Eddie Van Halen — the long lost interview

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March 23, 2019 at 11:29 pm Quote #60347



Eddie Van Halen — the long lost interview
By Steven Rosen (Classic Rock)
2019-03-23 09:00:00+00:00

Before Eddie Van Halen became a musical Goliath and a template for other musicians, writer Steven Rosen interviewed their young guitarist

On March 23 1979, Van Halen released their second album. Like many bands, they were faced with a conundrum: How do you follow a classic debut?

Many have dropped the ball, from Montrose to The Darkness. But Van Halen walked it, banging out their brilliant second album in just six days. It sounds like it, too: fresh, a little loose, fizzing with energy, its air of beer-fuelled spontaneity encapsulated in Roth’s fumbled lyric and giggles on Bottoms Up!

40 years on, it still holds up. “Van Halen II is just as good as the first album,” Steel Panther’s Russ ‘Satchel’ Parrish tells us. “It rocks so fucking hard.”

The remastered version of Van Halen II is available now from all reputable streaming services.

It was sometime in ’78. I was looking at my copy of Van Halen’s first album when I heard a car engine stop below my Laurel Canyon guest house window. I stuck my head out, looked down at this beat-up, nondescript car parked in front of my garage, and was about to walk down the stairs to tell the offender to move his vehicle. I was waiting for Eddie Van Halen to come by and I didn’t want some bozo taking up the spot.

I had spoken to Ed just a few weeks earlier at the Whisky, where I was introduced to him by Michelle Myer, my good friend and the club’s booker. Five minutes into our conversation he asked me for a pen because he wanted to write down his phone number. A couple of hours ago I found that piece of paper, called him and asked if he might want to get together some time and talk. He said: “I’ll be right over.”

I couldn’t believe he wanted to come over that same day. I hadn’t put together any kind of real interview, so I just jotted down a few things to talk about and hoped for the best. I was on pins and needles already, so when I saw that other car parked in my spot I was about to go insane. I walked down the stairs, and was ready to tell the intruding driver to move his car or I was going to have it towed.

The car door opened and Ed got out. I laughed nervously and thought: “Oh, shit. I almost had Eddie Van Halen’s car towed.” He met me halfway up the stairway and we shook hands and hugged. Any nervousness I had went away. He acted like there was no other place he’d rather be in early 1978 than sitting on my beat-up couch, smoking a cigarette and playing the ’66 Strat he eyeballed the second he walked in the room.

He saw his album lying on the table and smiled. I told him how cool it was for him to drive over — he was still living in Pasadena with his parents at the time, which was about a 30-minute drive without traffic — and he just shrugged it off. I put the cassette player on the couch between us, pushed ‘record’, and began my first interview with this then 23-year-old wunderkind who was about to take over the world.

Continue reading: http://www.loudersound.com/features/eddie-van-halen-the-long-lost-interview


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