Too Young. Heartbreaking.
Yes, one by one, the musicians and icons of my youth are dying. I wasn’t a particularly big fan of Van Halen, the band, but they were a famous L.A. hometown band, and their music was catchy and likeable. Eddie was a great rock guitarist.
A good friend of mine, who is a sound editor for the movies and an amateur musician and songwriter, was in a band that once opened for Van Halen before they became famous. This must have been around 1975 or so. He and his band mates stayed after their set and watched Van Halen perform. They were awestruck by them. My friend told me they waited for Van Halen to finish, then went backstage to congratulate them on their great set. My friend always make a point when telling the story that they said to Van Halen: “You guys are great! You’re gonna make it!”
Anyone who remembers what it was like to travel all the way to a record store to acquire music as a kid knows how many of those trips became all day events. When all you really wanted to do was get home and listen to what you purchased over and over while exploring every inch of the album cover and internal artwork, hoping for lyrics. I may not have discovered a lot of the stuff I did, as early as I did, if not for those arduous adventures. Or developed a wonderful habit of impulse buying whatever jumped out at me from a jacket. Blind Faith. Goats Head Soup. Iron Maiden. And, without question, 1984.
Top albums, great band, like Cat said, another one gone, it’s a real shame.