Photo: The Runaways with David Lee Roth and Rodney Bingenheimer at K-ROQ in Pasadena. From VHND archives.
“In the very early days, the Runaways and Van Halen musically grew up together on the Sunset Strip. Edward was my friend. I’d go to his house after a night of partying, and we would say “Hi” to his mom, and he’d make me breakfast by opening a packet of Carnation Instant Breakfast (mix with milk and drink your breakfast, chocolate or vanilla).
“Edward had no time in his life for anything unless it was for sex or rock ’n’ roll. He didn’t even have an ignition switch in his car. He just said, “Fuck, I don’t need a key,” and he would put these wires together, and off we went in his piece of trash vehicle with an AMAZING stereo system, on which he played me “Running with the Devil.” I was blown away by how awesome and rockin’ it sounded! Good ol’ straight-in-your-face rock ’n’ roll, no bells and whistles. Not watered down with tons of guitar overdubs and tons of keyboards, as we just came out of the Boston era. Boston was cool, but extremely produced. back-to-basics three-piece rock ’n’ roll. Everyone was too busy trying to figure out how to outdo each other, while Edward would just DO IT! No questions asked!!! Just fuckin’ DO IT!
“He was a great inspiration to me. You know how sometimes people say things to you that you carry with you for years, and that change your life forever? I was stuck in a world where not too many people listened to girls playing guitar. I didn’t know what I was capable of doing, especially having been fresh from the Runaways, which was an uphill battle. One day Edward said to me, “Lita, you can play guitar, what’s your fuckin’ problem, just DO IT!!!” Something so simple coming out of the mouth of Edward Van Halen was like an electric charge of energy going through my brain. Suddenly, my life became so clear and simple. Hey, it’s not an issue that you’re a chick. So what? Just fuckin’ DO IT! What are you waiting for? Approval? Fuck them!!! Just be yourself!!!
“We all know EVH is the Les Paul of today’s world. We all know Edward changed the face of rock ’n’ roll. But it’s the person that he truly is that makes him so unique. He is an inspiration to every musician, because we all wanna be him, and some of us try real hard, but the reality of it is that there is only ONE Edward Van Halen!!! PERIOD! What makes him tick? Good question! But whatever it is, they honestly did break the mold after they made Edward!!! I love you, buddy friend! God bless you and your family! Thanks for rockin’ my world!!!