We are absolutely devastated to help broadcast the news about the legendary and oh so influential guitarist Eddie Van Halen passing away. The musician sadly lost his long battle with throat cancer and has left us at age 65. A statement from his son Wolfgang is below the photo.
Wolf Van Halen’s Statement:
“I can’t believe I’m having to write this, but my father, Edward Lodewijk Van Halen, has lost his long and arduous battle with cancer this morning. He was the best father I could ever ask for. Every moment I’ve shared with hi on and off stage was a gift. My heart is broken and I don’t think I’ll ever fully recover from this loss. I love you so much, Pop.
*** end of statement ***
When I think back to where I first heard the music of Van Halen, I think that I was sitting on the porch of one of my friends houses. One of our number had a radio playing the local Rock station which would have been either WNEW or WPLJ at the time and they were playing this brand-new band called Van Halen and their cover of “You Really Got Me” which was originally done by The Kinks. The photos presented in this memorial toast hail from a Van Halen concert we attended and discussed HERE while the guitar photo comes from an exhibit at The Met that we went to last year and shared the findings on our Official Instagram.
The Press Release:
Eddie Van Halen store has released a commemorative shoe, the 1978 High Top, honoring the occasion of Eddie’s groundbreaking debut to the world stage with the release of the first Van Halen album, some 40 years ago. Adding to the growing collection of footwear offered by the EVH™ brand, the 1978 High Tops are a black and white classic high-top sneaker.
Though today is a gloomy and rainy day here in my NYC Metropolis, the power of music shines as radiant as the blazing sun as we raise a glass to the mighty Van Halen and their self-titled debut album which celebrates its fortieth anniversary today. Speaking frankly, “Van Halen I” as many are apt to refer to it is a “Milestone Among Milestones” and since all the hard scoop about it is already documented on its Official Wikipedia entry (linked below), I’ll be sticking to the more personal reflections on how this album hit me as a then very young music fan. Now, as I scroll back through the sands of time to my own first go-round about the album, I must admit that I couldn’t recall hearing it when it was first released in 1978 and think that it was probably closer towards the end of the Summer of 1979. I had already been enjoying the melodies of David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Renaissance and KISS with the four masked men being my own discovery some years earlier. My folks listened to the other stuff I mentioned, and I remain very happy about their musical offerings to me.
I first learned about the existence of Van Halen on the streets of Brooklyn and while that might sound tougher than it is, its just reflecting on the times when teens spent time together outside. There weren’t home video games like there are today and while Atari had its “Pong” and I think another game, no one I knew owned a console, so you did other stuff. One of the girls in my circle of the day pulled out this sleek looking record with the cool cover and awesome logo and asked if we had heard them yet. We hadn’t, and she let us hear the track that was playing on some radio stations which was “You Really Got Me” (the bands take on the classic by The Kinks) and I have to admit that I was hooked straightaway. We also got a good listen to the guitar skills of Edward Van Halen on the “Eruption” track and I remember friends who dabbled with guitar at the time looking dumbfounded. The stuff Eddie was doing during this solo seemed like from another dimension of sound. Let’s look at the full-on album tracks before continuing. Continue reading Van Halen’s Mighty Debut Is Four Decades Old (1978-2018)→
In 1984, Van Halen had released an album of the same name and while this release brought their fans blockbuster hits such as “Jump”, “Panama”, “I’ll Wait and “Hot For Teacher”, the dramas going on behind the scenes were at an all-time high and creative dissonance was causing too many rifts when it came to both Eddie Van Halen and singer David Lee Roth. Roth would split from the lineup in 1985 and after some considerable searching a new voice was decided upon in Sammy Hagar and their first music together would come to us with “5150”. Today, the 7th album in the Van Halen catalog reaches its thirtieth anniversary and I’m here to share some personal reflections on this milestone. Continue reading Van Halen’s “5150” Celebrates Its Thirtieth Anniversary (1986-2016)→