Why Steve Perry Turned Down Eddie Van Halen’s Jam-Session Invite

Steve Perry has revealed that Eddie Van Halen invited him to a jam session in 1985, but he ultimately turned down the guitarist because he feared what it might lead to.

The singer said the informal offer was made after David Lee Roth‘s departure from Van Halen and during a time when Perry was considering leaving Journey. “I was living in the Bay Area and not sure what I was or wasn’t going to do anymore,” Perry told Rolling Stone. “Eddie said that I should come down sometime and we should jam, have a play. Man, at some level within me I felt so honored because I was in awe of Eddie’s natural talent. … I wanted to badly to do that. We talked about how cool it would be musically.”

Although Perry was quick to point out Van Halen never mentioned anything beyond the initial jam session, over the next few weeks his mind raced over the possibilities. While he was confident the two could make great music together, he was less comfortable with the idea of trying to fill Roth’s shoes.

“I don’t know that I could be the guy to go out and represent the David Lee Roth years with my voice,” he explained. “It’s a different kind of singing.” Shortly afterward, Sammy Hagar, who Perry called “the perfect version of that guy,” became Van Halen’s second singer. Perry returned to a reconfigured Journey for 1986’s Raised on Radio.

Perry said Van Halen’s recent death made him look back fondly on the two-month stint Van Halen spent opening for Journey back in 1978. “We were blessed to be around that kind of musicality because it changed my life,” he said. “People should know that not only did Van Halen truly make Journey a better band, they made a lot of bands better.”

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Two Iconic Eddie Van Halen Guitars to Be Auctioned

Eddie Van Halen‘s name is synonymous with the guitar and two of his prized instruments are set to headline an upcoming Julien’s Auctions event.

Eddie’s custom designed 2004 EVH Charvel Art Series guitar (stage played, of course) and a customized and played electric guitar built by Eddie with his guitar tech are two of the top items on the block for the upcoming auction.

The “Icons & Idols Trilogy: Rock ‘N’ Roll Announced” auction will take place Friday, Dec. 4 and Saturday, Dec. 5 at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills and also online at www.juliensauctions.com.

Eddie hand striped his 2004 EVH Charvel Art Series electric guitar. It comes with a maple neck and fingerboard, Fender Stratocaster-style headstock numbered on the back No. 54, in the unique white and black abstract design in the style of his 1978 Van Halen I guitar.

The front of the body is signed Eddie Van Halen, initialed VH 04 and inscribed in Van Halen’s hand San Antonio Texas / 9-28-04. This guitar also features an EVH humbucking pickup with evidence of a cigarette burn to the front. Accompanying the guitar are multiple photos of Van Halen hand-applying taped stripes to the guitar, photos of him playing the guitar onstage in San Antonio and an EVH hardshell case with a partly-smoked cigarette in a plastic vial.

Eddie Van Halen Guitars to Be Auctioned

Julien’s Auctions

The other iconic guitar on the block is a customized electric guitar serial number F 0024 built by Van Halen with his guitar tech Matt Bruck at the guitarist’s 5150 home studio. It features a red body with white and black stripes designed and applied by Van Halen. The guitar has a maple neck and fingerboard with dot inlays, pointed Kramer headstock with Kramer machine heads, single humbucker pickup and Floyd Rose tremolo.

In 1991, the guitar was gifted to Van Halen’s close friend Bryan Cash, the owner of Cash’s Centenary Oyster House in Shreveport, La. It is inscribed Yo – / Bryan / Let’s get / shucked / up / Eddie Van Halen / 5150 and was displayed at the bar where it was played by Van Halen when he visited. The guitar also includes a white Van Halen guitar pick and 2 backstage passes, one labelled Bertinelli Guest.

Both of these guitars are estimated to sell each between $40,000 – $80,000.

“As we were preparing for our annual Icons & Idols: Rock and Roll auction lineup, we were stunned to hear the sad news of Eddie Van Halen’s passing last week,” said Darren Julien, President/Chief Executive Officer of Julien’s Auctions. “We are honored to include at this event two iconic guitars from his brilliant and blazing career as one of rock’s greatest and most gifted guitar heroes. His instruments join their rightful place among other rock royalty items from Kurt Cobain, Michael Jackson, Aerosmith and many others we look forward to announcing in the coming weeks.”

