Eddie Van Halen
Dutch-American rock musician
Eddie Van Halen
Edward Lodewijk "Eddie" Van Halen is a Dutch-born American guitarist, keyboardist, songwriter and producer. He is best known as the lead guitarist and co-founder of the hard rock band Van Halen, who have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Van Halen is known for his innovative performing and recording styles in blues-based rock, tapping, intense solos and high frequency feedback, and his energetic and acrobatic stage performances.
Eddie Van Halen's personal information overview.
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Rock legend Eddie Van Halen helps bring music back to schools
CNN - 2 days
The Rock & Roll Hall of Famer credits music with keeping him off the streets and he wants to give students the same opportunity.
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CNN article
Mozart's 225th And More: Chats With Prof. Cliff Eisen & Paul Moseley, Michael A. Levine and Peter White
Huffington Post - 4 months
A Conversation with Professor Cliff Eisen Mike Ragogna: Professor Eisen, in the new Mozart 225 box set that celebrates his 225th anniversary, your narratives on the iconic composer sometimes contradict the romanticized version we’re often taught about as school children. I think the movie Amadeus was the first approach at presenting a competing image of Mozart, but your book portrays yet another variation of him. What do you feel are some of the more important and perhaps controversial facts everyone should know about the composer?  Prof. Cliff Eisen: I think the most striking thing is that, as far as I can tell, Mozart was not a neglected, underrated composer, more or less abandoned by the Viennese musical public, someone who, disengaged from the world around him, retreated into his own private musical world. On the contrary, his own letters and other contemporaneous writings about him show that he was fully engaged with everyday life, that he achieved remarkable success in hi ...
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Huffington Post article
Collectible Guitars Go Up for Auction
Wall Street Journal - about 1 year
A coming sale of guitars includes models played by the likes of Richie Sambora and Eddie Van Halen.
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Wall Street Journal article
300 rare and famous guitars coming to NYC auction
Yahoo News - about 1 year
NEW YORK (AP) — About 300 guitars, including instruments associated with Eric Clapton, Elvis Presley and Eddie Van Halen, are heading to a New York City auction.
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Yahoo News article
Talkin' Jaco with Metallica's Robert Trujillo, Chatting with Denise Donatelli, Plus the Nolatet, Svetlana & The Delancey Five and Rolla Olak Exclusives
Huffington Post - about 1 year
A Conversation with Robert Trujillo Mike Ragogna: Robert, was your first big musical inspiration Jaco Pastorius? Robert Trujillo: Yeah. I'm always pulling and really feeding off of my inspirations, I think most musicians do. But I try to incorporate a lot of that influence in what I do. So Jaco was definitely a huge inspiration back in 1979 when I saw him for the first time. It really did change my life and set me on an interesting creative path. Definitely. MR: When did you first see him perform live? RT: I saw him with Weather Report. I had started hearing about him in the late seventies and then in 1979 they came through town. They were playing at the Santa Monica civic auditorium, that was our local concert venue at the time. The great thing about Santa Monica civic auditorium was it was a place you could ride your bike to. In this case my dad dropped me and my friends off and we'd go see Ronnie James Dio or Jean-Luc Ponty or Weather Report or the Pretenders. There wa ...
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Huffington Post article
How to Manage Your Personal Brand
Huffington Post - almost 2 years
Make no mistake: If you have a Facebook account, an Instagram page, a Twitter profile, you are a brand. Every time you upload a photo, add a link, or post an update, you're putting into the world another idea of yourself and what you stand for. These are innovations built to harness an innate quest for fame, marketing, and promotion, even among your own circle of friends. Here's the thing I tell my kids, who've grown up with digital technology: you will be Googled--not just by some guy in chemistry class with a crush on you, but by every prospective employer you will ever have, for the rest of your life. Keep that in mind the next time you post those photos from spring break in Cancun, or if you're considering getting that LIVE FREE OR DIE tattoo on your inner forearm. Anything directly associated with you, connected to you, endorsed by you, worn by you, or signed by you is going to tell people a lot about you. Here's a handy list of rules to help you keep a handle on your personal b ...
