Eddie Van Halen

Last updated

Eddie Van Halen
Eddie Van Halen (Cropped).jpg
Van Halen in 2015
Born
Edward Lodewijk van Halen

(1955-01-26) January 26, 1955 (age 64)
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Nationality
Occupation
  • Musician
  • songwriter
  • producer
  • arranger
  • guitarist
Years active1964–present
Spouse(s)
Children Wolfgang Van Halen
Parent(s)
Relatives Alex Van Halen (brother)
Musical career
Origin Pasadena, California, U.S.
Genres
Instruments Guitar
Labels
Associated acts
Website vhnd.com

Edward Lodewijk Van Halen (born January 26, 1955) is a Dutch-American musician, songwriter, and producer. He is the main songwriter and founder—with brother and drummer Alex Van Halen, bassist Mark Stone, and singer David Lee Roth—of the American hard rock band Van Halen. In 2012, he was voted number one in a Guitar World magazine reader's poll for "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time". [1]

Dutch Americans, not to be confused with the Pennsylvania Dutch, are Americans of Dutch descent whose ancestors came from the Netherlands in the recent or distant past. Whether it is intentional, they usually maintain connections with their Dutch heritage, by having, for example, a Dutch surname or belonging to a Dutch community group. Dutch settlement in the Americas started in 1613 with New Amsterdam, which was exchanged with the British for the current Suriname at the Treaty of Breda (1667) and renamed New York City. The British split the Dutch colony of New Netherland into two pieces, and named them New York and New Jersey. Further waves of immigration occurred in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Alex Van Halen Dutch-American musician

Alexander Arthur van Halen is a Dutch-American musician who is the drummer and co-founder of the hard rock band Van Halen. The band was formed in 1974 by Alex Van Halen; his younger brother, Eddie Van Halen; David Lee Roth; and Michael Anthony. Warner Brothers signed the band in 1977, and its debut album was released in 1978. Alex and Eddie Van Halen are the only members of Van Halen who have been in the band throughout its existence.

David Lee Roth American singer

David Lee Roth is an American rock vocalist, musician, songwriter, actor, author, and former radio personality best known as the lead singer of hard rock band Van Halen across two stints from 1974 to 1985 and again from 2006 onwards. He is also known as a successful solo artist, releasing numerous RIAA-certified Gold and Platinum albums. After more than two decades apart, Roth re-joined Van Halen in 2006 for a North American tour that became the highest grossing in the band's history and one of the highest grossing of that year. In 2012, Roth and Van Halen released the comeback album A Different Kind of Truth. In 2007, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Van Halen. Roth possesses a vocal range of five octaves and three notes.

Contents

Early life

Born in Amsterdam, [2] Netherlands, Edward Lodewijk van Halen is the son of Jan van Halen and Eugenia van Halen (née van Beers). Jan van Halen was a Dutch clarinetist, saxophonist, and pianist, and Eugenia van Halen was an Indo (Eurasian) from Rangkasbitung on the island of Java in Indonesia. [3] [4]

Amsterdam Capital city of the Netherlands

Amsterdam is the capital and most populous city of the Netherlands, with a population of 866,737 within the city proper, 1,380,872 in the urban area, and 2,410,960 in the metropolitan area. Amsterdam is in the province of North Holland.

Dutch people or the Dutch are a Germanic ethnic group and nation native to the Netherlands. They share a common culture and speak the Dutch language. Dutch people and their descendants are found in migrant communities worldwide, notably in Aruba, Suriname, Guyana, Curaçao, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, and the United States. The Low Countries were situated around the border of France and the Holy Roman Empire, forming a part of their respective peripheries, and the various territories of which they consisted had become virtually autonomous by the 13th century. Under the Habsburgs, the Netherlands were organised into a single administrative unit, and in the 16th and 17th centuries the Northern Netherlands gained independence from Spain as the Dutch Republic. The high degree of urbanization characteristic of Dutch society was attained at a relatively early date. During the Republic the first series of large-scale Dutch migrations outside of Europe took place.

