With Eddie’s Death, Memories Flood Back Of Van Halen at Wings
We've lost another musical icon. While we knew he wasn't in the best of health, having battled cancer for a while, still, when the news of Eddie Van Halen's passing was announced, it was a shock.
Eddie Van Halen and eponymous band had been in the rock and roll spotlight for well over 40 years, so in your head you know they're not kids. But look at the picture above. That's a man in his late 50's jumping around like a kid. And we begin to think they may live forever.
Eddie Van Halen's death brought out the expected tributes on social media, but it also brought back a lot of memories for local Van Halen fans, who had seen the band numerous times at Wings Stadium. The first of those shows was during the Carter Administration. May 3rd, 1979. The light came down, and Light Up the Sky came on, and the rock and roll didn't stop until until they'd done they're first mainstream hit, a cover of the Kinks' You Really Got Me, followed by Bottoms Up.
The show I remember best was the March 2nd, 1992. My first son had just been born a few weeks earlier, so this was the first time out since. I remember we had the station vehicle in the parking lot hanging out with crowd. By this time, Van Halen was a mega-band and everyone was ready for rockin' good time.
This time, it was a bit of a greatest hits show. When It's Love, Panama, Right Now, Why Can't This Be Love, You Really Got Me, Best of Both Worlds, Top of the World and Jump. Here's the set list from that night. Think of all the song they didn't do.
A wonderful anecdotal story from Vanished Kalamazoo today, where Jason Roseboom shared that "Apparently before that show Him, Valerie and lil Wolfgang were hanging out at the annex watching some high school hockey, killing time as a family." Wolf would've been just a few days short of one.
We can argue later where Eddie Van Halen ranks in the pantheon of rock gods. Right now, let's just smile and remember the great legacy of music and memories left behind.