Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The World Needs Van Halen!

In a previous post I mentioned I am a big fan of Van Halen. They once were the biggest bar band in the world (with both David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar) playing FUN music. As a kid, I remember sitting in my room for hours listening to "Eruption" and "Hot For Teacher", thinking how does Eddie do that? He inspired me, and millions of other kids, to pick up the guitar. His sound and style have progressed immensely since the first Van Halen record. With each new release (and back catalog acquisition) I eagerly awaited something new. For years Eddie, Alex, Mike, Dave, and Sammy delivered. Despite all of the drama surrounding the band in the last 15 plus years, including the short stint with Gary Cherone (who is a great vocalist), I still admire the band for their accomplishments and hope that the rumours of their reunion with Diamond Dave in the studio are true. I am sad that Mike is no longer in the band. But, I applaud his positive attitude and support for Eddie's son Wolfgang playing bass. The world has seen new guitarists pushing the limits and creating new sounds. If not for his life being cut short by a deranged lunatic, Dimebag Darrell would still be around creating new sounds and doing new things with the guitar. One of my favorite modern-day guitarists is Jeff Loomis from the Seattle-based metal band Nevermore. He has taken on the 7-string guitar and is doing things most people could never imagine, inspiring thousands of kids lucky enough to hear him to pick up the guitar. I understand Eddie's focus is on great song-writing, but as a long time fan of Van Halen and guitar, I issue him a challenge: can he create a new sound, a new technique, that will inspire a new generation of players? Will Van Halen create a new album that is relevant and everlasting in 20 years (or more) as Van Halen I is today (33 years later)? Can Van Halen create music that is as relevant and timeless as Iron Maiden continues to do? I'm sure they can. They must... because they are Van Halen. I hope the rumours are true.

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