I was crushed to hear the news today that Eddie Van Halen had passed away after a long battle with cancer. Absolutely awful news, even for this year.
Van Halen was my favorite band as young and impressionable middle and high school kid. I spent countless hours listening to them. I saved all of my pennies to get used copies of their records. I can picture walking into a tiny record shop in my hometown and buying a used copy of Women and Children First for nine bucks. I still have it today, with the price tag attached. For years I was completely enthralled by Eddie’s guitar, Alex’s drums, and David’s vocals. (And nothing against Michael Anthony who was also a brilliant bass player, despite the surface-level simplicity of his tracks.) My senior yearbook quote was a Van Halen line! My goodness.
Van Halen’s first record was (and is still) one of my favorite records of all time. If I close my eyes I can see myself walking to the bus stop in the mornings before school listening to it on my Walkman. Eruption remains the single greatest display of guitar prowess ever recorded and I still don’t have any idea how he made the guitar sound like that. I owe much of my love of music to Van Halen, and Eddie in particular.
Eddie, you’ll be missed. Rest in peace. ❤️🙏