Eddie Van Halen: excellent Jas Obrecht post

Thanks to the Straoblogster for point out this post.

Eddie Van Halen: The David Lee Roth Era:
In the Beginning . . .

Eddie Van Halen and his older brother Alex were born and raised in Holland. Their father, Jan Van Halen, was an accomplished clarinetist in big band and classical styles. At age six, Eddie began taking classical piano lessons from a strict Russian master who’d slap his knuckles with a ruler whenever he made a mistake.

In 1967, the family moved to Pasadena, California, where the brothers discovered rock and roll. “I wasn’t into it at all back in Holland,” Eddie told me. “Wasn’t much of a scene going on. When we came here, I saw Hendrix and Cream around ’68, and I said, ‘Fuck the piano! I don’t want to sit down. I want to stand up and be crazy!’ The main influence for me, believe it or not, was Eric Clapton. I mean, I know I don’t sound like him, but I know every fuckin’ solo he ever played, note-for-note, still to this day. I used to sit down and learn that stuff note-for-note off the record. The live stuff – like ‘Spoonful,’ ‘I’m So Glad’ live – all that stuff. But when we first came to the U.S., I started playing drums, and my brother was taking guitar lessons – flamenco, nylon strings, stuff like that. While I was out doing my paper route so I could keep paying the payments for my drum set, he’d be playing my drums. And eventually he got better. I mean, he could play ‘Wipe Out,’ and I couldn’t. So I said, ‘Keep the drums. I’ll play a guitar.’ From there on, we’ve always played together.”
full Van Halen post