Eddie Van Halen And Me
I barely got to know Eddie, but the music was my life.
Once again, if you can listen to the story I think that it's better, but there is a written version down below.
I was in my early teens when I first heard about Van Halen. In Southern California, there is a tradition of bands playing backyard parties. Basically, someone would book a band, build a stage and buy a keg and no matter what age you were, they'd let you in. The shows always went the same way, a bunch of us hammered until the police helicopters showed up and spotlighted the band. When that happened, you got a boost of adrenaline because you knew you had three to five minutes to run before the rest of the police showed up (and of course, everybody in the backyard suddenly got tough and threw up middle fingers because we knew the guys in the helicopters couldn't get us). Van Halen played A LOT of these parties.
About the same time there was a big debate among us kids over which band would be bigger, Van Halen or Yesterday & Today (who became Y&T). My friends and I voted on V&T because we thought the name was cooler.
I had many run-ins with the members of Van Halen but one of my favorites was in Austin. My morning show partner and I were invited backstage but told to be respectful of Eddie's new-found sobriety. We decided "no drinks until we go back out". We were backstage talking to Sammy Hagar and Eddie came around the corner, cigarette dangling from his lips with each arm around a different girl and bottles of beer in each hand. At that point I said, the hell with it, I'm gonna have a beer with Eddie Van Halen.
Thanks for the parties Ed. You will be missed.
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