Ted Templeman recently chatted with Entertainment Weekly about his legendary career as a producer.
Below are the excerpts from the article regarding Templeman’s comments on Van Halen and the passing of Eddie:
On working with Van Halen
Templeman produced seven albums for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-ensconced band, both with the classic line-up of frontman Roth, bassist Michael Anthony, and namesake brothers Eddie and Alex Van Halen on guitar and drums, respectively, as well as with second singer Sammy Hagar. (He also worked with Roth and Hagar in their solo careers, as well as Hagar’s pre-VH band Montrose.)
From the early days, he has a particular fondness for Van Halen track “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love,” specifically its buoyant riff and testosterrific lyrics. “I love that more than other [songs],” Templeman admits. “It’s my favorite for a lot of reasons, because it came together so quickly, and also I thought Dave’s lyrics are just so great. They’re so real. I mean, he’s right to the point. That’s how males think, as a rule. Ed came up with a riff, and Dave came up with those lyrics, bang, just like that. And he performed it really well and really quickly. I mean, without Dave, they wouldn’t have been Van Halen.”
On the passing of Eddie Van Halen
Templeman was, understandably, hit hard by the death of his friend. He spoke fondly of Van Halen’s kindness, even in seemingly small matters, even when the guitar god was battling cancer himself. “He was such a sweetheart,” Templeman says. “Before he got sick, he came over to show me his new car like he was a little kid. And I still have his voice messages. ‘Hey, Ted, is it okay if I come at 3:20 instead of 3:30?’ And he called back after and said, ‘Are you okay? We went down those steps. I thought maybe you were a little shaky. And then when he went in, he would send me these texts every day from the hospital.” Templeman recalls very few studio dust-ups with his longtime collaborator, who used to come to his house in the early days in Pasadena and fiddle with Templeman’s guitars, disassembling and reassembling them. “I mean, in the studio, he didn’t ever want to do something I didn’t like. He always wanted to please me.”
Except when Van Halen and his compatriots wanted to razz their producer. “I did a song with Nicolette Larson called ‘Lotta Love.’ It went, [singing] ‘It’s gonna take a lotta love.’ Neil Young gave me the song. When I wasn’t at the studio, Van Halen got the engineer to pull the master track out and put their own thing in the machine. It’s just funny [with them singing]. ‘It’s gonna take a lotta drugs…’ And I would sip from this little bottle of Emerald Dry during the sessions, and they sang ‘My nose needs affection like Emerald Dry.’ It’s very funny. We weren’t just like producer and artist— we were buddies.”
You can read the entire EW article which includes Templeman commenting on his early career as a performer, along with working with Van Morrison and the Doobie Brothers HERE.
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