Just this morning, when I opened my computer, I found out that a friend of mine, Eddie Van Halen, had just died. What a great loss this is to his family and friends and the guitar and creative music world.
I think that probably the greatest draw I ever had at a NAMM (National Association of Music Educators) Show was when great rock guitarist Eddie Van Halen, his entourage, including his wife Valerie Bertinelli, visited our booth. It wasn’t five minutes before here came security. No-one could clog an isle or draw a crowd faster than when Eddie was power jamming out one of his musical creations. On this occasion, he picked up a guitar we had purposely brought to the booth, hoping if Eddie came by, as he had before, he would pick it up and wow the customers with it. And yes, that is just what he did.
After his wonderful mini-concert, maybe only 7-10 minutes, here came security desperately trying to empty the isles that now were jammed with at the very least 100 plus ecstatic customers. I was, as usual, mesmerized by his playing, and the applause was enormous. I don’t believe any of the almost instantly gathered crowd ever imagined in their wildest dream that they would see and hear Eddie Van Halen that day. On that small stage, he warmed all of our hearts with his greatness and generosity. Although I didn’t know Eddie van Halen well, what I did see was that he was one of the most honest and caring people I’ve known in my many years of music and guitar, truly a very good and sincere man.
Eddie’s comments were, “WOW! I would have never believed a straight neck could make such a difference.” Why would the neck so change the feel and playing, and the overall sound of a guitar? The instrument he was playing was a prototype that I had built to feel out how artists felt about a straight neck, individual pickups, tension-free necks, and several other items that were new to this guitar.
Everyone here at Bunker Guitars wants to say thanks and goodby to a great artist and wonderful person, Mr. Eddie Van Halen. We will miss you. I hope you keep knocking them dead in the great place where God must have taken you!