Music/Popular Culture

Tournament of Rock IV: Eric Clapton vs. Van Hagar

Our second Sweet 16 matchup saw our biggest voter turnout so far, and nearly 70% of these folks preferred the definitively Midwestern stylings of REO Speedwagon to those of our friends from across the pond, Def Leppard. Congrats to Joe Perry and the boys, and we’ll see REO in the Great 8 vs. either Bon Jovi or Boston.

Up next, a clash of legendary guitarists who love the smell of money: Eric Clapton vs. Van Hagar.

fikshun: In this match-up, you have a once-talented guitarist who drank/drugged himself into mediocrity versus Eric Clapton  … er, wait.  Never mind. At least Eric Clapton had some good years. Van Hagar is the Wikipedia definition of the bad years.

Me: Hey, Eric, the devil is on the phone and he says if you’re going to keep fucking around with John Mayer he’s going to need to renegotiate your contract.

Jim: Eric Clapton nearly gets a pass based on his Bluesbreakers work alone – not to mention Cream, which I have now done. John Mayer still sucks.  Eddie – oh, Eddie, I see some SOB “tapping” his fret board and throw up a little in my mouth. You were soooo fucking good.  So it comes down to whether one thinks Sammy Hagar or John Mayer is a greater chancre on the legacy of the respective career. Pass the antibiotics….

Bonesparkle: Here’s an idea. Let’s replace the singer who’s making fun of high school sophomores with…wait for it…a high school sophomore!

Mr. Clapton, you have the floor.

And now, Mr. Van Hagar, 4:25 for a rebuttal.

Click to vote.

Here’s the up-to-date bracket.

1 reply »

  1. Clapton, no contest. Wow, this is a no brainer in my opinion.
    First off, I’m a huge Van Halen fan but, I think Van Hagar sucks. I like “Love Walks In” but, not much else. To wit, I was lucky enough to catch the classic reunited Van Halen line-up in concert in early 2012 before they abruptly aborted the tour. They didn’t even play one song from the Van Hagar years. Not one. Part of the reason was surely because DLR didn’t want to sing any of them but, the audience didn’t want to hear any of them either.
    Anyway, back to Clapton. I’ll try to not think about him in the context of the bands he was in like The Yardbirds, Cream, Derek & The Dominoes or Blind Faith (which, when you think about those bands and HIS role in them, that alone puts him near the top of influential rock artists). But, just on his solo career he blows Van Hagar away (so many great songs – After Midnight, Cocaine, Let it Rain, Wonderful Tonight, Forever Man, She’s Waiting – the list goes on and on.),
    As far as influence goes it has been enormous over decades. He’s always (at least) in the Top 5 rock guitarists of all-time in any list I’ve ever seen. .