfactory resolution as to his devotion. Only Guitar Afficianado could take this to my level of geekdom. I have been haunted & obsessed by this solo for decades. One genius breaking down anothers genius is musical heaven. Thanks GA!

  • Timmy Spillane

    Never been a big EVH fan (I was digging on rockabilly and 1st Gen rock and roll at the time) but one can’t deny his skill and talent…the man can most definitely tear it up!

  • Good Gravy. Sweet.