Available Now: ‘Eruption: Conversations with Eddie Van Halen’ Book, a Definitive EVH Oral History


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Rock Cellar Magazine
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ERUPTION: Conversations with Eddie Van Halen is a new book published this week by Hachette Books that is billed in a news release as ” a candid, compulsively readable, and definitive oral history of the most influential rock guitarist since Jimi Hendrix.”

Exhaustively compiled by authors/journalists Brad Tolinski and Chris Gill, the book aims to be a can’t-miss collection of anecdotes and stories pertaining to the legendary guitarist, who passed away exactly one year ago today after a courageous fight with throat cancer.

Here are additional details about the book, per the news release:

ERUPTION: Conversations with Eddie Van Halen is based on more than 50+ hours of unreleased interviews Tolinski and Gill recorded with Eddie Van Halen over the years, most of them conducted at the legendary 5150 studios at his home in Los Angeles. The heart of ERUPTION is drawn from these intimate and wide-ranging talks, as well as conversations with family, friends, and colleagues, including other major guitarists like  Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath), Steve Vai, and Steve Lukather (Toto, Michael Jackson, Ringo Starr, Elton John).

ERUPTION chronicles the highs and lows of this rock legend. In addition to discussing his greatest triumphs as a groundbreaking musician – including an unprecedented dive into Van Halen’s masterpiece 1984 and the story behind playing on Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” (which they did as a favor and never received a dime for) – the book takes an unflinching look at Eddie’s early struggles as a young Dutch immigrant unable to speak English, which resulted in lifelong issues with social anxiety and later problems with alcohol and cocaine.

  • Eddie Van Halen and his older brother Al and their parents moved to Pasadena, CA in 1962 when Eddie was 7 years old, with less than $50, some suitcases and a piano. During the nine-day boat ride over, Eddie and Al played piano for spare change. “We were like a kid freak show,” said Eddie.
  • The boys attended a segregated school in Pasadena and were ostracized because they knew little English. “My first friends in America were black,” Eddie said. “It was the white kids that bullied me. The black kids stood up for me.”
  • While words often failed him, as a child Eddie expressed himself through the piano, maintaining a rigorous practice schedule under the watchful eye of his mother. A few short years later, at the age of twelve, he would apply the same diligence to learning the electric guitar, spending countless hours locked in his bedroom developing the technique that would help him become one of the greatest players in the world.


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