The Indo people or Indos are Eurasian people living in or connected with Indonesia. In its narrowest sense, the term refers to people in the former Dutch East Indies who held European legal status but who were of mixed descent, that are descendants of various indigenous peoples of Indonesia and Dutch settlers. In the broadest sense, an Indo is anyone of mixed European and Indonesian descent. Indos are associated with colonial culture of the former Dutch East Indies, a Dutch colony in Southeast Asia and a predecessor to modern Indonesia after its proclamation of independence shortly after World War II. The term was used to describe people acknowledged to be of mixed Dutch and Indonesian descent, or it was a term used in the Dutch East Indies to apply to Europeans who had partial Asian ancestry. The European ancestry of these people was predominantly Dutch, but also included Portuguese, British, French, Belgian, German, and others.

In February 1962, the Van Halen family moved from the Netherlands to the United States, settling in Pasadena, California. [4] Both Eddie and his older brother, Alex van Halen, are naturalized U.S. citizens. [5] The brothers learned to play the piano as children starting at the age of six. [6] [7] They commuted from Pasadena to San Pedro to study with an elderly piano teacher, Stasys "Stanley" Kalvaitis. [8]

Netherlands Constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Europe

The Netherlands is a country located in Northwestern Europe with some overseas territories. In Europe, it consists of 12 provinces that border Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, and the North Sea to the northwest, with maritime borders in the North Sea with those countries and the United Kingdom. Together with three island territories in the Caribbean Sea—Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba—it forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The official language is Dutch, but a secondary official language in the province of Friesland is West Frisian.

Pasadena, California City in California, United States

Pasadena is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States, located 11 miles (18 km) northeast of Downtown Los Angeles.

Naturalization process by which a non-citizen in a country may acquire citizenship or nationality of that country

Naturalization is the legal act or process by which a non-citizen in a country may acquire citizenship or nationality of that country. It may be done automatically by a statute, i.e., without any effort on the part of the individual, or it may involve an application or a motion and approval by legal authorities. The rules of naturalization vary from country to country but typically include a promise to obeying and upholding that country's laws, taking and subscribing to the oath of allegiance, and may specify other requirements such as a minimum legal residency and adequate knowledge of the national dominant language or culture. To counter multiple citizenship, most countries require that applicants for naturalization renounce any other citizenship that they currently hold, but whether this renunciation actually causes loss of original citizenship, as seen by the host country and by the original country, will depend on the laws of the countries involved.

Van Halen revealed in an interview that he has never been able to read music. Instead, he learned from watching and listening. During recitals of Bach or Mozart, he would improvise. From 1964 through 1967, he won first place in the annual piano competition held at Long Beach City College. [8] 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. [9] Consequently, while Alex began playing the guitar, Eddie bought a drum kit and began practicing for hours every day.[ citation needed ]

Johann Sebastian Bach German composer

Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. He is known for instrumental compositions such as the Art of Fugue, the Brandenburg Concertos, and the Goldberg Variations, and for vocal music such as the St Matthew Passion and the Mass in B minor. Since the 19th-century Bach Revival he has been generally regarded as one of the greatest composers of the Western art musical canon.

Long Beach City College building in California, United States

Long Beach City College (LBCC) is a public community college in Long Beach, California. It was established in 1927 and is divided into two campuses. The Liberal Arts Campus is in Lakewood Village and the Pacific Coast Campus is in central Long Beach on Pacific Coast Highway. It is the only college in the Long Beach Community College District.

After Eddie heard Alex's performance of The Surfaris' drum solo in the song Wipe Out , he decided to switch instruments and began learning how to play the electric guitar. According to Eddie, as a teen, he would often practice while walking around at home with his guitar strapped on or sitting in his room for hours with the door locked. [10] [11]

The Surfaris were an American surf rock band formed in Glendora, California in 1962. They are best known for two songs that hit the charts in the Los Angeles area, and nationally by May 1963: "Surfer Joe" and "Wipe Out", which were the A-side and B-side of the same 45 rpm single.

A drum solo is an instrumental solo played on a drum kit. A drum solo may be set or improvised, and of any length, up to being the main performance. In rock, drum solos are unique in that traditionally they are minimally or never accompanied, whereas other instruments may play solos accompanied or unaccompanied. They are also typically free-form in that they do not necessarily adhere to the tempo, style or structure of the song they accompany.

