1957, Born on this day, Eddie Van Halen, Dutch guitarist with Van Halen who had the 1984 US No.1 & UK No. 7 single ‘Jump’. His guitar solo in the track ‘Eruption’ was voted No.2 on Guitar World magazine’s readers poll of the 100 Greatest Guitar Solos.
I remember back in February of 1978, I was immersed in the NY Punk scene and the emergence of the British equivalent. Working at Record World with Russell, a co-worker trapped in the Peter Frampton look, we would always be excited on new release day. Russ saw this album cover and just new it was his kind of music. He shouted to me “Look at this, some new band called Van Heflin”. (he wasn’t much of a reader, that Russ). We opened it and threw it on the turntable.
Now, me, being jaded with all things rock, was even wildly impressed with that opening riff – “Running With The Devil”, followed by some amazing guitar work in “Eruption” and then a Kinks cover? WOW. this was a shock to my system. I thought this kind of music was dead.
That first Van HALEN album was really quite an amazing feat. I loved it. Loved the band live too. Saw them twice on that first tour. David Lee Roth was incredible and of course Eddie Van Halen was magical. Saw them open up for Journey and Montrose – all on the same bill. Van Halen blew them all away, as you can imagine.
As far as Russ goes. I have no idea what happened to him, but he owes me $20 for a Queen ticket he never obtained for me.
Happy Birthday Eddie VH…57 today