On a day the United States honors its military veterans for their service we also bring you this video featuring a U.S. soldier honoring his guitar hero Eddie Van Halen.
United States Army Staff Sergeant Austin West is a recruiter stationed in Watertown, New York. When he’s off duty he plays the electric guitar. According to his YouTube “about” page he likes everything from AC/DC to ZZ Top. Clearly he loves his Van Halen too.
Check out this YouTube video of Sgt. West honoring Eddie with a series of VH classics including “Hot For Teacher”, “You Really Got Me”, “Eruption”, “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love”, “Panama”, “Runnin’ With The Devil” and “Dance The Night Away”.
Sgt. West also posted the video on his Facebook page with the comment: “RIP to a legend and inspiration Mr. Edward Van Halen! Here is my tribute to you and may you Rest In Peace!”
The video was shared with Van Halen fans around the world and has since racked up over two million views.
Sgt. West told Syracuse, New York’s CNYCentral the video was his way of paying tribute to a musician he considers to be the greatest guitar player of all time.
“Just innovation. That’s the number one word that comes to not only my mind but all the guitar players. He innovated the instrument and brought it to a whole other level,” said Sgt. West.
The Van Halen News Desk caught up with Sgt. West. Here’s a quick VH Q&A:
How did you become a Van Halen fan? I became a fan as soon as I put on ‘Van Halen II’. That was one of my first ever records.
What’s your favorite Van Halen song? I’d have to say “I’ll Wait”! Such an underrated song. Especially the synth work!
What’s your favorite Eddie Van Halen riff? Hmmm that’s tough. I’d say “Atomic Punk”.
What’s your favorite Eddie Van Halen solo? Ahhh even harder. “Eruption” or “Spanish Fly”. Absolutely mind blowing knowing someone came up with that!
Did you get to see Van Halen live? I was fortunate to have seen them on February 8th, 2008 in New Orleans at the New Orleans Arena! My very first concert!
For more videos from Sgt. West aka ‘The Guitar Soldier’ check out his YouTube channel HERE.
The Van Halen News Desk would like to give a big THANK YOU to Sgt. West and EVERY U.S. Military veteran for your service!