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Huffington Post article
Hot 'Effing' Tuna Takes the Beacon Theater By Storm
Huffington Post - about 2 years
It's often been said, "There's nothing like a Grateful Dead concert." While that's certainly true, there is also nothing like a Hot Tuna concert. Unlike Dead Heads, Tuna Fans tend to be more rowdy and aggressive, less "Peace and Love, man" and more likely to scream out "Hot Fuckin Tuna" to regularly startle everybody. The most recent Beacon Theater' Hot Tuna' concert on December 13, 2014 was exemplary in every way. And, it was the Beacon Theater that always makes it a grand Tuna affair. When Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady play together, whether it's an acoustic show or righteously electric, Hot Tuna fans show up in force. And they're generally not playing hackey sack or selling bean sprout wraps in the parking lot. Much more likely to find them in close-by bars drinking beer and talking about "Come Back Baby" from the Capitol Theater in Passaic, New Jersey on 11/20/76. While rowdier, Hot Tuna fans love their Jack & Jorma and each other. When Jack & Jo ...
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Huffington Post article
Van Halen or Nugent?
CNN - over 3 years
This is my brother back in the late 1970's. We lived in a Manhattan apartment building. This is on the apartment's terrace.   I have always wondered if my brother wanted to be like Eddie Van Halen or Ted Nugent. Perhaps, he wanted to be himself & this is what it looked like! I'm sure that is what it is!   His hair, well that's a 1970's Classic Rock Story.
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CNN article
Filing: Jackson To Sell Home To Pay $750,000
Huffington Post - over 3 years
CHICAGO -- CHICAGO (AP) — Prison-bound former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. plans to sell his home in Washington to help pay $750,000 in penalties stemming from his sentence for illegally spending campaign funds on personal items. The ex-Illinois congressman's lawyers and prosecutors mentioned the plan in a joint filing Friday in U.S. District Court in Washington. They asked the judge to give Jackson more time to come up with the money. They also noted one effort to raise cash fell through. An online auction to sell celebrity memorabilia owned by Jackson was cancelled after the authenticity of a guitar supposedly signed by Michael Jackson and Eddie Van Halen was questioned. The filing says no memorabilia will now be sold. The 48-year-old Chicago Democrat is expected to begin serving a 2 1/2-year prison term within weeks.
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News of the Day From Across the Nation, Sept. 21
San Francisco Chronicle - over 3 years
2 Officer killed: A man hiding behind an apartment door shot and killed an Indianapolis police officer as he kicked his way in early Friday, authorities said, responding to a woman screaming for help after being held at gunpoint for three hours. 4 Double rescue: A National Guard helicopter crew returning from picking up a hunter suffering heart problems in Alaska made an unexpected rescue when it spotted three men in a pickup truck that was overturned in a creek and partially submerged. With the authenticity of a guitar supposedly signed by Michael Jackson and Eddie Van Halen called into question, authorities pulled the plug Friday on an online auction of personal belongings forfeited by Chicago's prison-bound former congressman, Jesse Jackson Jr. [...] the agency announced Friday that it was canceling the entire auction "out of an abundance of caution" because of questions about the guitar, which prosecutors say the former congressman bought with campaign money for $4,000.
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San Francisco Chronicle article
Jesse Jackson Jr. Auction Stopped After Authenticity Issues With Celebrity Memorabilia
Huffington Post - over 3 years
CHICAGO — With the authenticity of a guitar supposedly signed by Michael Jackson and Eddie Van Halen called into question, authorities pulled the plug Friday on an online auction of personal belongings forfeited by Illinois' prison-bound former congressman, Jesse Jackson Jr. The U.S. Marshals Service began the auction earlier this week to recoup part of the $750,000 in campaign funds the former congressman and his wife illegally spent on memorabilia, furs, vacations and other personal items. But the agency announced Friday that it was canceling the entire auction "out of an abundance of caution" because of questions about the guitar, which prosecutors say the former congressman bought with campaign money for $4,000. "Because new information has come to light, we are taking additional steps to review all the items," said Kim Beal, the acting assistant director for the forfeiture division of the Marshals Service. Among the dozen other items up for auction were pictures purportedly s ...
