Eddie Van Halen’s Guitar Given To Jerry Cantrell Was Missing For Almost 20 Years
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It Was Stolen From The Studio
Alice In Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell paid tribute to his friend and late rock legend Eddie Van Halen in a new Guitar World interview.
His band supported Van Halen in 1991/1992 during the latter’s US Tour to promote their For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge album. After he expressed his interest in buying one of EVH’s signature Ernie Ball model guitars, Cantrell came home to find a couple of guitars and even an entire rig that EVH sent him as gifts.
“Yeah, that was pretty amazing. He had a really big heart,” Cantrell reminisced. “It meant a lot then and it means even more to me now that he’s gone, that he took a shine to me. We had a little bond, you know. It was a really cool thing.”
“Any time we got the chance to hang, going to a pool hall or just meeting at his hotel and whipping out a couple of guitars or just sitting around backstage,” he continued. “Sometimes I’d be late for soundcheck and I’d show up and he’d be up there with the band, fuckin’ rockin’ out with them [laughs].”
He then talked about the guitar that went missing for almost two decades after it was stolen from the recording studio.
“And honestly, those two EVH guitars mean the world to me. One of them was the Goldtop that went missing when I was making [2002 solo album] Degradation Trip,” Cantrell shared. “Somebody lifted it out of the A&M studio. I just got it back a few years ago – a couple of AIC fans and collectors tracked it down and tried to do a sting on this kid who had it and was trying to sell it. He went dark on the first guy, who was from Florida.”
“The second guy was a separate collector from San Diego,” he added. “Between the two of them, it took about two weeks for me to get that guitar back… after 19 years!”
He called EVH and told him he got the guitar back.
“And he was like, ‘No way… how long had it been?’ I told him and he said, ‘Man, I’m really happy for you, I never get any of my stolen shit back!” he recalled. “I told him, ‘Man, you’re Eddie Van Halen… if I had some of your gear, I might not give it back either!’”
Cantrells’ third solo album, Brighten, is set to arrive on October 29.