A narrative rendering of the best interviews with Eddie Van Halen culled from over 50 hours of conversations with Guitar World magazine, telling his own story in his own words
When rock legend Eddie Van Halen died of cancer on October 6, 2020, the entire world—already steeped in the grief of political unrest and a raging pandemic—seemed to stop and grieve the devastating blow to the music world. Since Van Halen burst onto the scene with their self-titled debut album in 1978, Eddie had been hailed as an icon not only to fans of heavy metal and rock music, but to performers across all genres and around the world. Van Halen’s debut sounded unlike anything that listeners had heard before, largely due to Eddie’s mastery of guitar. Even Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, who rarely handed out compliments, had to admit: ““For my money, Van Halen is the first significant new kid on the block. Very dazzling. He flies the flag well.” Over the course of more than four decades, Eddie gained renown for his innovative guitar playing, and particularly for popularizing the tapping guitar solo technique. Unfortunately for Eddie and his legions of fans, he died before he was ever able to put his life down to paper in his own words, and much of his compelling backstory has remained elusive—until now.
In Eruption, music journalists Brad Tolinski and Chris Gill share with fans, new and old alike, a completely new look at this music legend via this groundbreaking oral history, composed of more than 50+ hours of unreleased interviews that they’d recorded with Eddie over the years. Admired by both Eddie and his family, Brad and Chris were two of the closest interviewers to Eddie in the decade prior to his death and were frequent visitors at the infamous 5150 studio in Eddie’s backyard. Arranged chronologically in a Q&A format, the chapters in this book showcase the past parts of these intimate and wide-ranging talks, and each will feature a lengthy introduction, during which the authors will talk about Eddie’s family, friends, and colleagues, and offer other crucial background details not covered in the interviews.
As entertaining as it is revealing, this oral history is the closest we’ll ever get to hearing Eddie’s side of the story when it comes to his extraordinary life—and the authors are determined to memorialize Eddie’s words with the dignity they deserve. Perfect for fans of Van Halen, heavy metal and rock music, and books that take readers behind the scenes of iconic moments in the history of music, Eruption will be the go-to resource for those determined to keep Eddie’s memory alive and kickin’.
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