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Huffington Post article
Feds to auction off celebrity memorabilia owned by Jesse Jackson Jr.
Yahoo News - over 3 years
(Reuters) - A guitar signed by music legends Michael Jackson and Eddie Van Halen is among the items that will be auctioned from the estate of disgraced former Illinois congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. to help settle a judgment against him, federal authorities said on Monday. Jackson, a former Democratic representative and the son of civil rights leader the Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr., was sentenced in August to 2-1/2 years in federal prison for misuse of campaign funds. The U.S. Marshals Service said in a statement it will sell 13 items owned by Jackson in an auction ending September 26. ...
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Yahoo News article
Celebrating Michael Jackson: OK!'s Favorite MJ Covers
Ok Magazine - over 3 years
Michael Jackson passed away four years ago today. Like other enormous events, it's easy to remember where you were when you heard the news. Less easy is discussing Michael's impact on popular culture without resorting to the typical cliches. Watch: James Gandolfini's best roles outside of The Sopranos. He sold approximately kabillions of records, and his music sound and dance style continues to be imitated to this day. Covers of his songs are entertaining because everyone knows what his songs should sound like, and it's impressive when people make them their own. See OK!'s favorites here! Photos: See James Gandolfini with his famous co-stars. The ultimate cover comes from a weird act—Alien Ant Farm, a turn-of-the-millennium band that no one really heard from again. It's a shame, because their take on "Smooth Criminal" was cool and interesting. And rocks. Glee did a whole Michael Jackson episode, but we delighted in this over-the-top recreation of the "Bad" music video. The ...
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Ok Magazine article
Move over, Eddie: Teen girl shreds Van Halen cover
Yahoo News - almost 4 years
A 14-year-old girl named Tina S. may be the next Eddie Van Halen. In a clip recently posted to YouTube, Tina shows off her otherworldly guitar chops with a cover of the solo from Van Halen's "Eruption." The clip lasts just a minute and a half, but that's more than enough time for her to [...]
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Yahoo News article
Mike Ragogna: LL Cool J & Brad Paisley "Live For You," Plus A Conversation With Todd Rundgren
Huffington Post - almost 4 years
photo courtesy of 429 Records and LL Cool J, Inc. LL COOL J & BRAD PAISLEY "LIVE FOR YOU" As a respite from the deafening hullabaloo surrounding "Accidental Racist," here's a sneak peak at another brand new Brad Paisley/LL Cool J track, "Live For You." This track appears on LL Cool J's upcoming album Authentic. It's the two-time Grammy-winning recording artist's 14th studio album, which is out on April 30, 2013 on 429 Records. In addition to Brad Paisley, Authentic features a diverse and wide array of legendary and new artists that underscore the album's roots being born out of a true love of music, including Bootsy Collins, Chuck D, Charlie Wilson, Eddie Van Halen, Earth, Wind & Fire, Monica, Snoop Dogg, Seal, Travis Barker and many more. Here's said sneak peek. Ears, up an' at 'em... A Conversation with Todd Rundgren Mike Ragogna: Welcome, Todd Rundgren! Todd Rundgren: Thank you so much. It's my pleasure. MR: You have a new album calle ...
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Huffington Post article
The M Machine: Technology and Music
Huffington Post - almost 4 years
Innovative music has always been inextricably linked to technology. The Pythagoreans set scales in accordance with their mathematical concepts of harmony in nature, Mozart wrote groundbreaking concertos centered around the newly invented piano, and The Beatles completely changed the face of popular music by pioneering almost every modern recording technique. Today we live in a world of nearly unlimited computing power and connectivity, and, in light of this technological landscape, it should come as no surprise that the most vibrant field of musical creativity lies in the world of electronic music, particularly dance music, which seems to have finally taken root in America. There are two critical developments that have created this musical revolution. First, computers have become so powerful that there is essentially no creative limit to producing music digitally; there is literally an infinite soundset available to electronic producers, and this power is available to ever ...
