Eddie Van Halen Tribute Post

Just a quick post as a tribute to Eddie Van Halen – with Mean Street – one of my top Van Halen jams: 

The next video is not the one I was looking for – but it will work for now – and wanted to point out that trademark outfit of his – do you see the red and white design on his outfit and guitar – well in 9th grade I had a shirt with that same print – a dressy kind of t-shirt.

Not sure if this design was a spin off of the Diver Down album – but it was pretty cool.

I am spending the rest of the day remembering this legend – who made the world so much better with his sweet guitar playing. Truly one of the best guitarist ever.


My favorite Van Halen song might be “Mean Street” – but so many of their songs – not all – but about 20 of their songs have special memories for me.

Here are some Van Halen memories

  1. I know the church steps I sat on when I first heard Jamie’s Crying – wearing headphones – early 80s- It was middle school and never heard anything like it!
  2. Sometimes as a joke – during the 1990s – during sucky seasons – I would sing, “Won’t you tell me, where have all the good times gone….?”
  3. Early 90s, my niece and I used to run down the street (after I took her for a fast food treat) and we’d sing parts of Van Halen songs – i.e., we would stop at a crack on the sidewalk and say, “…then I got to the edge / there I stood and looked down / you know I lost a lot of friends there baby / got no time to mess around.”  – then we’d run and sing the next line – “yeah – you got to freeze for it baby…”
  4. Sometimes my husband and I will play a bunch of Van Halen songs and talk about them randomly – kind of like our own “Flashback Behind the Music” kind of thing.  We have a joke about how God will open his robe to Marshall stacked speakers when it is time for Van Halen (not sure where the joke came from)- we also have looked up lines we got wrong – like this one from Unchained: sang it as “Momma never missed me til I got a vett anna dress” – but it is really this “Thought you’d never miss me ’til I got a Fat City address”
  5. Liked most songs on Fair Warning – especially “Mean Street” “Unchained” and “push comes to shove” –
  6. Not sure why – but here is a Van Halen lyric that comes up at random times: “…kinda like the way the line goes up the back of those stockings … “🎶🎶
  7. In high school – I liked a lot of diverse music – and rock was a top fav – In freshman year – I had to put “something” up in my locker – so while all my girlfriends had Duran Duran and The Outsiders posters – I had Eddie Van Halen with his guitar (he kept winning guitarist of the year and so colored posters were easy to get – but I never overdid it). I also had a photo of Eddie with Valerie Bertinelli  (in a limo) and I had one of those “photo booth” photos of myself where I kind of looked like Valerie – I thought that was cool.  —  I never had a “fan crush” on Eddie though — just not my thing to do. And he also just seemed “old” – but still so cool!   And by the way – Eddie passing away at 65 years of age might seem old – but in some ways it is not. Yet compared to Janis Joplin and Jimmy Hendrix – who both died at the age of 27 (and in this same month of October) the age of 65 is a nice full amount of years for a successful musician. 
  8. There was a neighbor dude (J) from across the street – and one summer – early 80s – we sat outside a few nights talking (some readers might remember when my friend Darin died in 2016 –  – well the same steps I sat on with Darin -) and J and I smoked cigarettes, talked, and laughed, while the silver boom box played low – triple shot weekend – bands like Boston – Pink Floyd –  Def Leopard – and of course, Van Halen – and a top memory of those late night sits – was when we were singing “Ice Cream Man” (and seriously never thought about what the song meant via analogy).  
  9. When I was really little, I recall seeing a 45 record of a Van Halen song and David Lee Roth’s photo was on the sleeve and he was doing the  “Russian” jump (the complete open legs in the air) it was crazy – and the band was so unique. 
  10. I can still recall where I was sitting in our basement when we were all waiting for the 1984 album to come out at midnight  (I guess that was January 9th but I thought it was New Year’s Eve) anyhow – we counted down the hours and I got to stay up late with siblings – – we were initially disappointed with all the synthesizers – but then – so many songs jammed.  I never liked “Hot for Teacher” but the song came up last month when I had a student named “Waldo” – instead – I liked “Drop Dead Legs” and “Top Jimmy” a bit more.  
  11. The song “Panama” song was so overplayed it has been imprinted with many memories – for example – one memory brings me back to 1984-1985ish- sitting in this booth and Ron was getting ready to take a bite of a Mighty Taco burrito – but then he paused to sing that line, “Panama….!”- And years later — many of us would all remember the classic Panama line, “Reach down, in between my legs, and ease the seat back…”
  12. I have a crazy story about when I went to the 1984 Van Halen concert. This girl Angie and I were supposed to go together – then her parents told her she could not go. I took a bus alone and was a little late to the concert because of it. On my way into Memorial Auditorium (also called The Aud by folks from the Buffalo area) well on the way in to the concert  – I crossed paths with an older teen that was throwing up – (tsk tsk – that teen partying) – I helped her a little and she gave me her ticket stub. The concert was just getting going and she insisted I use it –  I was shocked it worked – that meant I could use my “scraped together” concert-ticket money for a concert shirt on the way out. The best part was because I came in so late – I was able to go down right onto the floor and I inched my way up to the front – I was about 12 feet away from the “1984” sign that illuminated the stage at the end. It sounds cheesy – but I think God gave me a “desire of my heart” with that entire experience – I know he kept me safe and I just felt really blessed and it meant so much to me at the time (and still does). 
  13. This guy Freddie (Kim P’s boyfriend) in High School – was a little snarky with me one day because I didn’t know “all” of the Van Halen songs – just most of the hits – and there were dozens! But I remember his snarky comment (critical spirit at such a young age? ahhh – such is life) 
  14. Sometime during the early to mid 80s, I was hanging out with my older sister and her friends and it took us all three hours to come back home from seeing fireworks for the 4th of July. I was squished In the back seat of this 1960s gas-guzzling, muscle car (now a collectable kinda car) The entire time, the radio played this live interview with members of Van Halen – the musicians talking about the songs and the producer (think it was Templeton) – it was quite the experience – it was my Van Halen Fourth of July.
  15. Some people think of me with Van Halen because of my locker that one year in High School – and they were sort of my favorite band for a while – but my truly favorite rock band came later – in 1987 – and it was Ratt. But Van Halen is on my top 20 list of bands from that era.
  16. A blog memory with Van Halen dates back to around 2014 when I made a video with some of my street shots – I met a nice fella who had an old blue Camaro (picture is below) and the music on the video I used was Van Halen’s “Mean Street” – which is a top Van Halen song for me (and um, the video I made – called a “Man and His Car”  – got deleted – sniff )
  17. I never liked any of Sammy Hagar’s Van Halen music (but did like Hagar’s “Can’t Drive 55” song)
  18. The album “Woman and Children First” – with the awesome “Cradle will Rock” song and other jams is another special album to me – and it brought that unique Eddie “shredding” our way – here is how someone else put it as they talked about “Eddie’s early, crunchy Marshall sound. Throughout his career, Eddie has been responsible for some of the most legendary guitar tones in rock (Spinditty, January 2020).
  19. Tonight I was leaving a store with my spouse when he told me Eddie had passed away. It is now one of those episodic memories that will stay with me and the jacket I bought will be my Eddie jacket. Then I found myself here-  in the ol’ blog community to share and connect.
  20. Special Thanks to John Shapiro for his Van Halen post earlier tonight – helped me with my own tribute to this very special guitar player. Goodbye Eddie and thanks for the music.