Other auction highlights, as alluded to by Julien, include a Kurt Cobain stage played and smashed black Fender Stratocaster guitar used on Nirvana’s 1994 In Utero Tour and gifted by the grunge icon to an audience member after their performance at the Palais Omnisport de Rennes in Rennes, France, on Feb 16, 1994; a Michael Jackson’s white nylon right-hand glove with a silver-tone metal hook, entirely adorned with hand-sewn Swarovski crystals used by The King of Pop onstage throughout the historic Victory tour; a Lady Gaga black Kaimin PVC jacket worn in the promotional video and photoshoot for her makeup brand, Haus Laboratories and Aerosmith’s 1993 MTV Video Music Award Moonman for the Viewers’ Choice Award for the single “Cryin’.”

There are also David Bowie, Madonna and Elvis Presley items on the block. For more details visit the Julien’s Auctions site and to register to make a bid prior to the auction, head here.

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Hear a Glorious Bell Tower Tribute to Eddie Van Halen

Musical tributes to Eddie Van Halen can turn up in surprising places. But perhaps none sound as wondrous as a giant church bell tower’s tribute to the iconic Van Halen guitarist who died earlier this month.

The Dom Tower is the tallest church tower in the Netherlands. Just a few days after Eddie Van Halen’s death, carillonneur Malgosia Fiebig performed a soaring medley comprising a slew of Van Halen classics from the tower. The heavenly bell tones give the influential rockers’ catalog a unique twist.

Watch the video down toward the bottom of this post.

The carillon that controls the church tower’s music is a type of instrument made up of 23 different bells. When performed by a carillonneur, the assembly can make thunderous sounds that could wake an entire town.

Just hear how ripping Van Halen numbers such as “Jump,” “Love Walks In” and “Why Can’t This Be Love” get their melodies made almost more heavenly when played by the cacophonous church bells.

This type of tribute is certainly in a class of its own. But salutes to Eddie Van Halen have been pouring in since the guitarist died.

After all, it was a shock to the music world when the renowned shredder and Van Halen co-founder died at the age of 65 on Oct. 6. But, among the many tributes that subsequently emerged, it appears that listeners have remembered the rocker most by enjoying the creative legacy he left: The guitarist’s death prompted a huge surge in the sales of Van Halen’s catalog.

Fan site Van Halen News Desk first pointed out the church bell tribute this week.

Carillon Dom Tower Tribute to Van Halen – Oct 10, 2020

See Van Halen in the Best Cover Songs From 40 Rock Bands

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How George Lopez Helped Sammy Hagar and Eddie Van Halen Reconnect

Sammy Hagar has given more details of his reconciliation with Eddie Van Halen, revealing that comedian George Lopez played a pivotal role in getting the former bandmates talking again.

“I reached out to Eddie because… George Lopez, the comedian, who I’ve known for a long time and who also is dear friends with Eddie, calls me up and says, ‘Sammy, I need you to call Eddie. I played golf with him. He’s not doing good,’” the Red Rocker recalled during a conversation with St. Louis radio station KSHE 95.

Lopez went on to inform Hagar that Eddie loved him, but was “disappointed” that he hadn’t reached out.

“’I reached out to all these people. I reached out to Alex [Van Halen]. I didn’t have Eddie’s contact number,” a defensive Hagar insisted. “So George says, ‘Here’s his number. Call him.’”

When Eddie picked up the phone, it was quickly like old times again, the guitarist even jokingly asking Hagar, ‘What took you so long?’”

“It was just one big love fest from then on,” the Red Rocker remarked. “That was back in the beginning of the year, before COVID. So, yeah, we’ve been texting and talking about Wolfie [Eddie’s son, Wolfgang] and his new record, and about us and the things we did and how great the stuff is.”

Hagar previously said hearing of Van Halen’s death “was like getting hit by a freaking Mack truck,” but the singer took some solace in knowing he made peace with the guitarist before his death.

“It was a tough one. But if I wouldn’t have contacted Ed and we buried the hatchet like that and became friends again, I’m not sure how I could have taken it,” Hagar acknowledged. “It would have been devastating.”

