Not many guitarists could put David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Eddie Van Halen was that rare player who could shred or solo with the best while never losing track of the basics, could play maestro or riff-master according to what the moment needed.
You know me. I loved the beat and in his age, nobody kept it better.
Yes, he was “historical.” His solo on Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” was one of the last great crossover moments and the combination almost single-handedly opened up MTV for black artists. His band invented hair metal. No matter how you felt about all that, he and they deserved their iconography.
But for me, it never got further than the record that broke them open in the Spring of 1979…..and never needed to: