Eddie Van Halen Roundup: Seven (or More) Things We Learned This Weekend

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If you’ve been following the latest Van Halen news, you’ve had a lot chew over these past few days. Starting with the publication of Billboard’s interview with Eddie Van Halen last week, online news outlets, including this one, have been burning with fascinating tidbits gleaned from the article.

But things heated up considerably late Friday when former VH singer Sammy Hagar took exception to some of Ed’s comments in the story about erstwhile VH bassist Michael Anthony. Hagar took to Facebook, where he posted an angry video response to Ed, throwing his unequivocal support behind Anthony.

Hagar has also appear on Eddie Trunk’s podcast where he claimed Eddie and Alex Van Halen want to prevent him from performing songs he wrote with the group during his 1985–1996 tenure.“Eddie and Alex Van Halen are trying to stop me from even being able to play those songs,” Hagar said. “They have had attorneys and people say ‘No, he can’t play them.’ ”

Eddie and Alex Van Halen are trying to stop me from even being able to play those songs,” he adds. “They have had attorneys and people say ‘No, he can’t play them.’

Read More: Sammy Hagar Claims Van Halen Are Trying to Prevent Him From Performing Songs They Wrote Together | http://ultimateclassicrock.com/sammy-hagar-perform-van-halen-songs/?trackback=tsmclip

Eddie and Alex Van Halen are trying to stop me from even being able to play those songs,” he adds. “They have had attorneys and people say ‘No, he can’t play them.’

Read More: Sammy Hagar Claims Van Halen Are Trying to Prevent Him From Performing Songs They Wrote Together | http://ultimateclassicrock.com/sammy-hagar-perform-van-halen-songs/?trackback=tsmclip

Add those charges to Ed’s sometimes surprising comments in the Billboard interview, and you have the makings of a monster “Things We Learned” list. Let’s get started.

1. Eddie Van Halen does not listen to music. “I don’t listen to anything,” he tells interviewer Chuck Klosterman. Van Halen says the only music he listens to is whatever he is currently working on. “I couldn’t make a contemporary record if I wanted to,” he says, “because I don’t know what contemporary music sounds like.”

2. There is a veritable warehouse full of unreleased Van Halen tracks. Klosterman writes that Van Halen works on music everyday and notes, “the 5150 archive is filled to the rafters with unreleased recordings.” Tantalizing!

3. Van Halen knew the group’s 1996-1999 lineup with Gary Cherone would be brief when he saw how the singer dressed for stage. Ed says that prior to the tour, Cherone showed up in “this John Travolta outfit” with big lapels. “He’s like, ‘This is my stage outfit.’ That’s when I realized it wasn’t going to work.”

4. Ed attributes his bout with tongue cancer in 2000-2001 to the brass and copper picks he used. He says he always held them in his mouth “in the exact place where I got the tongue cancer.”

5. David Lee Roth does not want to be his friend. Ed doesn’t really elaborate on this, except to suggest that Roth is stuck in his twenties while Ed has grown up. “We’re in our 60s,” Ed says. “Act like you’re 60.”

6. He doesn’t recall writing the riffs to tracks like “Panama,” “Unchained” and D.O.A.”
“I have no memory of coming up with any of those riffs,” he says.

7. He does what he does for his fans. “You make music for people,” he says. “Otherwise, just play in your closet.”

You can check out the entire interview at Billboard online.

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