Looking Back: How Eddie Van Halen Inspired This Minnesota Boy
It's hard to believe that Edward Van Halen has been gone for a year.
When I heard the news I cried immediately. The same reaction I had to Prince dying. Shocked at first, disbelief, then sadness. I couldn't play guitar like Eddie Van Halen, but his music inspired me to write some of my own.
I still remember the day I heard "Mean Street" a song off the album Fair Warning. A friend of mine told me I had to listen to the album. I told my boss Steve Zenner about the guitarist, and Steve said, "You should hear their first album". So I borrowed it, and took it home, and listened. I heard "Eruption", the instrumental song by Eddie, and my jaw dropped.
How could he play that, what was he doing, was it him or many of him. I couldn't stop listening. The Van Halen cover of "Pretty Woman" by Roy Orbison, brought Roy back from a dead career. Then "Beat it" by Michael Jackson came out, and I thought, is there anything he can't do? Then, a few months later, "Jump" was released. I bought every Van Halen album.
Then David Lee Roth quit and Sammy Hagar took over as lead singer and I didn't know a band could get any better. I was locked in to being a fan and it inspired me to write music. Sammy brought out the melody and more pop side of Eddie Van Halen.
Everything Eddie Van Halen wrote, spoke to me.
I had heard that Eddie wasn't doing well and that cancer had taken over his life, sometimes no news is good news, not the case here. David Lee Roth kind of let the cat out of the bag when he said Van Halen was done.
When Eddie finally passed, it was like a family member of my family died for me because he put so much emotion into his music, and he always looked happy. It was that joy that he had that made everyone enjoy his music and watching him play.
Since his death, I have learned what a great father he was, what a great human being he was, and how he really treated people when he wasn't being Edward the guitar player. I am now listening to his son. He is nothing like his dad and I love that. He is smart, respectful, and you can see the joy in him too.
Wolfgang Van Halen has told many stories about his dad and it only makes me love him more knowing he was such a good person besides being my musical inspiration.
On the anniversary of his death, many people have come forward stating what Eddie did for them or how he touched them. Eddie's son Wolfgang said this;
Sammy Hagar had made up with him and reached out to talk and they made up. Sammy called him the greatest player ever in the world. Here's what he wrote:
I was so moved on that day I posted this to my Facebook page. I'm sure I'm not the only one that was a fan of his music. One thing I love is watching musicians play that have pure joy. Eddie had that joy. A big smile on his face at all times.
The Van Halen Newsdesk posted this today and I wanted to share it because its the best one I have seen yet.