The Mighty Eddie Van Halen dead today at the age of 65. I am heartbroken and saddened.

Van Halen is the greatest American rock n roll band ever with both both Dave and Sammy. Their music was as energetic as it was dark, at moments. The music was familiar but innovative and at times eclectic in range (Could This Be Magic?, Not Enough). I would be shocked at anyone who will ever read this can’t sing at least one song of theirs in full.

The measure of a great guitarist is when you can hear them at one note and you know who you’re listening to. Clapton, SRV, Brian May come to mind. Eddie could do that and blow out your speakers on 4 doing it.

I never desired to be a guitarist like Eddie, but his influence on my life is undeniable. So much so that my wife and I had floated the idea of giving a child of ours Van Halen as a middle name.

As much as I love music, I’m not much of a concert goer. So you know that I’m talking about my favorite guitarist of all time when I tell you that I saw him twice: 2007 and 2012, both in Charlotte. I love David Lee Roth, but watching the genius at work was spell binding. I remember leaning into my sister during EVH’s solo to point out that during “Cathedral” he wasn’t strumming or picking, just turning the volume knob as he hammered on the neck.

I swear, she looked like she had seen God. Anyone who loves guitar music could swear the same.

Thank you, Mr. Van Halen. Love and strength to your family, friends and fans who mourn.


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