Back in May, Heart’s Nancy Wilson stepped out on her own with You and Me, a solo album that marked her very first foray into “solo artist” territory. One of the more affecting songs on the record is “4 Edward,” Nancy’s emotional tribute to her friend, the late Van Halen guitarist Eddie Van Halen.
Today, Oct. 6, marks the one-year anniversary of his death after a courageous battle with cancer, and to commemorate his legacy, Wilson shared an extended version of “4 Edward” titled “4 Edward with Love,” which she characterized in a statement:
“I created the extended version of “4 Edward” called ‘4 Edward With Love’ as a remembrance of the anniversary of Eddie’s departure. Also, there was a general outcry that ‘4 Edward’ was too short and so I had a good excuse to record a new version and a new video to accompany it, once again starring Lucy the Wonderdog.”
Watch the video, above.
In Nancy Wilson’s interview with Rock Cellar’s Frank Mastropolo regarding her new album, she expanded upon the special significance of “4 Edward” and her friendship with Eddie:
Nancy Wilson: Eddie was one of the sweetest souls, a really beautiful soul. He had a lot of joy, you could just see it when he played. He always had a big Cheshire cat grin, a big, happy energy that came with him. And those guys would party like no other partiers in the world. Heart was on a tour with them here and there and they introduced us to the Kamikaze at a bar in some hotel one time. And we were like, “Whoa! Wow! How do you drink more than one of those?”
He said one time, “The way you play your acoustic guitar, you’re a really good player.” And I said, “Oh no, you can’t tell me that,” because here’s the wizard. “Why don’t you play more acoustic?” And he said, “I don’t really have an acoustic.” And I said, “Well, that’s impossible, you have to have an acoustic right now.” So I gave one to him.
And then fast forward to the break of dawn the next morning, it’s still dark outside, and he calls my room, “Listen, listen, listen, listen, I’ve made this song, you gotta check it out.” He played me this beautiful piece of instrumental acoustic music, just beautiful, kinda classical, and then a little rock, and a bit of classical at the end. After he left us and I was making this album, I said, “I gotta do something to pay tribute to my friend Eddie.” So I talked about it in the press before I even started it because then I had to face the challenge of actually doing it. So I painted myself into a terrible corner [laughs].
I was determined to make something great, something beautiful, at least. I used a little bit of the melodic content from “Jump” in there, just a tip of the hat to “Jump.” It all came together finally. I was so nervous when I was trying to record that. My hands were shaking. It was like, “Can I really do this for Eddie?” He must be looking down from the Angel Ballroom going, “Oh yeah, good luck with that” [laughs].