Why Eddie Van Halen Is An Influential Musician

1790 words - 7 pages

There are certain musicians that come along that shift a culture, attitude, or future musicians. Another musician that went on influence future generations and considered one of the greatest guitar players in the world is Eddie Van Halen.
Eddie Van Halen was born in Holland in 1955 and immigrated to Pasadena California. At the age of seven, Eddie was training as a classical pianist, although his love for Rock and Roll was developing. He started working a paper route and used the money to buy a drum set. His brother Alex, also musically inclined, bought a guitar. After months of practicing, Alex and Eddie switched instruments. Alex would spend hours on Eddie's drums and loved to play them. Eddie, a little frustrated with the drums, picked up Alex's guitar and felt at home with the instrument. Eddie would sit in his room for hours memorizing Eric Clapton guitar rifts' from "Cream". In his teenage years, Eddie and Brother Alex Van Halen played in local clubs and local parties in California. They started become a big name in the local area of Pasadena California. A police officer once commented that the parties that the Van Halen brothers played at were so big, that the police were looking for where the party was in a four-block radius. There would be almost 2,000 people attending house parties when the Van Halen brothers played. Alex and Eddie initially called there band Genesis but learned there was a much bigger group in Europe with the same name, so they changed it to Mammoth. The band had humble beginnings and the brothers could not afford a PA system for their concerts. They rented a PA system from David Lee Roth when his band was not playing. During one performance, the rented PA system broke down. A member of the local band Snake lent them a PA system so they could finish the performance. That member of Snake was Michael Anthony. A little later, Eddie heard Michael Anthony on the bass and thought that he was perfect for their band. Still, something was missing; Alex thought they needed a front man. He suggested that they let David Lee Roth be the front man, mainly to save the rent money on the PA system. David Lee came on board and thought the brother’s last name sounded cool, and the rock group "Van Halen" was born.
On one particular show, Gene Simmons from Kiss caught Van Halen at the local gig. He offered to help them out. Gene Simmons flew Van Halen to New York to tape a demo and introduced them to the Kiss production management. They had no interest in Van Halen citing that there was no commercial value to Van Halen, so the band went back to their local gigs in California. During a show in Hollywood, Warner Brothers records representative Ted Templeman saw their act and signed them less than a week later for a record deal with the Warner brother’s label. They headed out on the road immediately and caught up with Warner Brothers headliners to open their shows. The other groups were not very pleased with the band, especially when...

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