Listen to Hagar’s full interview below.

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The Day Vince Neil Bit Eddie Van Halen: ‘Good Job, A–holes!’

In 1984, Motley Crue were part of the Monsters of Rock tour alongside Van Halen and AC/DC. The timing coincided with what Crue drummer Tommy Lee referred to as a “crazy biting phase” for his band.

“Motley had this thing we would do if we really loved you: Some people high-five, other people hug. We would bite you,” the drummer explained to USA Today. One person who was not a fan of this love-bite habit: Eddie Van Halen.

Vince [Neil] went over and just chomped on Eddie, and Eddie was so mad. He was like, ‘What the [expletive] is wrong with you?’” Lee recalled of the incident.

Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx, who said the band’s bites occasionally drew blood, admitted the strange custom nearly cost his band the tour. “I remember [manager] Doc [McGhee] came to us and he goes, ‘Good job, assholes, I think you’re getting thrown off the Van Halen tour,” he recalled in a 2019 interview with Eddie Trunk (as reported by Alternative Nation).

Part of the reason for Van Halen’s anger was the location where he was bitten. For whatever reason, Neil decided to sink his teeth into Van Halen’s hand, a big no-no for the prodigious guitarist.

“Not Eddie’s hand, that is not a target!” Neil laughingly recalled.

“It turned into a huge fight,” McGhee confessed on the Talk Is Jericho podcast in 2015, revealing that he had to “apologize every day” for the Crue’s shenanigans.

Unsurprisingly, Motley Crue’s chomping antics were also poorly received from other bands. “I bit Malcolm Young, and he hated it, too,” Lee admitted. “We did that for a couple of years until we were either over it or realized it might be a little dangerous.”

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Hagar: Van Halen’s Death Would Be ‘Too Much’ If We Never Made Up

2020 is a year that has offered quite a lot of perspective and has come with some valuable life lessons. Even before the pandemic began, Sammy Hagar realized the importance of putting differences aside and reached out to Eddie Van Halen to bury the hatchet. Fortunate that he did, the Red Rocker said he likely wouldn’t be able to “come to grips” with the guitarist’s death if he hadn’t.

“I think that the word is pretty much out that Eddie and I buried the hatchet earlier on this year,” Hagar told Rock 105.5’s Angi Taylor.

“We didn’t go around talking about it. He asked me not to talk about it, and I did not talk about it. But now, looking back, if we wouldn’t have come to terms with that feud we were having after the reunion tour, I wouldn’t have been able to come to grips with it,” the singer went on.

While dealing with Van Halen’s passing remains difficult, there’s a sense of peace that comes with making amends. Without it, “It would have been way too much for me, ’cause I’m still grieving my ass off,” said Hagar. “But the grieving is starting to make… It feels like, hey, we had a great thing. This music will live on forever — beyond me. I’ll sing it for the rest of my life. When I’m gone, hopefully some young bands come up and play that music. And you can always play it in your homes,” the Red Rocker warmly continued.

Of course there are many highly memorable moments between Hagar and Van Halen, but one of the singer’s favorite memories happened during that moment they reconnected.

Hagar recollected, “When I called him, after years of not speaking, back in February, I think, or January, whatever it was — before COVID — he said, ‘What took you so long?’ [Laughs] It put the biggest smile on my face. I said, ‘Oh my God. Don’t ask me.’ That was just very touching to me: ‘Hey, I’ve been waitin’.'”

Eddie Van Halen died on Oct. 6 at age 65 after a lengthy and brave battle with cancer. Just days after his passing, Hagar and former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony moved forward with Hagar’s birthday celebration show, which had been in the works for months prior. It was highly emotional for the two to play Van Halen songs so soon after Eddie’s death, which they reflected on in a post-show recap video.

Rockers We’ve Lost in 2020

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Sammy Hagar Reveals More Details of Eddie Van Halen Reunion Call

Sammy Hagar says that Eddie Van Halen had practically been expecting his ex-Van Halen bandmate to reach out to him in the last few months of the guitarist’s life.

