Heart guitarist Nancy Wilson shared her memories of Eddie Van Halen calling him “the sweetest soul” and noted his famous “three-mile smile”.
“He was the sweetest soul. Whether or not he was effed up or partying too much, or whatever was going on, which they all did, but he was just wonderful and sweet as they come and sort of like the three-mile smile you know,” Wilson told Marci Wiser of the Los Angeles radio station 95.5. KLOS. “He was a genuine person. He was a good person. Nothing like you would think a hoity-toity rock star would be. Nothing like that.”
Wilson talked about her earliest memories of Eddie dating back to when Heart opened for Van Halen in 1979.
“We were opening for Van Halen a few times, and whenever we were hanging out, me and Eddie were best friends. And one time he was telling me how much he really liked my acoustic guitar playing. And I said, ‘Why don’t you ever do that? You never play acoustic.’ And he goes, ‘I don’t really have one.’ And I’m, like, ‘What? Here’s one right now. Take this one.’ And so the next morning, it was the crack of dawn, my telephone in the hotel room rings, because there was [no cell phones back] in the day. But he said, ‘You’ve gotta hear this. I’ve been up all night.’ And he played me this most brilliant, gorgeous, kind of semi-classical rock kind of piece on acoustic. And I should have told him, ‘Make sure you record that somewhere.’ I don’t think he really ever did that. It might come out later somewhere. Who knows? But oh my God — it was chilling.”
You can hear the entire interview with Nancy Wilson below. Her comments on Eddie Van Halen begin at the 12:10 mark: