HAPPY BIRTHDAY EDDIE VAN HALEN STOP AVOIDING ME
One my least popular observations is that Eddie Van Halen’s progress as a guitar soloist was temporarily stunted by the wave of gooey acclaim that soaked him as early as 1978. Until the 1984 album, the axeman — who turns 56 today — seemed more focussed on wizardry and novel tricks than on crafting memorable solo passages, notwithstanding “Somebody Get Me A Doctor.” His skillz were always bonkers, but apparently good judgement arrived with the keyboards; that’s when he proceeded to rail off beautious leads to equal his unmatched chord choices and phrasing. Then came F.U.C.K., Balance, the departure of Sammy Hagar, the whole Gary Cherone thing, dementia, divorce, marriage, a reconciliation with singer David Lee Roth, a deconciliation with bassist Michael Anthony, the enlistment of Wolfgang “FD-D” Van Halen, and finally Thursday, the happiest day of my adult life thanks to producer John Shanks’ twitter:
Here we go kids … VH.
Maybe it’s gun-jumping to interpret this vague fragment as confirmation that Shanks is headed to the studio to record the first Van Halen album with David Lee Roth since my first boner. True, Van Halen News Desk reported as much back in December, but the story didn’t grow legs until Shanks’ recent tweet and this pic. Maybe EVH was sweetly keeping mum so the news wouldn’t trample on coverage of his hot ex-wife’s New Year’s Day wedding. Maybe it’s still on the unofficial downlow lest the band be again marred in an embarrassing false start. Maybe their new publicist, Janie Van Halen, is timing the announcement to the approaching 13th anniversary of Van Halen III. Maybe David Lee Roth is troubled by the 100% increase of Van Halens in his professional life. Maybe Eddie could just text me back with some info if I promise to never again be caught smelling his hair while he sleeps. Hey, it’s his birthday!