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Michael Jackson's death yesterday rocked the music world. Whether or not you were into his brand of pop, you can't deny his musical influence. Within the guitar community, many people are sharing how his music touched their lives. We'll be updating this article with links to guitar-relevant Jackson tributes and comments from notable guitarists. We encourage you to leave your thoughts in the comments section at the end of this article.
Eddie Van Halen, responsible for the epic "Beat It" solo, comments to TMZ, "I am really shocked; as I'm sure the world is, to hear the news. I had the pleasure of working with Michael on 'Beat It' back in '83 -- one of my fondest memories in my career. Michael will be missed and may he rest in peace."How did Michael's music affect your playing?
Jennifer Batten, touring guitarist for Michael, profiled in a San Diego newspaper with a video detailing how she became involved with Jackson (shot prior to his death).
Jennifer Batten talks to a Portland news channel about Michael's death.
Paul McCartney, along with other music-industry figures, comment on Michael's life and death to MTV.
Blogger Guitar Noize posted videos of Jackson's best guitar moments, with Slash, EVH and Jennifer Batten appearances in "Beat It," "Dirty Diana," and "Black and White."
Jackson's guitar tech for the "Bad" world tour in 1987-89, Merle Saunders, Jr., shares his memories with a local newspaper.
Guitarists react on Twitter:
Slash: Really sad news about Michael, he was a talent from on high.
John Mayer: Dazed in the studio. A major strand of our cultural DNA has left us. RIP MJ.
Vernon Reid: Michael was Peter Pan, but also Our Frankenstein, the closest thing to The Joker we'll ever hear or see. Angel, & Demon haunting us forever.
Steve Lukather: EVH called me and almost everyone else who ever played with MJ has called. It is very surreal.
Neil Zaza: I still can't believe Michael Jackson is dead. Wow...
prashantaswani: Very Sad to lose an incredible talent. Thank you Michael for your inspiration!