Little Guitars

Album: Diver Down (1982)

Songfacts®:

  • On this song, Eddie Van Halen played a custom-made, miniature Les Paul guitar that was created for him by Nashville designer Dave Petschulat.
  • The lyric finds David Lee Roth smooth-talking a señorita. Speaking with Creem in 1982, he told the story behind the song: "Edward was saying he'd just seen this TV show with a flamenco guy doing all these wonderful things with his fingers, and he says, 'I've figured out how to do it with one pick, watch this' and he faked it. And it sounded better than the original. And the song is titled this because it's played on a copy of a Les Paul three inches longer than your forearm to the tip of your finger so you could put the whole thing in your pocket if you wanted to. It makes a very distinctive sound – different from your traditional rock axe. I got the idea for the song from the acoustic part – it sounded Mexican to me so I wrote a song for a señorita."
  • On Van Halen's 1982-1983 Hide Your Sheep tour, they played this song with Eddie switching to his miniature guitar.

Comments: 12

  • Wes from Hattiesburg, Ms@Matt.. "Big Bad Bill" and "Happy Trails" are right on point with the Van Halen style. "Big Bad Bill" was recorded with the Van Halen brother's father, Jan Van Halen, on clarinet. Also, I think "Happy Trails" typifies the fun DLR brought to the band. What other band would cover Roy Rogers.. LOL!!
    @Peggy from Narberth.. Everyone else here pay close attention to this lady, she speaks the undeniable truth. There are Van Halen albums, and there is "Fair Warning" - the quintessential, incendiary Van Halen album. "Mean Streets," "Sinner's Swing," "Dirty Movies," "Hear About It Later," and the incomparable "Unchained." Eddie was never better before or since.
  • Josh from Leroy, NySean thats off Van Halen II and Diver Down was from 4 years later so That's impossible for it to be spanish fly. The intro is simply called Little Guiatrs (intro)
  • Sean from Maud, TxIf I remember right the "intro" to little guitars is called "spanish fly"
    Its just nuts that its just eddie and one guitar.
  • David from Youngstown, OhVH had to put out Diver Down in a short period of time because the label wanted them back on the road after a very successful tour. To do so, they had to put an album together to promote. It's a very short album, only a little more than 30 minutes in length. The short time-frame also forced the band to do so many covers. They went with Where Have All the Good Times Gone because as DLR said, they learned to play as a band on the Kinks songbook. Little Guitars is one of the few originals they had on the album, and is clearly the best.
  • Jesse from Philly, Paits a great song and ya i wish it was on the best of both worlds sets too cause i got that after gettin "Van Halen" it wouldve been great to find out about this song earlier. and i just wanna say that DLRs singing in this song is great
  • Jambi from T-town, Mithe 49sec opening to this song is amazing. its eddie being himself with his kick ass amp.
  • Peggy from Narberth, PaPLEASE KIDS.............this may be some good picking by Eddie, but the entire song is far below the "balls to the wall" standard VH is know for. Keep coming back. Fair Warning.......there is an album.
  • Duffy from Yakima, AlI was there in Seattle when Eddie came out with his little guitar on the first song.He just stood there all concert long with his head cocked back and a goofy smile on his face.He didnt move at all.You could tell he was drunk BUT he played every song note for note like the record-AMAZING!!! DLR had to stop the concert because the crowd was to rowdy.You really had to be there,you missed out unlucky bastards! ps.At the hotel after the concert the people in the room next to ours(we found out)had RECORDED the show! They made me a copy.Anyone want a copy?
  • Tommy from Shreveport, LaThe introdution to this song is amazing. Eddie acyually played both pats at the same time. One part with the left hand, the other with his right. Amazing. I can't even choke the chicken with both hands!
  • Matt from Pawtucket, RiI just got Diver Down a few weeks ago, and it's definitely my favorite VH album. Although I don't know WHAT they were thinking when they decided to cover the songs "Big Bad Bill" and "Happy Trails". Those two songs are about as far away as you can go from the VH style.
  • Andrew from TorontoI agree with Don.Diver Down is a very underrated album no thanks to the band themselves who slag it every chance they get for having too many cover tunes on it.Yes there are too many covers but the originals on the record more than make up for it-Full Bug,Secrets,Hang em High,Little Guitars and the cover of the Kinks tune Where Have all the Good Times Gone is rockin man...Yeah
  • Don from Dearborn Heights, MiThis song is preceded by a 42 second acoustic intro titled 'Little Guitars (Intro)'. Little Guitars is such a great song; and, the Diver Down album as a whole is great. With gems like 'Where Have All the Good Times Gone', 'Secrets' and 'Hang 'em High' (plus 3 great instrumentals), Diver Down is an extremely underrated album. It's disappointing the boys didn't include 'Little Guitars' or 'Where Have All the Good Times Gone' on The Best of Both Worlds set.
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