Do people still get inspired by hearing other guitarists play and try to cop their playing (rhythm parts, solos, etc...)? I'm glad I didn't include anything about Van Halen in the title but this thread is actually about player's like EVH. I started playing when I was about 12 in 1982. VH was pretty close to wrapping things up I guess, but he was still incredibly hot in guitar playing circles of course. I was way into Led Zeppelin at this time and learning as much as I could off of tapes by ear. I was also influenced by The Police, the new Yes album at the time, 90215, and other "current music". My older brother was into heavier stuff like AC/DC and Ozzy "Bark at the Moon" which I loved as well. He went to Sweden as an exchange student for a year and I'll never forget he sent a cassette that he had made for me. It was him talking, basically saying what's up and then at one point he said, "Oh yeah, I got a guitar and I've been practicing a lot, check this out". He proceeded to play the recorded version of Eruption for me on this cassette and my mind was completely blown! It was pretty funny on his part, but at the same time this definitely effected me bigtime and I was instantly floored by what I had heard. I knew would never, ever be able to play like that -- but damn if I didn't woodshed more and develop my ear by learning everything I possibly could directly off the album or tape, rewinding, rewinding, rewinding... ah, the good old days. I never became an EVH afficianado and I never put in the incredibly serious time to develop unbelievable speed, but I learned to appreciate the incredible skill and innovation that he brought to the table -- and I became a much, much better player. I also developed my ear and years later at Berklee aced all my ear training classes while musicians and guitarist that were at a much higher caliber playing / technique-wise were being embarrassed in class Do people still do this? I mean, for all of the comments I hear daily on TGP about how Ed is "playing the same old stuff from the 80's" I really wonder how many guys have actually tried to learn and play that old "stuff". For every comment I read about about how derivative Joe B is, do people just say that stuff or have they grabbed it, listened to it, learned it and can do it better? I dunno, I just think overall this place has become pretty cold and there are so many armchair guitarists here it's nuts. Maybe I just suck and the level of musicianship on here has progressed so far beyond my scope that these guys are just run of the mill anymore? I'll be 'shedding some of the new VH - I like it. I just wonder what others are doing and what inspires them to play and improve.