I am so late in writing this but I wanted to share some thoughts on one of my favorite musicians of the 70's, 80's and into the 90's - Edward Lodewijk Van Halen.
Although I'm not really a guitar player but being a keyboardist, a frustrated drummer and a musician, I have always had an enormous respect for Eddie. Even today after all these years, when I hear "Eruption", I am just awestruck - the world stops for one minute and 42 seconds and I just listen to every nuance of his "Frankenstein" guitar that erupts from the speakers. His guitar skills, tone and stage presence have always been a major influence for pro and inspiring guitarists for many many years.
For anyone that grew up in the 70's, 80's and 90's, if you turned on your radio, tuned it to a rock station, you would surely hear a Van Halen song, had the uncontrollable urge to crank it up as loud as it would go and piss off your parents! Popular hits that debuted back in the late 70's were "Running with the Devil", "Eruption", "You Really Got Me", "Jamie's Cryin", "Ain't Talkin 'bout Love" from their debut self titled album "Van Halen" that busted on the rock scene like a vengeance and set the stage for more great songs to follow.
Shortly after their self-titled album they released five more albums with David Lee Roth with the fifth one being the iconic "1984" with such hits as: "Jump", "Panama", "I'll Wait" that featured Eddie's piano skills on the Oberheim OB-Xa keyboard. Another huge release from that album was the hard driving "Hot For Teacher", one of my all time favorites!
The following albums after "1984" feature lead singer Sammy Hagar. Albums such as : " 5150", "OU812", "For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge" and "Balance". Van Halen III" featured Extreme's lead singer Gary Cherone and their last album released in 2012, "A Different Kind of Truth" featured David Lee Roth back on lead vocals and Eddie's son Wolfgang on bass guitar.
There were so many awesome songs that I could list from all these albums that this article would be super long but I wanted to list out some of my top personal favorites:
"5150" : "Dreams", "5150", "Best of Both Worlds"
"OU812": "Finish What you Started", "Black and Blue", "Sucker in a 3 Piece"
"For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge" : "Poundcake", "Runaround", "Right Now", "Top of the World"
"Balance" : "Can't Stop Loving You", "Don't Tell Me (What Love Can Do", "Take Me Back (Deja Vu)"
"Van Halen II" (Featuring Gary Cherone) : "Without You", "Fire in the Hole"
"A Different Kind of Truth" : "Tattoo", "She's the Woman", "You and Your Blues", "Stay Frosty"
It goes without saying that Edward Lodewijk Van Halen was one of the greatest rock guitarist in the world and as Gene Simmons put it so eloquently, "Eddie was not only a guitar God but a genuinely beautiful soul".
We will all miss Eddie Van Halen, his heart, his love for his family, his love for the ultimate journey chasing after that perfect guitar tone and his love for every aspect of music. Eddie's legacy will live on and he will surely be missed. God Speed Eddie!