Best known as the lead guitarist and co-founder of the hard rock band Van Halen, Guitarist, keyboardist, songwriter and producer, Eddie Van Halen was born 26th January, in 1955. He is commonly known for his innovative performing and recording styles in blues-based rock, tapping, intense solos and high frequency feedback; he is also known for energetic and acrobatic stage performances. he has been described as “Second to only Jimi Hendrix…undoubtedly one of the most influential, original, and talented rock guitarists of the 20th century.”. He is ranked 8th in Rolling Stone’s 2011 list of the Top 100 guitarists and has also been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Van Halen learned to play the piano as a child. His older brother Alex also played the piano. However, playing the piano did not prove to be challenging or interesting enough. Consequently, while Alex began playing the guitar, Eddie bought a drum kit and began practicing, and would practice for hours day after day. HoweverAfter Eddie heard Alex’s performance of the The Surfaris’ drum solo in the song “Wipe Out”, he decided to switch and begin learning how to play the electric guitar instead. He was influenced by supergroup Cream, holding their improvisation in high regard, considering ‘I’m so Glad’ on ‘Goodbye Cream’ to be mind-blowing. He also claimed that he had learned almost all of Eric Clapton’s solos in the band Cream “note for note”. Eddie has stated: “I’ve always said Eric Clapton was my main influence.
Van Halen, were originally called “Genesis” but they subsequently changed their name to “Mammoth” when they discovered there was already a band with the name “Genesis”. The band consisted of Eddie Van Halen on guitar and vocals, his brother, Alex on drums, and bassist Mark Stone. They had no P.A. system of their own, so they rented one from David Lee Roth. Eddie decided to let Roth join the band. Michael Anthony replaced Mark Stone on bass. They changed the name of the band because David Lee Roth suggested that the last name of the two brothers “sounded cool.” The band originally began playing cover material, ranging from pop to disco, before settling on original material .
Van Halen released a total of six albums with David Lee Roth on Vocals, However the band had trouble working together as a cohesive unit and in 1982 Eddie Van Halen approached Simmons about possibly joining Kiss and replacing Ace Frehley. However Simmons & Alex persuaded Eddie to remain with Van Halen, and shortly afterwards the band released the album 1984; which yielded the band’s first Number 1 hit, “Jump“. Other singles released from the album also sold well, particularly “Hot for Teacher”. The album peaked at Number 2 on the Billboard charts.
Roth left the band and was replaced by former Montrose singer Sammy Hagar in July 1985, the band’s sound changed somewhat to adapt to the strengths of the new vocalist, as Eddie’s keyboard playing became a permanent fixture, heard in songs such as “Dreams” “Why Can’t this be Love“and “Love Walks In”. Even on the more rocking, guitar-driven songs, Eddie’s performances became looser, less aggressive, and some said more thoughtful, while others said more commercial. However, tensions within the band again arose over identity and artist direction, and Hagar, like Roth earlier, departed in June 1996. Hagar left behind him a portfolio of 4 studio albums with the band (5150, OU812, For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge, and Balance) as well as one live album (Live: Right Here, Right Now).
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, with the single “Me Wise Magic” reaching #1 on the mainstream rock chart (“Can’t Get This Stuff No More” was the other new single). However, previous disagreements resurfaced and the reunion did not last, as 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 front man for Extreme, a band also represented by Van Halen’s manager. Cherone predicted that the new line-up would last ‘ten years’. The band also completed a world tour touting their new single “Without You” and did go back in the studio to start on a second record. However, Cherone left and without a lead singer, Van Halen went on hiatus. In 2004, Van Halen returned with Hagar as their lead singer. A greatest hits package, The Best of Both Worlds, was released to coincide with the band’s reunion tour. The album included three new tracks recorded with Hagar (“Up For Breakfast”, “It’s About Time”, & “Learning to See”).
A proposed 2007 summer tour with David Lee Roth was indefinitely postponed as was apreviously planned compilation of Roth era Van Halen hits. However, after six months and a stint in rehabilitation for Eddie, it was finally confirmed that the band would do a tour with the new lineup from late 2007-mid 2008 across North America, with further worldwide touring. Van Halen’s Latest album “Different kind of Truth” was released February 2012, containing the tracks Tattoo She’s The Woman, You and Your Blues, China Town, Blood and Fire, Bullethead, As Is, Honeybabysweetiedoll, The Trouble With Never, Outta Space, Stay Frosty, Big River and Beats Workin’.