97 Rock Classic Jocks share thoughts on Eddie Van Halen

97 Rock’s Classic Jocks share their thoughts on Eddie Van Halen:


I remember seeing VH in 2004.  I was with Chris Klein and Rob Lederman.  Sammy Hagar was on vocals for this tour and man they were ….awful.  An annoying loud, distorted sound, Eddie looked disinterested, and played out of tune. Klein and I talked outside the 97Rock box for the better part of the show. It was the first time I’d seen Van Halen and frankly I was heartbroken. I had that, “I’m finally going to see Eddie” anticipation before the show, and I left thinking…what the hell was that. Well, we’d later learn from Eddie it was a terrible time in his life battling so much, not least of those battles was tounge cancer.

Fade to black and and fast forward to 2012. For the first time in 28 years, Van Halen was coming back to Buffalo with David Lee Roth fronting the band! I couldn’t wait. All reports were Eddie was feeling great, he was happy, and he had his son in the band playing bass. Wow. Everything pointed to this being a very special 97Rock Concert Event.

When the lights went down I literally said, “ok, Eddie, let’s see what you got this time, please don’t let me (us) down.”  If you were there, I KNOW you were blown away too. To say Eddie was brilliant would be a massive understatement. Smiling from ear to ear for almost every minute of the show, blistering solo after blistering solo, he was everything I’d ever heard of all those years, and more.

That’s my memory of Eddie Van Halen. His handsome face flashing that beautiful smile, enjoying time with his son, his brother and his original lead singer. Eddie was happy, the sold out crowd was delirious.

Thank you Eddie for your guitar genius, your infectious smile, and your music that will last forever.


Carl Russo

VanHalen was a major part of my life as A Rock Radio Air Personality…soo many VH concerts over the years.  Going backstage to meet the band and a quick discussion ….soo many years, soo many concerts…I feel like I lost a longtime friend. Just when you think 2020 couldn’t suck any more. This happens. UGH !


Slick Tom

I got the chance to meet Eddie backstage once where quickly nick named me Slickdadaka! I never used it, but maybe I will now. RIP Eddie,  there will never be another like Eward Lodewijk Van Halen!!

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