Eddie and Alex formed their first band with three other boys, calling themselves The Broken Combs, performing at lunchtime at Hamilton Elementary School in Pasadena, where Eddie was in the fourth grade. Eddie would later say that this was when he first felt the desire to become a professional musician. [12]

Eddie has described supergroup Cream's "I'm So Glad" on Goodbye Cream to be "mind-blowing". [13] He once claimed that he had learned almost all of Eric Clapton's solos in the band Cream "...note for note." "I've always said Eric Clapton was my main influence," Van Halen said, "but Jimmy Page was actually more the way I am, in a reckless-abandon kind of way." [14]

Van Halen

Eddie Van Halen and Alex Van Halen formed a band in 1972. [15] In 1974, the band changed its name to Van Halen. [16] Van Halen became a staple of the Los Angeles music scene during the mid-1970s, playing at well-known clubs like the Whisky a Go Go. [17] In 1977, Warner Bros. Records offered Van Halen a recording contract. [18]

Upon its release, Van Halen reached No. 19 on the Billboard pop music charts, becoming one of rock's most commercially successful debuts. [19] It was highly regarded as both a heavy metal and hard rock album. [20] By the early 1980s, Van Halen was one of the most successful rock acts of the time. [21] The album 1984 went five-times platinum after a year of release. [22] The lead single "Jump" became the band's first and only No. 1 pop hit and garnered them a Grammy nomination. [23]

The band won the 1992 Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance with Vocal for the album For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge . [24] As of March 2019, Van Halen is 20th on the RIAA list of best-selling artists in the United States; the band has sold 56 million albums in the States [25] [26] and more than 80 million worldwide. [27] [28] Additionally, Van Halen has charted 13 number-one hits in the history of Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart. VH1 ranked the band seventh on a list of the top 100 hard rock artists of all time. [29] In January 2007, Van Halen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. [30] Eddie Van Halen has received acclaim for his guitar work in the band. [31] [32]

Other work

Eddie Van Halen has been involved in several projects outside of his eponymous band.

In 1982, he played the iconic guitar solo in Michael Jackson's hit single, Beat It.[ citation needed ]

In 1994, he co-wrote the riff of a song with Black Sabbath members, Tony Martin, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler, called "Evil Eye" on the Cross Purposes album, but he was not credited due to record company restrictions. [33]

In 2006, he recorded two new instrumental tracks ("Rise" and "Catherine") which debuted in a pornographic feature entitled Sacred Sin. The feature was directed by well-known adult film director Michael Ninn, a friend of Eddie's. [34] [35]

In 2009, he had a cameo role in the season seven premiere of the sitcom Two and a Half Men , in which he played the main riff from "As Is" from A Different Kind of Truth. [36]

Style and influence

Van Halen's approach to the guitar involves several distinctive components. His use of two-handed tapping and natural and artificial harmonics, combined with his rhythmic sensibility and melodic approach, have influenced an entire generation of guitarists. Van Halen, like many rock guitarists, has never fully learned to read music. [37]

Tapping

Eddie Van Halen using the tapping technique. Eddie Van Halen at the New Haven Coliseum 2.jpg
Eddie Van Halen using the tapping technique.

The 1978 instrumental "Eruption" by Van Halen, which was voted No. 2 in Guitar World's readers poll of the "100 Greatest Guitar Solos", [38] [39] showcased a solo technique called tapping, using both left and right hands on the guitar neck. Although Van Halen popularized tapping, he did not invent the tapping technique, which had been used infrequently by various guitarists. Steve Hackett, lead guitarist with Genesis in the 1970s, is said by MusicRadar to be "widely credited with inventing two-handed tapping" and was an influence on Van Halen. [40] When asked about this, Hackett said, "Eddie and I have never spoken about it, but yes, he has credited me with tapping... Eddie is a fine player, of course, and he's the one who named the technique." [41]

George Lynch also said in an interview that he and Van Halen saw Harvey Mandel tap at the Starwood in the 1970s. [42] Van Halen also named Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin as an influence, saying in one interview with Guitar World:

I think I got the idea of tapping watching Jimmy Page do his "Heartbreaker" solo back in 1971. He was doing a pull-off to an open string, and I thought wait a minute, open string ... pull off. I can do that, but what if I use my finger as the nut and move it around? I just kind of took it and ran with it. [43]

Van Halen holds a patent for a flip-out support device that attaches to the rear of the electric guitar. [44] This device enables the user to play the guitar in a manner similar to the piano by orienting the face of the guitar upward instead of forward. [45] [46] [47]

