Hey rock and rollers, we suffered a really big loss recently. As you know, the one and only legend on guitar Eddie Van Halen died on Tuesday October 6. Five days later I still can’t wrap my head around it. So many memories were made in my life to VAN HALEN’S music, and to know that we’ll never get to experience that again, well that’s a bitter pill to swallow. From the early days with David Lee Roth, to the time with Sammy Hagar and back again, this band has delivered song after song that made us laugh, cry, and do both at the same time. “Legend” doesn’t do Eddie or what these guys accomplished justice, but here we are, right? So, in honor of that we’re gonna take a look at some of my favorite songs…care to join in?
Here’s the deal, dear readers. We have a playlist curated by yours truly that spans over two and a half hours, and I’m gonna pick and choose some of the songs that have the best memories attached to them. No, you won’t get to know those memories cuz that’s grown folk business, but I think you’ll be pretty entertained, ya feel me? I have listened to this band for years, and whenever certain songs come on I catch myself smiling, knowing what I was doing and maybe who I was doing it to with VH in the background. And that’s what rock and roll is about if I read the instructions correctly. “Eruption”…the ultimate instruction manual for how to play like a man whose house is on fire. Am I wrong? Show me where.
“Poundcake” is one of my favorites, because not only do they gel musically, but they also get down with a killer vibe. Eddie’s guitar work is out of this world, and the band is following him into orbit. And on the Sammy front I truly love “Can’t Stop Lovin’ You.” It’s a mid-tempo rocker that also manages to be beautiful. Am I wrong? I don’t think so. One of my all-time favorite VAN HALEN songs is “Feel Your Love Tonight,” which happens to be next on my playlist. Come on man, how can you not love this tune? “Tattoo,” the opener from the latest album A Different Kind of Truth showcases just how badass this band could be whenever they wanted to. Please don’t act like you didn’t go crazy when this song came out…you’re embarrassing yourself.
“Why Can’t This Be Love” was so fucking incendiary because it showed a band with a new identity rising like a phoenix from the ashes, and it still rules hard. “Little Guitars” is so goddamn catchy, how can you not love it, amiright? The guitar licks flow like a fine wine, Dave sings like his life depends on it, and the band is in perfect form. Oh man, where do I begin with “Love Walks In”? This song reminds me of some high school relationships, one or two that were very ill-fated, but those beautiful girls will forever be in my memories. “Unchained” is one of THE greatest VAN HALEN songs ever recorded and that’s a fact. Holy fuck, every time this one hits all I wanna do is bury the needle!
How can anybody not love “Top of the World” or “Dreams,” huh? Two of THE most uplifting tunes from back then, and anybody who tries to tell me Sammy isn’t singing his fucking heart out on both can step up and get punched in the face like the dumbass they are. Meanwhile we have “Dance the Night Away” which features Eddie’s tone, one that will never be replicated, plus vocal harmonies that are so righteous. “Blood and Fire” is Mini-Amps’ favorite song and it is so much fun to watch him rock out to it. Dave also really shines vocally on this one. I’m not sure if you people are aware of this, but A Different Kind of Truth is a fucking awesome album!!
“Summer Nights” is an absolute classic and a perfect moment in time for all us guys. Who can forget riding around with your buddies on a Friday or Saturday night looking for some action? We all did it, even if it ended in futility for many of us. Still, the friendship was awesome! All I can say about “When It’s Love” is that it’s a thing of beauty, the kind of song you get to write once in a lifetime, and VAN HALEN did. And we are grateful for that. Meanwhile from the latest album ADKOT, “Chinatown” is an ass-kicker from beginning to end with Eddie’s guitar seemingly on fire. And let’s talk “Somebody Get Me a Doctor,” yeah? Eddie just goes fucking ballistic, not only with the riff but slso with his solo. Catch him if you can…you can’t.
You can hear Eddie Van Halen’s trademark awesomeness on “Big River”, from the last record before my playlist closes with another of my favorites in “I’m the One.” Man. oh man, VAN HALEN was and is one of the greatest rock and roll bands to ever walk this earth. If you’ve heard them, or gotten to see them live, then consider yourself lucky. Gods live among men, and Eddie Van Halen is proof of that. There never has been, and there never will be anyone like him in this lifetime or the next. Rest In Peace, our musical giant. The world is a better place for you having graced us with your guitar prowess, and your smile. We will miss you, Eddie…R.I.P.
IN LOVING MEMORY OF EDDIE VAN HALEN (JANUARY 26, 1955 – OCTOBER 6, 2020)