Eddie Van Halen has opened up about surviving addiction, why he is still making music, and what he really thinks of David Lee Roth (and other past Van Halen bandmates).
Van Halen is about to embark on a 40-plus date North American tour. He will be joined by his drummer brother, Alex, his bassist son, and vocalist David Lee Roth. When asked about his relationship with Roth, Eddie told Billboard:
“He does not want to be my friend….How can I put this: Roth’s perception of himself is different than who he is in reality. We’re not in our 20s anymore. We’re in our 60s. Act like you’re 60. I stopped coloring my hair, because I know I’m not going to be young again.”
He also had choice words about former bassist Michael Anthony: “I had to show him how to play. He’s not a singer. He just has a range from hell.”
On surviving his alcohol and drug addiction “I didn’t drink to party,” he says now, sober since 2008. “Alcohol and cocaine were private things to me. I would use them for work…”
“I was an alcoholic, and I needed alcohol to function…I started drinking and smoking when I was 12….Around 2004, I suppose I became a very angry drunk. But [the stuff in Hagar’s book] was definitely embellished. That’s him painting a picture of something that never happened.”
When asked what music he listens to, Eddie simply replied “I don’t listen to anything,”
The guitarist maintains that the last album he purchased was Peter Gabriel’s So, when it came out in 1986. He’s not familiar with the work of Radiohead, Metallica or Guns N’ Roses. He appears to know only one Ozzy Osbourne song Randy Rhoads played on, and it’s Crazy Train.
‘It’s an odd thing, but I’ve been this way my whole life,’ he continues. “I couldn’t make a contemporary record if I wanted to, because I don’t know what contemporary music sounds like.”
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