Stream a Lost Interview with Eddie Van Halen, Circa 1978, Just Before The Release of ‘Van Halen II’ (Audio)

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Rock Cellar Magazine

Back in 1978, Steve Rosen — Rock Cellar contributor known for his revealing Behind the Curtain columns — interviewed Van Halen guitarist Eddie Van Halen, months before the release of Van Halen II, a record that would go on to cement the band’s status as all-time legends.

The interview has not seen the light of day until recently, when Rosen uploaded it to the internet in audio format, and it’s now available to the masses.

Some words from Rosen:

Edward had just gotten off Van Halen’s first World Tour when he dropped by my little guesthouse on Weepah Way in the Hollywood Hills. This would have been at the end of December 1978 or possibly January 1979. I may have been expecting him but he could have just as easily simply shown up. He’d do that a lot—I’d hear a knock at the door, I’d answer it and he’d be standing there.

Edward was in a particularly good mood on that afternoon. Of course the first thing he did was pick up a ’66 Strat I had and start messing around with it. You can hear him asking me if he could pull off one of the knobs.

He had just started working on Van Halen II and you can hear him playing the riffs from some of the songs.

To be honest, I was absolutely mesmerized and left speechless sitting there just a few feet away from him and watching as he played guitar. He had a gift so rare it was beyond comprehension.

As Ed noodled—his term—I asked him about the album and the songs and stuff. I tried not to drool down my shirt as he danced around the neck and I tried really hard not to just sit there and stare.

In some strange way, I think Edward liked sharing his music with me. I don’t know why and I tried not to think about it too much. All I know is over 40 years ago, Edward Van Halen was at my little Hollywood Hills pad playing my guitar and talking about a new album he was working on.

Now you can share in that moment. Take a listen to one of the most gifted players on the planet at the very apex of his career.

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