I think you had to grow up in wood-paneled dens, get rides in your friend’s big brother’s Trans Am, sneak-watch slasher movies when you were too young, and hang out at family parties where the adults let you take sips from their cans of Miller High Life. I think you had to live through all that to fully comprehend what Eddie Van Halen meant to us. I dunno, maybe I’m being generationally biased or some such bullshit, but for me it really was a “You had to be there” kind of experience to hear “Eruption” or the opening of “Runnin’ with the Devil” for the first time (probably in someone’s wood-paneled den) back in those days. Eddie was like Michael Jordan or Highlander: there can be only one.
This news is awful. We lose guitar god Eddie and yet that human sack of garbage in the White House lives on. 2020 just proves what we should’ve already known: life is patently, relentlessly unfair. Fuck cancer. RIP, Eddie.