Photo by Tour Bus Live
On January 26th 1955, a legend was born. His name would be Edward Lodewijk Van Halen, but would be known as Eddie Van Halen and as one of the greatest guitarists who ever lived. Sadly, we lost the lead guitarist of Pasadena-born hard rock band Van Halen in October 2020, but his legacy lives on forever.
To celebrate the birthday of the guitar phenomenon, here are some fun facts about Eddie Van Halen you might not have known.
- He played the famous guitar solo on Michael Jackson’s hit Beat It in 1983 without even asking for royalties.
- He was born in Amsterdam.
- He met his first wife Valerie Bertinelli at a Van Halen gig in Louisiana.
- He named his son Wolfgang Van Halen after classical composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
- He couldn’t read sheet music.
- As a teenager, Eddie skipped out on parties to practice guitar as rigorously as he could.
- He once drove a tank through Beverly Hills for a guitar.
- He created an unbreakable guitar, but ended up hating that he couldn’t destroy it.
- He scored an adult film in 2006.
- His guitar featured on the cover of Van Halen II was buried with Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell who was shot and killed in 2004.
Watch Eddie Van Halen’s famous solo on Van Halen’s Eruption live in 1986 here: