40 years ago today, all-American Valerie met all-electric Eddie.
The time was August 29th, 1980, during Van Halen’s 1980 “Invasion” tour. The place was Hirsh Memorial Arena in Shreveport, Louisiana. TV actress Valerie Bertinelli ventured backstage with her brothers, huge Van Halen fans who hoped to meet the band using their famous sister as a life-size backstage pass. She came bearing bags of M&M’s for everyone in the band, and before long found herself in the quiet backstage universe of the band’s musical prodigy, Edward Van Halen.
Van Halen manager, Noel Monk, later recalled, “After Edward dried off and changed his clothes, I introduced him to Valerie,” writes Monk. “It was kind of cute to see them together— they were both clearly nervous and somewhat reticent. This struck me as a sign of genuine chemistry. After all, Valerie had spent most of her life in front of a camera or audience; she was completely comfortable with all manner of public interaction. And yet, here she was, stammering and blushing like a schoolgirl in the presence of the captain of the football team. And Edward? Here was a guy who went out onstage every night and performed, wizardlike, in front of thousands of adoring fans. In the presence of this young woman, however, the rock star façade melted away.”
Four months later, Eddie proposed to Valerie on New Year’s Eve, 1980.
Eddie Van Halen and America’s sweetheart Valerie Bertinelli were married on April 11, 1981, at St. Paul the Apostle Church in Westwood, California.
Valerie told Entertainment Tonight the following year, “I think what happened is both of us got each other’s personalities. I got to be a little more crazy, and he felt more comfortable being sane.”
Below are TV segments of Eddie and Valerie.
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