Speaking to Angi Taylor on Chicago’s 95.5 FM (embedded below), Hagar said, “When I called him, after years of not speaking, back in February, I think, or January, whatever it was — before COVID — he said, ‘What took you so long?’ [Laughs] It put the biggest smile on my face. I said, ‘Oh my God. Don’t ask me.’ That was just very touching to me: ‘Hey, I’ve been waitin’.'”

Hagar repeated what he wrote to Howard Stern about how they agreed to keep the news of their reconciliation out of the press. The singer added that burying the hatchet is helping him deal with Van Halen’s death, and is reminding him more of the music they made together than the bad times.

“Butt now, looking back, if we wouldn’t have come to terms with that feud we were having after the [2004] reunion tour,” Hagar said, “I wouldn’t have been able to come to grips with it. It would have been way too much for me, ’cause I’m still grieving my ass off… But the grieving is starting to make… It feels like, hey, we had a great thing. This music will live on forever — beyond me. I’ll sing it for the rest of my life. When I’m gone, hopefully some young bands come up and play that music. And you can always play it in your homes.”

In his note to Stern, Hagar wrote that he and Van Halen “had been texting, and it’s been a love fest since we started communicating earlier this year. We both agreed not to tell anyone, because of all the rumors it would stir up about a reunion, etc., and we both knew that wasn’t gonna happen. But he also didn’t want anyone to know about his health.”

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Wolfgang Van Halen Shares Photo Tribute to Eddie Van Halen

The music world suffered a great loss with the death of Eddie Van Halen, but the loss is even greater for Wolfgang Van Halen as he’s also lost his father. The Van Halen bassist was the first to inform the world of his father’s passing and he’s now sharing a string of heart-tugging photos sharing time with his dad.

Wolf starts off with a video that’s certain to bring a few tears, as Eddie Van Halen is fielding questions from audience members at a Q&A session. When one fan asks Eddie if there’s one deceased musician he’d like to play with, the guitarist thinks for a second before responding, “I’d like to jam with my father again.”

Wolfgang then added a series of photos that included Eddie Van Halen sitting on piano next to his father who was playing saxophone. There are also a number of photos from Wolf’s life ranging from childhood pics with Eddie and Valerie Bertinelli at the beach with Wolf and Eddie reading him a bedtime story through Wolf’s teen years jamming with his father and even taking it to modern day with Eddie patting his son on the head as they played together onstage. See the full range of tweeted photos below.

Wolfgang Van Halen isn’t the only family member to dig into the photo archives, with his uncle and bandmate Alex Van Halen previously sharing a photo from youth of the two brothers as young kids while sharing the message, “Hey Ed. Love you. See you on the other side. Your brother Al.”

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David Crosby Admits His Eddie Van Halen Tweet Was ‘Not Cool’

David Crosby acknowledged it may not have been the best idea to dismiss Eddie Van Halen‘s accomplishments. But he also admitted he had forgotten the guitarist had died earlier in the week.

“Yes, you Van Halen fans, I did just toss off an answer that was not cool,” he wrote. “The even more embarrassing truth is I didn’t even remember he had just died or I would have kept my mouth shut. … I do make mistakes. No offense intended.”

Crosby also retweeted someone who wrote, “I’m a Van Halen fan for sure, but I can also understand your ‘meh’ response to mean that he wasn’t your cup of tea, but you didn’t mean to disrespect a recently deceased person,” while adding “Exactly.”

The outspoken singer-songwriter provoked outrage on Twitter last weekend when he responded to a question about the guitarist with “Meh.” Crosby quickly got taken to task – not just by fans but also by fellow artists.

Dee Snider shot back with, “I’ve always hated @thedavidcrosby AND his mustache,” while Tracii Guns of L.A. Guns, Testament‘s Alex Skolnick and the band Danko Jones also jumped in.

A day later, Crosby explained his opinion. “[Jimi] Hendrix changed the world of guitar,” he wrote. “Look, I get it. Many of you loved Van Halen, and the one time I met [him] he was nice, and he was talented. ‘Meh’ to me means I don’t care that much, and I don’t. Doesn’t mean he wasn’t good. He was, but not for me.”

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Pete Townshend Turned Down Michael Jackson’s ‘Beat It’ Invite

Pete Townshend remembered being asked to appear on Michael Jackson’s Thriller album in 1982.

