“You’re either rock and roll or you’re not,” Eddie Van Halen said in this 1995 cover interview with Rolling Stone, which hit newsstands on this day in 1995.
We read the whole interview today, for the first time in years. There’s actually lots of interesting stuff, especially in light of everything that has happened since then. Not too surprisingly, there was the quote about how David Lee Roth will never come back. (On, how things have changed)! And it was just as surprising now as if was back in 1995 to hear Eddie refer to Sammy Hagar’s solo career as “looney!”
Here’s just a few quotes from it:
- Touring, recording and partying tirelessly, Van Halen took the coveted hard-rock baton from Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith. And by the time Van Halen released 1984 – which featured such future FM staples as “Jump” and “Hot for Teacher” – they were the biggest band in the land.
- Behind the scenes, though, there was no love lost between Roth and his colleagues. Inspired by the success of his 1985 solo EP, Crazy From the Heat, the increasingly tarnished Diamond Dave went solo that year to ever-decreasing demand. A bitter battle of the bands ensued with no shortage of name-calling coming from both sides. Before long, Eddie Van Halen drafted journeyman rocker Sammy Hagar as the band’s new resident mouthpiece. The result was one of the very few commercially successful lead-singer transplants in recent rock history.
- Wherever Van Halen fit in the world of rock 1995, Eddie Van Halen is not worried about being seen as a rock dinosaur. “Hey, dinosaurs are great,” he says. “Dinosaurs are huge, right?”
- “My dad, who died in 1986, would get tears in his eyes every time he saw us play. He loved it. He lived through us because he never really made it.”
- Valerie Bertinelli has been surfing the Internet, checking out comments regarding Van Halen on America Online. So far, she says, only one fan has figured out who she really is.
You can read Eddie’s entire interview at RollingStone.com.