… what about you? Any Van Halen Memories come to mind? Did you have a favorite song from this band? And wasn’t it cool when he paired up with MJ on “Beat It”?

31 thoughts on “Eddie Van Halen Tribute Post

    1. Oh wow – that was such a cool comment – and I can imagine Marshall speakers on streets of gold or something like that – but no more cancer and lots of shredding – and I bet Randy Rhoads was on his “welcome team”

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  1. It’s always sad when one of our musical heroes passes. It happens fairly often for me now – as I get older, so do they!

    I’ve never really listened much to Van Halen but I guess I’ll give them more of a hearing now. The song you mention in your point 2 was actually a cover of a Kinks song, as was VH’s first single. I love the Kinks so I probably do need to fill in that gap in my musical knowledge. Take care, Yvette.

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    1. Hi Clive – in one of the interviews they talked about the kinks songs and other covers – I had no idea they covered a children’s song- live learning more about bands and as you know – have learned from your Tuesday posts recently – such a musical adventure those Tunes om Tuesday 🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶

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      1. Hi Yvette. The Kinks hated VH’s cover of You Really Got Me, and as a Kinks fan I can see why! I didn’t know they’d done a children’s song though – I’m assuming it wasn’t Hot For Teacher?

        Thanks for your kind words on my posts – I aim to entertain but if my trivia adds to readers’ knowledge that’s good too 😊

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        1. I really liked the “really got me” cover but I can also see why the kinks might not have liked it
          I don’t like “hot for teacher” but the drums in that song are memorable – and of course Eddie’s playing anytime

          A local DI in Richmond here was playing all of Van Halen 1 for the morning show! Right on!

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        2. I’m afraid I’m with the Kinks on this one, and on Where Have All The Good Times Gone too. But that’s probably because I grew up with the Kinks’ versions of them and had both in my collection.

          I really am going to have to look at Van Halen again. To me they were just another of those American rock bands which had a hit record and then didn’t get any more airplay here. But I think it will be a while before I add anyone to my list of great guitarists – which at present includes Messrs Clapton and Page, and possibly Knopfler 😉

          A nice tribute by the radio station though. I always like it when they do things like that.