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Huffington Post article
Jail Time Looms For Guilty-Pleading Jesse Jackson Jr. And Wife
Huffington Post - about 4 years
CHICAGO -- The prospect of prison looms over former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife after they agreed to plead guilty to charges in an alleged scheme to spend $750,000 in campaign funds on personal items – including furs, a gold watch, a football signed by U.S. presidents and even a hat once owned by Michael Jackson. It wasn't immediately clear how much time either Jackson could end up doing when the legal drama inevitably reaches its climax before a federal sentencing judge within a few months. But judges frown on brazen breaches of public trust, said one former federal prosecutor, and that may mean the former Chicago congressman will likely to have to serve at least a few years behind bars. "It shows hubris and arrogance that a politician sees his campaign coffers as his to spend as likes," said Jeff Cramer, who as an assistant U.S. attorney in Chicago worked on multiple corruption cases. "With these kinds of charges, I cannot imagine him not going to ...
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Huffington Post article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Eddie Van Halen
  • 2012
    Age 56
    A copy of this guitar was available (without Van Halen's permission) through the manufacturer of Kramers, Music Yo, a subsidiary of the Gibson company. (Gibson ended the Music Yo business, and Kramer is known only as a Gibson Sister Company.) In 2012, the Gibson company again began producing the 1984 model Kramer.
    More Details Hide Details These guitars did not feature the custom graphics of the 5150 guitar, as the striped EVH graphics are trademarked by Eddie (Edward Van Halen). Van Halen has used a Steinberger GL-2T guitar with TransTrem on several songs, including Get Up and Summer Nights (from 5150). It was custom painted with the "Frankenstein" graphics. He has also used Kramer and Peavey model guitars fitted with the Steinberger TransTrem unit. The steinbeger is able to change the tuning of a guitar with a flick of a switch and be able to lock it there. In the early 1990s, Ernie Ball produced an EVH signature "Music Man" guitar, which Van Halen used on the For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge and Balance albums. This guitar is still commercially available under the Axis name, and retains all of the original features of the Edward Van Halen model. Although rumours abound of a personal falling-out between Van Halen and the Ernie Ball company's Sterling Ball, the official reason for the cessation of their commercial relationship was that Van Halen was upset that Ernie Ball could not produce enough of this guitar to meet demand.
    His recovery time was four to six months, causing Van Halen to postpone their Japanese tour, which was originally scheduled to begin in November 2012.
    More Details Hide Details Van Halen's approach to the guitar involves several distinctive components. His use of two-handed tapping, natural and artificial harmonics, vibrato, and tremolo picking, combined with his rhythmic sensibility and melodic approach, have influenced an entire generation of guitarists. The instrumental Eruption was voted No. 2 in Guitar World magazine's readers poll of the 100 Greatest Guitar Solos. Despite his massive success Van Halen has never learned to read music. The 1978 instrumental "Eruption" by Van Halen showcased a solo technique called tapping, using both left and right hands on the guitar neck. Although Van Halen popularized tapping, he did not, despite popular belief, invent the tapping technique. The tapping technique in blues and rock was picked up by various guitarists in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Dave Bunker called it Touch Guitar and Jimmie Webster with Gretsch called it the Touch System. Duane Allman, Frank Zappa and Ace Frehley tapped with a pick in the early 1970s. Steve Hackett used tapping to play Bach-esque keyboard passages on the guitar in the early 1970s as the lead guitarist with Genesis. Hackett has been credited by MusicRadar as an influence on Van Halen as well as several other notable guitarists. Larry Carlton also had a tapped note at the end of his solo on the song "Kid Charlemagne."
    In August 2012, Van Halen underwent an emergency surgery for a severe bout of diverticulitis.
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    As of February 2012, Van Halen has released different variations of the Wolfgang guitar.
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    Van Halen released their twelfth studio album, A Different Kind of Truth, on February 7, 2012, their first album in 14 years and their first album with David Lee Roth since 1984.
