I can't read music. Instead, I'd do stuff inside the piano, do harmonics and all kinds of crazy things. They used to put me in these annual piano contests down at Long Beach City College, and two years in a row, I won first prize - out of like 5,000 kids!
If you want to be a rock star or just be famous, then run down the street naked, you'll make the news or something. But if you want music to be your livelihood, then play, play, play and play! And eventually you'll get to where you want to be.
... I played 'Eruption' two times for the record, and we kept the one that seemed to flow ... there's a mistake at the top end of it whenever I hear it, I always think, Man I could've played it better ... but I like the way it sounds. I'd never heard a guitar sound like that before...
David Lee Roth had the idea that if you covered a successful song, you were half way home. C'mon - Van Halen doing 'Dancing in the Streets'? It was stupid. I started feeling like I would rather bomb playing my own songs than be successful playing someone else's music.
Actually, if I could deliberately sit down and write a pop hit, all my songs would be pop hits! Let's put it this way. I play what I like to hear. And sometimes I like to hear something poppy, and sometimes I don't.
If you have a great-sounding guitar that's a quality instrument and a good amp, and you know how to make the guitar talk, that's the key. It starts with the guitar and knowing what it should sound and feel like.