Jas Obrecht’s marathon day-long 1980 interview with Eddie Van Halen continues!
Obrecht has just released tape four of the interview. Below are his comments on tape four along with the complete audio in HD:
Tape 4 of our day-long 1980 interview features Eddie Van Halen at his most reflective. In especially heartwarming sections, he speaks in depth about his love and appreciation for his parents and older brother Alex, and reminisces about his life in Holland and California before the formation of Van Halen. He delves into the inner-workings of the band Van Halen, his life on the road, and vents his frustration with the pressures of having to come up with all of Van Halen’s music. As Eddie puts it, “I’m the sparkplug of the engine. Nobody comes up with anything but me.”
For guitarists listening in, there are lots of intriguing technical details. For example, Eddie explains his tricks for keeping Strats in tune, elaborates on how he built his first guitars, and delves into the pros and cons of the Floyd Rose locking tremolo and various wireless systems. He plays “Eruption” on his unplugged Frankenstrat to demonstrate how his piano playing affected his approach to the guitar playing. During a segment when he talks about winning piano competitions, he sings a section of a Chopin sonata. If you listen carefully, you’ll also hear Eddie briefly speak Dutch, Spanish, and French. There are lots of other insights during this fourth hour, and I hope you enjoy listening in.