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    In 2012, he was voted in, a Guitar World magazine reader's poll, at number one of "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".
    More Details Hide Details Van Halen is considered by many to be the 'last guitar hero' Born in Nijmegen, Netherlands, Edward Lodewijk van Halen is the son of Dutch father, Jan van Halen, a clarinetist, saxophonist, and pianist, and Indonesian-born Eurasian mother, Eugenia van Halen (van Beers). Van Halen's middle name, "Lodewijk," is after composer Ludwig van Beethoven, "Lodewijk" being the Dutch equivalent of "Ludwig." He continued this tradition by naming his son Wolfgang Van Halen after composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
  • 2011
    Age 55
    In mid-January 2011, he attended the winter NAMM Show to present his new Wolfgang guitars, sharing the Fender booth with fellow guitar player Yngwie Malmsteen.
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    On January 1, 2011, Van Halen attended Valerie Bertinelli's wedding with his son, Wolfgang.
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  • 2009
    Age 53
    The two married on June 27, 2009, at his Studio City estate, with his son Wolfgang and ex-wife Valerie in attendance.
    More Details Hide Details Eddie's brother, Alex Van Halen, officiated the ceremony, while his son served as best man.
  • 2008
    Age 52
    On October 6, 2008, it was reported that Van Halen had proposed to his girlfriend Janie Liszewski, an actress and stuntwoman who became Van Halen's publicist in 2007.
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  • 2007
    Age 51
    Van Halen toured the U.S. and Canada from September 2007 through summer 2008.
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    In 2007, Van Halen was honored in the Xbox 360 version of Guitar Hero II.
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    Van Halen emerged from rehabilitation and appeared publicly as an honorary official during the April 21, 2007, NASCAR event at Phoenix International Raceway.
    More Details Hide Details He also unveiled a new Fender Stratocaster with a paint job made for the NASCAR races before the ceremony.
    On March 8, 2007, Van Halen announced on the official band website that Van Halen was entering rehabilitation for unspecified reasons.
    More Details Hide Details However, both Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony have made statements indicating that Van Halen's personality had changed due to alcohol abuse.
  • 2005
    Age 49
    On December 5, 2005, Van Halen's wife, Valerie Bertinelli, filed for divorce in Los Angeles Superior Court, after four years of separation, which was finalized on December 20, 2007.
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  • 2004
    Age 48
    In December 2004, Van Halen attended "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott's funeral, and donated the black and yellow guitar featured on the Van Halen II album inlay, stating that it was always a favorite of Dimebag's.
    More Details Hide Details The guitar was put in Darrell's Kiss Kasket and he was buried with it.
  • 2003
    Age 47
    In 2003, at the NAMM show, the relationship between Peavey and Van Halen began to strain.
    More Details Hide Details Peavey constructed a glass-enclosed stage for Van Halen to play for VIPs at 2 p.m. Van Halen arrived late, shocking fans with his disheveled appearance, and he immediately went upstairs and initially refused to play. After an hour of negotiations, Van Halen came down while fans, who had lined up for hours prior to the appearance, roared with approval. Van Halen ultimately spent his short time on stage talking about Wolfgang guitar production and his promise to take a keen interest in quality control. He then left, having only played a few notes and small riffs, much to the dissatisfaction of the fans and Peavey. The end came in 2004, when the Peavey company parted ways with Van Halen, reportedly because Van Halen launched an online sale of hand-patterned (by Eddie) Charvel guitars, sold under the name "EVH Art Series Guitars," while he was still contractually obligated to Peavey. The guitars sold for large sums on eBay, and were essentially replicas of his famous "Frankenstrat" guitars played by Van Halen primarily during the David Lee Roth era of the band. Van Halen also launched Frankenstein replicas, which are the only Van Halen guitars currently endorsed by Van Halen.
  • 2002
    Age 46
    He was declared cancer-free in May 2002.
    More Details Hide Details Since the 2004 tour, Van Halen had largely disappeared from the public eye, with the exception of occasional appearances including the 14th annual Elton John Academy Awards party and a performance at a Kenny Chesney concert.
