I-95 Listeners & Staff React to Eddie Van Halen’s Passing
JStew: I got the news pretty suddenly. It popped up by email from a music news site I follow. And I was floored. I know has battled cancer before, but this felt very unexpected. And I was surprised by how many old feelings his death stirred up. When I was a teenager, I was obsessed with VH. I grew up at the height of Van Hagar, but was deeply invested in their back catalog as well. One of the first albums I ever played along to on drums was Van Halen I, followed by 5150. And to this day, I still listen often. Eddie was just pure magic. To say he changed guitar forever is an understatement. But we'll let his solo from the Bangor Waterfront some years back, do the talking... RIP Eddie...
Cori: Sometimes I think we take for granted just how prolific some artists are. For me, Van Halen is one of those bands that I forget has so many awesome songs, until they come on the radio and then I start to rock out to them. There are so many songs that showcase the different talents of everyone in the band. But there's just no denying, especially when you listen to those solos, or have been fortunate enough to see him do one live, how insanely talented Eddie Van Halen was. When he played, like all of the great guitarists in history, he had an unmistakable and totally recognizable style that added so much to all of the music he put out, whether it be with his own band, or in collaboration with others. His instruments wasn't a tool he used to make those sounds, but an extension of his body that he used to share his stories with us. This will be one loss that ripples through the Rock N Roll community for a long time.
DJ Fred: I picked up both a Van Halen and Cars 8-track at the same time back in the '70s at DeOrsey's in the Maine Coast Mall in Ellsworth. That was back when there wasn't a radio station in the area playing either one of the band's music, and good tunes traveled by word of mouth. I slid those tapes into the player in my Chevy van and remember being blown away by both bands. "Running with the Devil" really stood out, especially at full volume. If there ever was a feeling of power projected by a rock song, that was the one. The band certainly had a distinctive sound, and you could credit it all to Eddie Van Halen.
Paul: I discovered Van Halen digging through my parents record collection. I remember dropping the needle on my Dad's Technics turntable on the Van Halen record for the first time. Being a young kid with dreams of being a professional DJ, I had a massive sound system in the basement. When the booming, chugging, sounds of "Running With The Devil" made our house shake, I was hooked on Van Halen. I remember racing home from school, eager to play through the stack records I found. The house would shake for hours blaring Van Halen, 1984, Women and Children First, 5150, and Fair Warning. Van Halen has such an explosive sound, and Eddie Van Halen was the pioneer pushing the boundaries. Many great men and women have picked up a guitar and made their mark on rock n' roll. Eddie left a legacy that will be unparalleled.