Edward Van Halen passed away one year ago today, October 6, 2020. I remember exactly where I was when the news came down. I was sitting at my computer and I literally just completed an order to purchase a Van Halen logoed gaiter, the coincidence sent a chill through my spine.

And then I became sad like I just lost a family member or friend and then I realized, this must be how anyone who grew up watching Elvis felt when the news came down of his passing in 1977.

And then it started to wash over me, especially when a picture was posted on Facebook with a group of people and me posing for a picture with Van Halen (Sammy Hager era) during the Balance Tour at the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium on May 2, 1995. The picture is hanging in my house and I see it daily, but I didn't even think about it until after I was notified about it. I remember the meeting vividly. I was nervous as ever, he was my hero when I was a kid and now I'm shaking his hand, having a laugh... amazing.

At the time he was having an issue with his hip so he came in the room walking gingerly but he was wearing his signature grin and made it a point to meet and greet everyone in the group. He lit up the room. As you can see from the photo below he looked truly happy to be there.

Edward Van Halen was a bigger part of my life than I realized. I was a child of MTV and watching him play guitar so effortlessly made me believe that I could play like that and I begged my parents for a guitar. My lessons lasted less than the trip to the music stores. Hey, I was a naive 12-13-year-old kid.

 

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