Monthly Archives: February 2014

Van Halen Indelibly Changes Guitar

eddie van halen black and white stripes

February 10, 1978 self titled Van Halen debut was released.

It’s been about 36 years since flipping through an issue of Hit Parader magazine at Bridlewood Mall.. whatever the article or pics revealed I headed to the record store directly opposite W.H. Smith and eye balled Van Halen on a new release display.

Van Halen arguably wrote some of the best post-Zeppelin rock music during its Roth years 1978 – 1984, a perfect marriage of major-key pop harmonies, slammed into hard rock and DLR swagger.

36 years later Van Halen care of David Lee Roth keeps fresh.

Unique to every Van Halen release after Eruption on VH1 was the anticipation of what guitar miracle Eddie would breathe onto a next album.

Think Spanish Fly, the blistering spray of mania before Fools, the mesmerizing slap-tap intro to Mean Street, the ethereal Cathedral, the cheat flamenco intro to Little Guitars, the insane launch into Hot For Teacher.

Each successive Van Halen album had charted higher than its predecessor – and by 1983, Van Halen was arguably the most popular rock band in the world; however, during 1984 – with Van Halen’s album, 1984 – the band achieved the pinnacle of its commercial and critical success.

Tapping, hammer ons, squeals and dive bombs may be Eddie’s signature.

But the true essence in Eddie’s playing is swinging groove, wild and wide liquid finger vibrato, intuitively cool note choices and phrasing, massive unmistakably electrifying guitar sound.


Eddie McHalen ed van halen black white
You wanna play like me?


Shredders may arpeggiate all over the neck, who gives when note choices and phrasing take back seat to a great musical hook?

Chances are Ed doesn’t even know what an arpeggio is.

Instead, EVH takes a handful of well-crafted notes, drops them into a pocket, makes them indelible moments.

Then he shreds.

There’s an X-factor to EVH’s guitar playing not often or easily duplicated by anyone else.



Though it didn’t appear on record until Van Halen II, “Somebody Get Me A Doctor” dates back to the band’s club days and it appears on the demos (with the intro chords reversed) that they recorded in 1976 and 1977. In addition to a riff that’s as funky as anything in the EVH catalog, and offers of a solo that is positively blazing. Just how blazing? At its conclusion you can actually hear him get around of applause from the band.

Read more:


Somebody Get Me a Doctor – West Shore Live Jam 


eddie van halen pictures early days
Eddie & Dave fine dining .. the early days.

Photo credits to VHND


Earliest Known Van Halen Interview (1977)!


How To Play Van Halen ERUPTION

I’ve heard dozens of versions of Eruption few of which are remotely accurate.

This lesson by Pete Thorn is the real deal ..





March 23rd, 1979 Van Halen releases VAN HALEN II

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March 26, 1980 Van Halen releases Women and Children First

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US Festival

“This is the biggest backyard party in Van Halen’s history!” —DLR  (5/29/83)

Watch Van Halen’s entire performance at the 1983 US Festival below:


South Park Celebrates Van Halen



Van Halen Performs “Panama” on Jimmy Kimmel Live March 31, 2015 on Hollywood Blvd.