Updated: Dec 12, 2020
I love music; in many ways, music gives me life. I don't listen to music when I write or study because it envelopes every part of my soul when I listen. I have many favorite bands, but my favorite band of all time was, is, and always will be, Van Halen. I still have my VH necklace and the many tour books and t-shirts from the dozens of concerts I attended throughout the years.
I first heard Van Halen at the age of eleven, and my life would never be the same. David Lee Roth's vocals, Michael Anthony's thumping bass, the thunder of Alex Van Halen's drums, and the magic of Edward Van Halen's fingers on a fretboard. I've not had many heroes in my life, but Edward Van Halen was one of my heroes; he played a significant, if not direct, part in my life.
Someone I loved like a sister, who was my sister in most ways, shared my love of Van Halen. Van Halen impacted our entire lives, the way we dressed, our hair, and of course, our massive crushes. Every spare penny went to buy a magazine with their faces on the front; it was a glorious addictive obsession. Our bedroom walls were covered with pictures and posters of Van Halen.
The schoolgirl crushes fade, but when Edward Van Halen played that guitar, he encompassed my world. I'm crying like I've lost a family member because a part of my childhood and youth has died.
He wasn't just a good guitar player; he was a guitar-god who redefined the instrument. A lot of people tried to play like him, and there are a helluva lot of great guitar players out there, but none are Eddie Van Halen.
I saw Van Halen more times than I can count, and I saw them in their heyday. I remember the way I felt when Eddie Van Halen exploded onto the stage playing his classic Fender Strat, which would come to be called Frankenstrat. From the moment they came onto the scene, rock music was changed forever.
It's crazy to say that my life changed after hearing a new band, but it did change. I didn't just hear music any longer; I listened to it, and let it become a part of my soul. For me, music is life, and I must have it in my life every single day. It soothes me, it breaks my heart, it uplifts me, and right now, the sadness is overwhelming.
Thank you, Edward Van Halen, for the amazingly wonderful memories and the talent you so graciously shared with the world.