  • 2001
    Age 45
    In April 2001, Van Halen confirmed he had been undergoing treatment for tongue cancer since May 2000.
    More Details Hide Details The subsequent surgery removed roughly a third of his tongue.
  • 1999
    Age 43
    Suffering from lingering injuries from past high-risk acrobatic stage antics and crashes, Van Halen underwent hip replacement surgery in November 1999, after his chronic avascular necrosis, with which he was diagnosed in 1995, became unbearable.
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  • 1992
    Age 36
    For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge was awarded the 1992 Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance with Vocal.
    More Details Hide Details The live album Live: Right Here, Right Now peaked at No. 5. Following Hagar's departure, the group briefly reunited with original singer David Lee Roth and released Best Of – Volume I, a greatest hits package, in October 1996. Two new songs were recorded for the album, "Me Wise Magic"—which reached No. 1 on the mainstream rock chart as a single—and "Can't Get This Stuff No More." However, previous disagreements resurfaced and the reunion did not last. Roth left in September 1996 after the MTV Video Music Awards. The band auditioned many prospective replacements for Hagar, finally settling on Gary Cherone, former frontman of Boston hard rock band Extreme. Cherone predicted that the new lineup would last "10 years;" however, the Van Halen III (1998) album was poorly received. The band completed a world tour with their new single Without You and returned to the studio to start on a second album. However, Cherone soon after departed amicably and, without a lead singer, Van Halen went on hiatus.
  • 1982
    Age 26
    Jimmy Page said at the time, "For my money, Van Halen was the first significant new kid on the block. Very dazzling." In 1982, Van Halen was invited by producer Quincy Jones to contribute the guitar solo for Michael Jackson's single "Beat It."
    More Details Hide Details Van Halen reportedly declined any payment for the recording, deeming a credit on the album sufficient. With the arrival of former Montrose singer Sammy Hagar in July 1985, the band's sound changed somewhat to adapt to the strengths of the new vocalist. Van Halen's keyboard playing became more prominent, as heard in songs such as "Dreams" and "Love Walks In." Hagar appeared on four studio albums with the band, 5150 (1986), OU812 (1988), For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge (1991), and Balance (1995), as well as one live album, Live: Right Here, Right Now (1993). During Hagar's time with the band, some fans informally referred to the band as "Van Hagar" to distinguish it from the David Lee Roth lineup. With Hagar, all four studio releases reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts.
    According to Gene Simmons' book Kiss and Make-Up, Van Halen approached Simmons in 1982 about possibly joining Kiss to replace Ace Frehley, chiefly because of his personality conflicts with Roth.
    More Details Hide Details Simmons and Alex persuaded Eddie to remain in Van Halen, while Kiss replaced Frehley with Vinnie Vincent. Shortly afterwards, Van Halen released the album 1984, from which the single "Jump," was their first number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100. Other singles released from the album performed well, particularly "Hot for Teacher," the video for which featured a skimpily dressed model playing the part of a female elementary school teacher and young actors portraying the band members as children. The album peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard charts, behind Michael Jackson's Thriller.
  • 1980
    Age 24
    It was 1980 when Van Halen met actress Valerie Bertinelli at a Van Halen concert in Shreveport, Louisiana. They married in California on April 11, 1981; and eventually had a son, Wolfgang (born March 16, 1991).
    More Details Hide Details It was during the early eighties, that the band began having increasing trouble working together as a cohesive unit.
  • 1977
    Age 21
    One rainy night in May 1977 at the Starwood, Van Halen was spotted by record producer Ted Templeman. Like Simmons, Templeman was impressed and quickly convinced Warner Bros. Records executive Mo Ostin to sign the band, and they accepted 24 hours later. Their self-titled debut album was recorded in mid-September to early October 1977, and was released on February 10, 1978.
    More Details Hide Details Van Halen released a total of six albums with vocalist David Lee Roth: Van Halen (1978), Van Halen II (1979), Women and Children First (1980), Fair Warning (1981), Diver Down (1982), and 1984 (1984).