Pickup selection

Van Halen has used a variety of pickups including Gibson PAFs, 1970s Mighty Mites, DiMarzios and Ibanez Super 70s. He was using Mighty Mite pickups in 1977 club photos, just prior to the recording of the first Van Halen album. Mighty Mite pickups were OEM pickups made by Seymour Duncan [48] and were copies of DiMarzio Super Distortion pickups. Seymour Duncan apparently rewound a Gibson PAF for Van Halen around early 1978. [49]

In an interview in Guitar World magazine in July 1985, Van Halen states that his "brown sound" is "...basically a tone, a feeling that I'm always working at ... It comes from the person. If the person doesn't even know what that type of tone I'm talking about is, they can't really work towards it, can they?" In an interview with Billboard magazine in June 2015, he states that with the expression "brown sound" he actually tried to describe the sound of his brother Alex Van Halen's snare drum, which he thought "...sounds like he’s beating on a log. It’s very organic. So it wasn’t my brown sound. It was Alex's." [50]

Patents

Van Halen is the inventor on US 4656917  . [51] He is the lead inventor of US 7183475  . [52] Another patent naming Van Halen as inventor is D388117. [53] [ better source needed ]

Personal life

Eddie Van Halen and Valerie Bertinelli at the 1993 Emmy Awards. EddieVanHalenatEmmys.jpg
Eddie Van Halen and Valerie Bertinelli at the 1993 Emmy Awards.

On August 29, 1980, Eddie met actress Valerie Bertinelli at a Van Halen concert in Shreveport, Louisiana. [54] They married in California on April 11, 1981 [55] and have one son, Wolfgang. [56]

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. [57] Van Halen began receiving treatment for tongue cancer in 2000. The subsequent surgery removed roughly a third of his tongue. He was declared cancer-free in 2002. [58]

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. The guitar was put in Darrell's Kiss Kasket and he was buried with it. [59]

On December 5, 2005, Van Halen's wife, Valerie Bertinelli, filed for divorce in Los Angeles after four years of separation. [60] The divorce was finalized in December 2007. [61]

Van Halen has struggled with alcoholism and drug abuse. He has stated that he began smoking and drinking at age 12, and that he eventually needed alcohol to function. [62] Van Halen entered rehabilitation in 2007. [63] In a 2015 interview, Van Halen stated that he had been sober since 2008. [62]

On October 6, 2008, Van Halen proposed to his girlfriend, Janie Liszewski, an actress and stunt-woman who became Van Halen's publicist in 2007. The two married on June 27, 2009, at his Studio City estate, with his son Wolfgang and Bertinelli in attendance. [64] Eddie's brother Alex officiated the ceremony, while his son served as best man. [65]

In August 2012, Van Halen underwent an emergency surgery for a severe bout of diverticulitis. [66]

Related Research Articles

Van Halen American hard rock/heavy metal band

Van Halen is an American hard rock band formed in Pasadena, California in 1972. Credited with "restoring hard rock to the forefront of the music scene", Van Halen is known for its energetic live shows and for the work of its acclaimed lead guitarist, Eddie Van Halen. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.

<i>Van Halen</i> (album) 1978 studio album by Van Halen

Van Halen is the self-titled debut studio album by American hard rock band Van Halen. Released on February 10, 1978, the album peaked at #19 on the Billboard 200. The album became widely recognized as the band's popularity grew, selling more than 10 million copies in the United States by August 7, 1996 and being certified Diamond.

<i>Van Halen II</i> 1979 studio album by Van Halen

Van Halen II is the second studio album by American hard rock band Van Halen, released on March 23, 1979. It peaked at number 6 on the Billboard 200 and spawned the singles "Dance the Night Away" and "Beautiful Girls." As of 2004, it has sold almost six million copies in the United States. Critical reaction to the album has been positive as well, with The Rolling Stone Album Guide praising the feel-good, party atmosphere of the songs.

Tapping

Tapping is a guitar playing technique where a string is fretted and set into vibration as part of a single motion of being tapped onto the fretboard, with either hand, as opposed to the standard technique of fretting with one hand and picking with the other.

<i>5150</i> (album) 1986 studio album by Van Halen

5150 is the seventh studio album by American hard rock band Van Halen, released on March 24, 1986 by Warner Bros. Records. It was the first of four albums to be recorded with new lead singer Sammy Hagar, who replaced David Lee Roth.