          Liked by 1 person

        3. Hi Clive – you sure mentioned some amazing guitar players!
          And I guess someone called Van Halen “teeth metal” because they were smiling all the time – and if you are in the mood to check out a cool episode of a podcast – Bill Simmons had some interesting Van Halen stuff today on this episode:
          A 12th L.A. Lakers Title and Remembering Eddie Van Halen with Ryen Russillo and Chuck Klosterman
          As always – thanks for chatting and be over soon for some Tuesday Tunes 🎶🎶🎶🌏

          Liked by 1 person

        4. I should have added Richard Thompson to the list, too!

          Thanks for the link, I’ll try and listen – I’ve never really done podcasting!

          And thank you for the chat too. If you feel inclined the tunes are there. I’d guarantee you won’t know at least one of them, possibly more…

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  2. You did a great job chronicling your impressions and feelings from Eddie Van Helen’s music. I remember some of Van Halen’s songs when they topped the charts, but never had any of their albums, tapes, CDs, etc. In fact, I am not sure I’d heard of the group before Eddie married Valerie Bertinelli, as I’d been a fan of the “One Day At A Time” show – at the time I thought “I don’t see the connection here” but I don’t think I was the only one who didn’t “get it” but their son was cherished and raised jointly and unlike many kids from split families sure didn’t look like he lacked love from either of them after the split as they remained friends (responsible, unlike so many other entertainers). I felt badly when I read Wolf’s touching tribute to his Dad on Twitter. I came back to finish this as I started reading and listening to it the other day and didn’t finish.

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    1. Hi Linda, thanks so much for the comment – and I saw the son’s tweet and Valerie’s tweet. And you are right – that is nice that they Eddie and Valerie stayed friends and stayed cordial after the divorce. I was also pretty impressed to see the way that Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck have been friends (and in that case I think Jennifer Garner is not only one of the most talent actresses out there, but a good person with wisdom and care and concern – and so that has likely related to why they stay so amiable – not to say ben has not had to do his share with it all – but sometimes the ex-wives can be so terrible and I know with my spouse’s ex – we went through hell for years because “she” made it miserable”)

      oh and I was too young to really know about the “mixed match up” with good girl Valerie Bertinelli and party rocker Eddie – but I do recall being shocked when Whitney Houston married Bobby Brown – we were all like “Huh?”

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      1. Yvette – it was a big thing at the time that the two of them were dating, let alone marrying. Valerie’s co-star, Mackenzie Phillips, was having issues with drugs while on the show, so Valerie was considered the “good girl” not the “problem child” as to real life, not just the characters in the show. I also read an article from “Rolling Stone” about Eddie right after it was trending on Twitter that he had passed away. I learned a few things … also I didn’t know the source of the original cancer (he believes) was because he put his metal guitar pick in his mouth.
        https://www.rollingstone.com/music/musi … ad-200051/
        Yes, some divorces can be really toxic as to the ex … I have a friend who gets along fine with her ex, even though he dumped her for a dippy blonde and left her to raise four girls, just a year apart or so for each. She despises the new wife. I would too. Jennifer Garner always seemed level-headed to me too.


        1. Hi!
          Thanks for coming back amiga!
          I will check the link and in my opinion – Eddie’s cancer was likely from many things – sum of many parts – because cancer is always a breakdown of the immune system and the terrain
          Many Cancers have a huge fungal component – possibly a seriously “heavy metals” load in the body too (no pun intended) and when a human has too many Metals (cadmium, aluminum, mercury from flu shots and dental work, arsenic from water and who knows what other mix) and then a myriad of exposures – well this is a recipe for cancer cells to grow – the immune system cannot fight then off.
          Everyone wants to blame the smoking – but it also is related to his years of drug use and then even the way he handles stress and how well
          He sleeps
          Also the gut – as our second brain if he ate dead food and had no enzymes (the sparks of life) well his body terrain was vulnerable –

          And thanks for sharing more about the One Day at A Time show / I just remember the story about the mom sewing a dime in the bra in case they needed to make a phone call

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        2. No problem Yvette. There is a guy who walks at Council Point Park on the weekends. I only see him in the Winter months when I leave later in the morning after the sun has melted some of the ice and I deem it safe to walk. So, he’s maybe in his 40s … polite but a little odd. He picks up the peanuts I put on the ground for the squirrels and eats them … I said “hold out your hand, I’ll give you some that haven’t been on the ground.” Anyway, I chit chat with him in the colder months – don’t see him the rest of the time as I’m there earlier. He had all his fillings removed last year because they were metal and he worried about the metal causing problem. He said he had lots of fillings – cost him lots of $$. After that, he saw a story on TV that said it was best to not have porcelain fillings but metal!!!
          He asked me if he should have the procedure reversed.
          I said “no”


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