Quotes by: Eddie Van Halen
|Eddie Van Halen
Van Halen onstage in 2007
||Edward Lodewijk van Halen
January 26, 1955 |
||Pasadena, California, U.S.
||Warner Bros., Interscope
LL Cool J
Kramer 5150 Baretta
Charvel VH II
Ernie Ball Music Man EVH model
Peavey EVH Wolfgang
Ibanez "Shark" Destroyer
Gibson Les Paul
Music is for people. The word 'pop' is simply short for popular. It means that people like it. I'm just a normal jerk who happens to make music. As long as my brain and fingers work, I'm cool.
There's a plaque on our wall that says we've sold over 65 million albums, and I don't feel I've accomplished anything. I feel like I'm just getting started.
I mean it's funny, playing music, how of course you want it to do well, you want them to like it, but it's not competitive like an election, it's the Olympics, it's not a Formula 1 race. The Billboard charts are just to show you what people like.
And if I would have taken lessons I probably wouldn't have done it, and what forced me to do all this weird stuff on the guitar was I couldn't afford effects pedals, I didn't have all this stuff when I was a kid so I just tried to squeeze all the weird noises I could out of the guitar, which brings me to building guitars.
Obviously you have to have rhythm. If you have rhythm, then you can play anything you need. If you have rhythm and you love music, then play and play and play until you get to where you want to get. If you can pay the rent, great. If you can't, then you'd better be having fun.
When Van Halen started out, there was no path to fame. We just played what we liked. Even today it always comes down to the simplicity of rock and roll.
Before the operation on my left hand I wasn't able to stretch my fingers open all the way. I've never had very big hands, but I could do the splits with them. Eventually I couldn't any more. I had a twisted tendon in my little finger that prevented me from being able to stretch.
I'm not a drunk anymore, but since they cut out my tongue, I sound drunk.
Music kept me off the streets and out of trouble and gave me something that was mine that no one could take away from me.
I can't read music. Instead, I'd do stuff inside the piano, do harmonics and all kinds of crazy things. They used to put me in these annual piano contests down at Long Beach City College, and two years in a row, I won first prize - out of like 5,000 kids!
When I'm home on a break, I lock myself in my room and play guitar. After two or three hours, I start getting into this total meditation. It's a feeling few people experience, and that's usually when I come up with weird stuff. It just flows. I can't force myself. I don't sit down and say I've got to practice.
I've had a hip replacement, I've beaten cancer, I had my hand operation, and I stopped drinking. Something inside of me just went, 'I'm done.'
There are really three parts to the creative process. First there is inspiration, then there is the execution, and finally there is the release.
It's funny, when bands or younger musicians ask me: 'So, what does it take to make it?' Well, first explain to me what you mean by 'making it': Do you want to be a rock star or do you want music to be your livelihood?
If I can help a kid discover a liking, or even a passion for music in their life, then that's a wonderful thing.
The stainless-steel frets were a major breakthrough, because of the amount of playing and bending that I do. I have to get my guitars refretted every couple of months.
Every song is like a kid. How can you have that many kids and have a favorite? Which one do I like to hang most with? Probably the one that I haven't hung most with recently.
The name Van Halen, the family legacy, is going to go on long after I'm gone.
I have pictures of me sitting in the racquetball court in my pajamas with an acoustic guitar, and Wolfgang is probably just two-and-a-half-feet tall. I'll never forget the day I saw his foot tapping along in beat! I knew then, I couldn't wait for the day I'd be able to make music with my son. I don't know what more I could ask for.
A guitar is a very personal extension of the person playing it. You have to be emotionally and spiritually connected to your instrument. I'm very brutal on my instruments, but not all the time.
I'm not a rock star. Sure I am, to a certain extent because of the situation, but when kids ask me how it feels to be a rock star, I say leave me alone, I'm not a rock star. I'm not in it for the fame, I'm in it because I like to play.