I did, in my youth, go through a pretty solid Van Halen phase. It petered out around the second Sammy Hagar album, but I knew all the DLR albums inside and out. Because I was a drummer the Van Halen brother I was most interested in was Alex, but I recognized the genius of Eddie Van Halen. He was the band, really.
The band has long since faded from my musical rotation, but hearing that Eddie passed away last week still felt like I’d lost something important to me as a kid.
Also, it was only after he passed away that I learned something I’d always wondered as a kid: did Eddie Van Halen really play the guitar on that tape in Back To The Future? Turns out: yes.