Of the few bits and pieces of my childhood that my brain has chosen to retain, early exposure to the music of my parent's youth remains v near and dear to my heart.
I don't know exactly how old I was, but in either late elementary or early middle school my mom showed me and my sister this humongous box of records she still had from long before either of us were alive.
Many of her classic album covers caught my eye, but none like Van Halen's 1984.
I mean, it's an angel-baby with greaser hair ripping heaters. Of course that's going to catch a (let's call it) 10 year old boy's attention.
I don't remember the timeline perfectly, but my mom played us classics like "Jump", "Panama" and "Hot For Teacher" before teaching us everything there is to know about her favorite band, Van Halen. First off, my mom loved David Lee Roth so we were a Van Halen family, NOT Van Hagar. Don't you go playing that "I Can't Drive 55" bullshit in our old house!
We were told about how EVH started playing classical piano and couldn't even read sheet music. She told us about how Eddie and his brother Alex traded instruments and that Van Halen was so big Eddie played a guitar solo on Michael Jackson's (ever heard of him?) "Beat It".
Now maybe momma told us this too, but if she did, it slipped my brain...the story behind how Eddie Van Halen ended up on Thriller is straight out of movie.
Eddie Van Halen is widely considered one of the greatest guitar players of all time, but to his son Wolf, he was just dad (and a bandmate).
Wolf is just 29. Eddie was only 65. I'm 28 and my dad is 60, so you may already know what I'm about to say, but I'll say this every time someone dies until one of my parents or I do; when people near your/your parent's age pass away it just hit a little closer to home. I was shocked to see Eddie was so young. As is tradition.
I didn't want to just regeratate wikipedia, so I thought sharing a personal story of how I was introduced to Van Halen would be better. If you are looking for a more in depth look at the life of Eddie Van Halen you can click THIS.
When someone as truly legendary and innovative as Eddie Van Halen passes away it's going to send shockwaves through rock n'roll. Here's what a few musicians had to say about Eddie and what he meant to them.
Innovative wasn't just some filler adjective, Eddie Van Halen literally changed music.
R.I.P. Eddie Van Halen. I'm going to jam to all your classics with my roommates in your honor tonight.
P.S. This selfless move posthumously earns EVH a seat at the hashtag good guy table. Who knows how different music history is it this trade doesn't happen? via: