R.I.P. Eddie Van Halen – Meltdown
Man, what a kick in the balls! Let’s face it, Eddie was such and original and a huge influence to practically anyone who ever picked up a guitar.
Over the years, I’ve interviewed sooo many guitarists who place Eddie on a shelf above the rest. If I had a dollar for every musician who told me that EVH was a huge influence on them, I’d be a rich man.
I remember the first time I met him. It was backstage on the For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge tour. He came by and quietly shook everyone’s hand. When he got to my friend, Duane – who was right next to me – he shook his hand and pulled back right away, kinda shocked like. Duane had these fuzzy fingerless gloves on that kinda stunned the guitar legend for a second. We all shared a laugh and posed for a photo.
My friends in Shinedown told me a story about a tour they did with V.H. around 2004. Shinedown was a very new band at the time and were super excited to tour with the V.H. boys. Eddie came into their dressing room to introduce himself. Singer, Brent Smith, was coming out of the bathroom and offered a hand to Eddie. According to Brent, there weren’t any paper towels in the bathroom and his hands were still a bit damp. Eddie replied “What, did you piss all over your hands?” Brent said something sarcastic along the lines of “Yeah, Eddie, I pissed on my hands before shaking your hand”. Eddie then proceeded to take his lit cigarette out of his mouth, roll it up in a piece of turkey on their deli tray, put it back on the trat and urinate on it until it was out. He told them to tell their tour manager that it was called a “Smoking Gun” and left their room.
I couldn’t make that story up if I tried.
As John 5 said on my show today. “He was definitely one-of-a-kind”. He will be missed, but his music will outlive us all.