BiographyThe only thing grander than Yngwie's guitar playing is his ego: at one concert, Malmsteen began to play Eddie Van Halen's "Eruption," stopped in the middle of a lightning lick, and yawned, moving on to a hundred-mile-per-hour solo of his own invention. Malmsteen revolutionized guitar playing in the '80s with a combination of Jimi Hendrix's stage flair, Ritchie Blackmore's (Deep Purple) searing Stratocaster tone, and classical composer Niccolo Paganini's rapid-fire arpeggios and self-destructive personality. After teasing guitar fans and his hair in Alcatrazz and Steeler, Yngwie recorded his first (and best) album Rising Force (1984), mixing Metal riffs and Baroque harmonies to spearhead the neo-classical guitar movement. Though many of his U.S. fans have moved on to grungier pastures, Malmsteen still draws them in internationally, with rabid fans in his native Sweden as well as in Japan.
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