  • 1976
    Age 20
    In 1976, band supporter Rodney Bingenheimer invited Kiss bassist Gene Simmons to check out a Van Halen show.
    More Details Hide Details Impressed, Simmons soon produced a Van Halen demo tape with recording beginning at the Village Recorder studios in Los Angeles and finishing with overdubs at the Electric Lady Studios in New York. Looking to strike a recording contract, Simmons shopped the demo tape around, but found no success. Even Kiss manager Bill Aucoin passed on it.
  • 1972
    Age 16
    In 1972, Van Halen formed another band, originally called "Genesis."
    More Details Hide Details The name was changed to "Mammoth" when Van Halen became aware of the English progressive rock band Genesis. Mammoth consisted of Van Halen on guitar and lead vocals, his brother Alex on drums and bassist Mark Stone. Mammoth had no P.A. system of their own, so they rented one from David Lee Roth, a service for which he charged by the night. Van Halen became frustrated with singing lead vocals, and decided they could save money by adding Roth to the band. Michael Anthony later replaced Mark Stone on bass. The group opted to change its name because Roth suggested that the last name of the two brothers "sounded cool." Roth also revealed in an interview that he thought that changing the name would give the group staying power—"Would people think it was a name? A place?" At one point, the group considered using the name "Rat Salad," after the Black Sabbath song of the same name, before settling on "Van Halen." The band originally began playing cover material, ranging from pop to disco, before settling on original material.
  • 1967
    Age 11
    The amplifier had a 12301 serial number, which dated it to the 1967–1968 transitional period at Marshall, when the circuit of the 100-watt Marshall 1959 changed gradually from the "Bass" circuit to the "SuperLead" circuit.
    More Details Hide Details Van Halen's main Marshall's original circuit had an 820 ohm/0.68 uf resistor/capacitor pair on the cathode of valve(tube) 1 and the same on the cathode of valve(tube) 2. One anecdote that should be interesting to longtime fans is the story of Van Halen’s aforementioned custom Marshall amp, rumored to have been rebuilt from scratch. As he explains it, after the band suffered through a disastrous radio interview where Eddie couldn’t think of anything to say, David Lee Roth advised him, “Here’s what you’re gonna do. You’re gonna lie. You’re gonna make up some s— so they don’t remember it.” So when he was asked about the amp during a later Guitar Player interview, he followed Roth’s advice. As it turns out, Van Halen picked up a secondhand amp without understanding the wiring — “I had my 100-volt Marshall. I bought one through the recycling or the newspaper that was from England, and it was set on 220 volts. I didn’t know.” He ended up buying what amounted to a “super duper light dimmer” — a Variac transformer — to get around the problem: On the dial you could crank it up to 140 volts or down to zero. So I figured, if it’s on 220 and it’s that quiet, if I take the voltage and lower it, I wonder how low I can go and it still work. Well, it enabled me to turn my amp all the way up, save the tubes, save the wear and tear on the tubes, and play at clubs at half the volume.
  • 1962
    Age 6
    In February 1962, the Van Halen family moved to the United States, settling in Pasadena, California.
    More Details Hide Details Both Eddie and his older brother, Alex, are naturalized U.S. citizens. The Van Halen brothers learned to play the piano as children starting at the age of six. They commuted from Pasadena to San Pedro to study with an elderly man, Stasys (Stanley) Kalvaitis who taught them classical piano. Although they hated the commute, they continued as their mother would discipline them if they refused to go. Van Halen revealed in an interview that he never could read the music. Instead, he learned from watching and listening. During recitals of Bach or Mozart, he would simply wing it. From 1964 through 1967, Edward won first place in the annual piano competition held at Long Beach City College. Afterward, the judges would comment that he had an interesting interpretation of the classical piece. Van Halen's view was, "What? I thought I was playing it correctly!" However, according to one interview, playing the piano did not prove to be challenging or interesting to him. Consequently, while Alex began playing the guitar, Eddie bought a drum kit and began practicing for hours every day.
  • 1955
    Born on January 26, 1955.
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