I don’t know where to begin…..I never thought I’d be mouring Eddie Van Halen. I thought the same in January when Neil Peart passed. We never think that our idols and closest of family and friends will ever leave this world….but they do…
When I was a kid around 5 or 6 I remember hearing Van Halen for the first time. My uncle Rick was a huge fan and had seen them in concert. We had cable at home and when I was by myself the channel was always set to 32 for MTV. They played Van Halen videos all the time. Jump, Panama, Hot for Teacher etc. The keyboard intro 1984 always caught my attention. Then going right into Jump. It was Eruption thought that blew me away.
If anyone plays rock guitar and likes Eddie at some point in their playing career they tried to or did learn Eruption. I remember once I got it. My friends Andy, Eric and George would constantly say “play Eruption.” It was our jam. As that little 6 year old kid I used to get in trouble all the time. I had this old tennis racket that I pretended was my guitar and id jump on and off my bed as if it was a stage. Trying to be just like Eddie. I’d go to the corner store Bills or Davila’s and buy the candy cigarettes and tape one to the racket because it looked like Eddie lol.
I met Eddie a few times and he was cool as hell. I never thought I’d meet my guitar hero but I did. Come to think of it, he was the only guitar hero of mine I actually got to meet. Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Randy Rhoads….they all died young and before I could really know much about them. Back in 2014 my dad bought me this guitar. The Eddie Van Halen Frankenstrat replica. I love this guitar. I dreamed of owning this guitar when I was a kid. I had dreams that I had one and I’d wake up and look around my room and the house looking for my EVH guitar but it was just a dream. Thats how real the dreams were for me at such a young age.
Eddie inspired so many guitarists. Many would say he wasn’t that great of a guitarist. They’re full of shit! Eddie is Legendary. He filled this guy with the passion to learn an instrument that has now been part of my entire life. I have this guitar, the shoes, guitar picks, etc but the memory of meeting the man himself and what the music has meant to me will live on…I was sitting here playing Eruption over and over and realized holy fuck I forgot some of it. Then it came back to me. I really don’t know what else to say….Eddie Van Halen has always been one of my idols and he always will…..If I had the chance to tell him again I’d say thank you for the music and the inspiration….
RIP Edward Van Halen