Beat it- The guitar solo

beat it

The guitar solo on Michael Jackson’s “Beat it” could have sounded completely different and perhaps it would not have become the massive hit it was if it wasn’t for Quincy Jones’s persistence.

Eddie van Halen was  relaxing at home one day in the summer of 1982, where he suddenly received a call, The caller claimed to be Quincy Jones. Eddie thinking it was a prank, kindly told to caller to leave by using 2 words including 3 f’s. One at the start of the first word and 2 at the end of the 2nd word(I don’t mean Funny Stuff). He then put down the phone.

However he caller called 4 more times, van Halen then realized that it was indeed the legendary music producer Quincy Jones.

Quincy had just working with Michael Jackson on his mega selling album “Thriller” and he wanted Eddie van Halen to play the solo on “Beat it”

Quincy Jones and Michale Jackson took a skeleton version of Beat it up to Eddie van Halen’s place. After Eddie van Halen did some minor adjustment to the part of the song, he recorded the solo and he did it in one take.

He did not charge anything for it either, no fee no royalties, totally free. Well kind of, legend has it he did ask for a six pack of beer.

Eddie van Halen wasn’t the only legendary guitarist involved in the project, Steve Lukather from the rock band Toto also worked on the Thriller album.



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