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Rest in peace, Eddie

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Oh, Eddie.  

I've been doing a lot of listening since he died the other day and while I always worshipped the dude - and that never, ever waned - after barraging myself with examples of his playing both familiar (like his solos on Beat It and Jump and that heavy intro to Pretty Woman [Intruder] and..oh there is so much) and new (like that tune he did on SNL, the Hollywood Bowl solo, and several other gems that kept coming up in the feed of every social media platform in existence) and listening really, really hard has elevated my respect for his playing above and beyond even the upper reaches of respect that I had for him before.

The dude was such a guitar monster, with a bag full of skills, licks, tricks, and devastating lines that was the size of a planet...it's all really rather incomprehensible and I'm so, so glad I got to share argons with him on at least three occasions.  What a privilege.

And though we can safely assume that his best musical days were either behind him or would soon be so, Eddie deserved to enjoy many years of laurel-resting, and it's a damn shame that he was robbed of that.  But what a blessing that the world will forever have the echo of Eddie's astounding gift to the world of rock music and guitar on-the-whole ringing in it's ears.  His memory will always be revered and his influence will always be pervasive.

Thank-you so, so much Eddie van Halen, and goodbye.  

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As a kid, I had a Starways flyer route, delivering junk mail around the neighbourhood and I would take my meager earnings with me to Driftwood Music on Queen St. downtown Toronto, between Much Music and University Ave.  Driftwood had a great selection of used tapes, all for $4-$6 dollars a piece. I didn't have any older brothers so I discovered classic rock primarily by taking leap of faith on purchases of tapes falling hard for Almans Brothers, Black Sabbath, Cream, Pink Floyd, The Doors, AC/DC Blind Faith, Led Zeppelin etc.. 

I remember grabbing Van Halen 1, 2 & Diver Down... but really getting drawn in by their debut... so many great songs.

I remember getting into them again when Right Now came out, it was an entirely sound, but still great band. I caught them at The Molson Amp, Our Lady Peace, I think, opened.

This is my favourite track:

 

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BTW, Todd, i also enjoyed reading your post.

 

Once thing I was surprised about Eddie's passing was the praise from Ozzy Osborne.  Ozzie chose Randy Rhoads to join his band to emulate Eddie's playing and 2 hand tapping style.   His guitar playing was responsible for reinventing Ozzy with hits like Crazy Train & Mr Crowley.  Randy was planning on leaving the band to pursue other avenues and was asked to stay on for another tour.   And on that tour Randy died in a plane crash.  To me it seemed to be insensitive to Randy to dismiss Randy as a copy-cat.

 

“That thing with finger-tapping in the 80s, with the hair bands, everybody was doing that finger tapping. Once you’ve seen the master do it, everyone else comes second. Anybody after Eddie Van Halen was in second, as far as I’m concerned.”

 

https://www.nme.com/en_asia/news/music/ozzy-osbourne-pays-tribute-to-eddie-van-halen-2775671

 

Eddie Van Halen said in an interview in 1982  that 'Randy Rhoads Learned It All From Me' - this suggest to me there was rivalry between the guitarists. 

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