I Used to Tell People that Eddie Van Halen was My Dad
I had just walked into a non-work related meeting and sat down when I got the text that the great Edward Van Halen had died. It froze me, I was so heart broken by the news. I included the fact that it was a non-work related meeting because if it were a work gathering, we all would have jumped up and gotten to work spreading the devastating news to you on air and online. But there I was, just sad af for 90 minutes, I did take a quick second to text my Mom though.
When I was a kid, the running joke between me and my Mom was that Eddie Van Halen was my father. I didn't have a Dad so when anybody was bold enough to inquire, I happily told them that Eddie was my Dad. Some kids at school believed me, the others knew I was lying but played along. When Eddie married Valerie Bertinelli and they had their son Wolfgang (as his fake sister I am allowed to refer to him as "Wolfie"), she was my step-Mom and he was my brother. No matter how old I got, it was the running joke. "Oh Angel, I see your brother Wolfie joined the band!" "Damn Angel, I heard your Dad has cancer." Today after the news spread, my actual sister texted me, "Sorry about your Dad."
Eddie was a God. A Legend. An inspiration to guitarists of all ages and skill levels. He did things to his guitar that stopped you in your tracks. MFn 'Eruption,' who can compete with that kind of majestic talent? It's not only Eddie's greatest solo, it might damn well be the best guitar solo by anyone of all time. The famous Eddie guitar pattern of black, white and red. Any American who looks at that knows what it means. Although Eddie wasn't American himself, he was born in Amsterdam, but man did he start one hell of an All-American band.
The opportunity to see Eddie live never came to me. I did see David Lee Roth solo once, and it was actually really good, but I never saw Eddie live, so that sucks. It's been such a divided, separated year for humans, but today I felt full solidarity with you, The Blaze listeners, Van Halen fans, lovers of rock music in general. We're all bummed. Eddie was only 65, my heart breaks for his family, his bandmates and his fans. The true definition of a rock god.
So maybe Eddie wasn't my Dad, which is fine as eventually I ended up with two of my own, but he was certainly an icon. What an absolute badass. I mean, his music was used to convince George McFly that aliens were real and ask Lorraine to the dance, that alone is pretty great.