The Who guitarist chose not to accept the invitation, but recommended Eddie Van Halen instead, which led to the late guitar legend’s classic contribution to the 1983 hit “Beat It” – one of the most successful singles of all time.

“I said I couldn’t do it but recommended Eddie, who called, and we chatted,” Townshend told Rolling Stone in a recent interview. “He was utterly charming, happy about the connection, but told me how much he was enjoying playing keyboards.”

At the time, Van Halen was working on his band’s own single, the synth-laden “Jump,” which was released in late 1983.

“Beat It,” which topped the singles chart for three weeks, also featured Toto guitarist Steve Lukather and marked Jackson’s first attempt at a rock song. “I wanted to write …the type of song that I would buy if I were to buy a rock song,” Jackson told Ebony in 1984. “That is how I approached it, and I wanted the children to really enjoy it – the school children as well as the college students.”

Watch Michael Jackson’s ‘Beat It’ Video

Townshend said of Van Halen: “His smile was just classic. A man in his rightful place, so happy to be doing what he did. … As he got older, he became more generous and amusing and self-effacing about his enormous gifts. He shared so many tricks through guitar workshops, online and on TV shows. Immense talent.”

He called Van Halen’s death on Oct. 6 “completely tragic.” “He was not just an innovative and stylish player with great taste, he was also a laidback virtuoso showman who just blew us all away every time,” Townshend noted. “Every shredder today has lost their master teacher and guide.”

Calling Van Halen the “Great American Guitar Player,” Townshend concluded, “I was hoping he might be president one day.”

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David Crosby Forgot Eddie Van Halen Died Prior to ‘Meh’ Tweet

David Crosby has taken to Twitter to express regret and explain his thought process behind his recent tweet about Eddie Van Halen. He claims he had actually forgotten that the legendary guitarist had just died when he posted it.

Rock and metal Twitter basically went bonkers earlier this week when Crosby responded “Meh…” to a tweet asking his thoughts on Van Halen. Several musicians including Tracii Guns, Alex Skolnick and Dee Snider showcased their dismay for the response, which they saw as disrespectful, considering the guitarist had just succumbed to a cancer battle days before.

“Yes you Van Halen fans I did just toss off an answer that was not cool,” Crosby wrote in a new tweet today (Oct. 13). “The even more embarrassing truth is… I didn’t even remember he had just died or I would have kept my mouth shut… I do make mistakes… no offense intended.”

While the aforementioned “meh” tweet has since been removed from Crosby’s profile, his claim that Jimi Hendrix “changed the world of guitar” and several retweets defending his stance remain.

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David Crosby in Hot Water Over Eddie Van Halen Tweet

David Crosby has come under fire thanks to a tweet posted following the death of Eddie Van Halen.

It all started when one of Crosby’s followers asked for his opinion on the recently deceased Van Halen guitarist. The folk singer’s response was simply “Meh.”

The dismissive tone of the tweet immediately caused backlash, as a chorus of Van Halen’s fans criticized Crosby for his response.

“Fuck this guy,” L.A. Guns guitarist Tracii Guns pointedly said of Crosby. “Fuck this answer and most of all fuck this guy. I don’t give a shit what anyone says. That’s bullshit David.”

Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider retweeted Guns’ remarks, adding that he has “always hated @thedavidcrosby AND his mustache.”

In separate tweets, hard rock group Danko Jones described Crosby as “a classless trash bag” who “received accolades from coasting.”

Testament guitarist Alex Skolnick took a more diplomatic approach, tweeting: “I appreciate @thedavidcrosby too much for this to get in the way, but a much better answer would have been: ‘I know he meant a lot to so many but his sound & style just weren’t my thing.’”

Following the outrage of celebrities and fans, Crosby clarified his stance, saying in part, “Look I get it. Many of you loved Van Halen. And the one time I met he was nice. And he was talented. Meh to me means I don’t care that much. And I don’t. Doesn’t mean he wasn’t good, he was but not for me.”

One follower offered a better way that Crosby could have gotten his point across, suggesting the rocker should have said: “I don’t care for the end product, it’s just not my style. But there’s no question at all about his talent and the revolution he brought to the whole industry.” Crosby retweeted the message and called it “better.”

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