Wolfgang Van Halen recalls how his father teached him how to play guitar
“I’ll ask him how to play something, and then he just proceeds to be Eddie Van Halen, and that’s a very tough bar to reach as a beginner. So it’s like, ‘Oh, OK…’ He’s like, ‘Well, do this…’ And it’s like, ‘Fuck you! You’re Eddie van Halen – how the hell do I do that?!'”
What’s in that room? I see a bunch of guitars.
“I brought this one out for you because I thought you might like it. This is the first guitar of my dad’s that he gave me, and a lot of Van Halen fans will know that in the ‘Panama’ video, he plays it.”
“He has two Kramer guitars – this is a Kramer. The one that has ‘1984’ written at the bottom, and one has 5150. This was the backup to the 5150. The 5150 model was the one he plays in the ‘Panama’ video and I think he plays it in ‘Live Without a Net.’ And for Christmas, when I was really young, he – like, legally gave it. Not that I was gonna steal it, but he gave it to me as a gift. And this was the first thing he gave me.”
I have a guitar that your father signed for me. I have it hanging in my house. Man, I cherish that. He wrote some great things on it, ‘Howard, I don’t care what people say about you, really,’ in parentheses, ‘or me. All the best, Eddie Van Halen.’
“That was really cool to see the guitar. I actually hadn’t seen this until I opened the case, but he gave me a card with it. And he was really proud of the joke. It’s a ‘Playboy’ card.”
“But when he said it, he was like, ‘Play, boy!’ See, this is what he wrote, he was really proud of the 3D effect he did with it too. ‘Merry Christmas,’ and it was really emotional, I completely forgot about it until I opened the case and saw it. It’s been years since I saw this but then I just remember him saying, ‘Play, boy!'”