Sammy Hagar American musician

Samuel Roy Hagar, also known as The Red Rocker, is an American rock vocalist, guitarist, songwriter, musician and entrepreneur. Hagar came to prominence in the 1970s with the hard rock band Montrose. He then launched a successful solo career, scoring an enduring hit in 1984 with "I Can't Drive 55". He enjoyed commercial success when he replaced David Lee Roth as the lead singer of Van Halen in 1985, but left in 1996. He returned to the band for a two-year reunion from 2003 to 2005. On March 12, 2007, Hagar was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Van Halen. His musical style primarily consists of hard rock and heavy metal.

<i>OU812</i> 1988 studio album by Van Halen

OU812 is the eighth studio album by American hard rock band Van Halen, released in 1988, and the second to feature vocalist Sammy Hagar. Van Halen started work on the album in September 1987 and completed it in April 1988, just one month before its release.

<i>For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge</i> 1991 studio album by Van Halen

For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge is the ninth studio album by American hard rock band Van Halen, released in 1991 on Warner Bros. Records. It debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart and maintained the position for three weeks.

<i>Balance</i> (Van Halen album) 1995 studio album by Van Halen

Balance is the tenth studio album by American hard rock band Van Halen, released on January 24, 1995 by Warner Bros. Records. The album is the last of the band's four studio releases to feature Sammy Hagar as the lead singer. Balance reached number 1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 in February 1995 and reached Triple Platinum status on May 12, 2004 by selling more than three million copies in the U.S. "The Seventh Seal" was nominated for a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance.

<i>1984</i> (Van Halen album) 1984 studio album by Van Halen

1984 is the sixth studio album by American hard rock band Van Halen, released on January 9, 1984. It was the last Van Halen album until A Different Kind of Truth (2012) to feature lead singer David Lee Roth, who left in 1985 following creative differences. As of 2019, this would be the final full-length album to feature all four original members. 1984 and Van Halen's debut are Van Halen's bestselling albums, each having sold more than 10 million copies.

"Eruption" is an instrumental rock guitar solo performed by Eddie Van Halen. It is widely considered one of the greatest guitar solos of all time, having popularized tapping. It segues into "You Really Got Me" on the album Van Halen, and the two songs are usually played together by radio stations. The song was also released as the b-side to the "Runnin' with the Devil" single.

Jump (Van Halen song) 1983 single by Van Halen

"Jump" is a song by American hard rock band Van Halen. It was released in December 1983 as the lead single from their album 1984. It is Van Halen's most successful single to date, reaching number 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The song differs from earlier Van Halen songs in that it is driven by a keyboard line although the song does contain a guitar solo, which was spliced together from multiple takes. David Lee Roth dedicated the song to martial artist Benny Urquidez, of whom he was a student.

Frankenstrat electric guitar created by Eddie Van Halen

The Frankenstrat, also known as the "Frankenstein", is a guitar created by Eddie Van Halen. Its name is a portmanteau of Frankenstein, the fictional doctor who combined body parts to create a monster, and the Fender Stratocaster, an electric guitar made by Fender. A copy of the Frankenstrat is housed in the National Museum of American History, part of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

Wolfgang Van Halen American bass guitarist

Wolfgang William Van Halen is an American musician who is currently the bassist for Van Halen, having replaced Michael Anthony in 2006. He is also the former bassist for the heavy metal band Tremonti. At 28 years old, he is the youngest member of Van Halen.

Poundcake (song) 1991 single by Van Halen

"Poundcake" is a Van Halen song and the opening track on their 1991 album For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge. "Poundcake" was the first song to be released as a single from the album making #1 on U.S. Billboard Album Rock Tracks chart and #74 in the UK Singles Chart.

The 5150 Tour was a concert tour by hard rock band Van Halen.

<i>A Different Kind of Truth</i> 2012 album by Van Halen

A Different Kind of Truth is the 12th studio album by American hard rock band Van Halen. Released on February 7, 2012, by Interscope Records, the record is Van Halen's first full-length album of studio material with former lead singer David Lee Roth since 1984. Likewise, it is Van Halen's first studio album since 1998's Van Halen III. It is the first to feature Eddie Van Halen's son Wolfgang on bass guitar, replacing Michael Anthony, who had played bass on all of Van Halen's previous albums.

Shes the Woman single by Van Halen

"She's the Woman" is the second song and single from the album, A Different Kind of Truth, from American hard rock band Van Halen. The single was released online and to radio stations February 28, 2012.

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