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The heart and soul of AC/DC according to Eddie Van Halen

Eddie Van Halen


The heart and soul of AC/DC according to Eddie Van Halen

Eddie Van Halen was connected to music since he was a young kid because his father was an accomplished jazz pianist, clarinetist and saxophonist who taught his sons about music since they were young. Eddie and Alex started playing the piano and then learned other instruments until they found themselves on the guitar and drums.


Although Eddie had this classical background it was Rock and Roll music that really moved him. Over the decades he talked about many groups he loved and one of them was AC/DC. He even named which member was the heart and soul of the band in his opinion.

The heart and soul of AC/DC according to Eddie Van Halen

Although AC/DC was formed in 1973, one year after Van Halen already existed, they were able to release their first album in 1975, three years earlier than the American group. “High Voltage” that was released first only in Australia still didn’t have all the classic members of the band. At the time, the group was formed by Bon Scott (Vocals), Angus Young (Guitar), Malcolm Young (Guitar), Rob Bailey (Bass) and Peter Clack (Drums).

Over the years, both bands carved their names in the history of Hard Rock music. The music genre certainly wouldn’t have been the same if they didn’t exist. Eddie was a huge AC/DC fan and watched the band live every time he had the chance. So he developed a friendship with the members of the band. Especially the late rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young, who Eddie said was the heart and soul of AC/DC.

The Van Halen guitarist said that in a statement after Malcolm’s death in 2017 at the age of 64 after years struggling with Dementia. “It is a sad day in Rock and Roll. Malcolm Young was my friend and the heart and soul of AC/DC. I had some of the best times of my life with him on our 1984 European tour. He will be missed and my deepest condolences to his family, band mates and friends,” Eddie Van Halen said.

As the guitarist said, he had the chance to spend a lot of time with Malcolm during the Monsters of Rock tour in 1984 that had AC/DC and Van Halen. Other famous groups in that line-up were Ozzy Osbourne, Gary Moore, Accept, Mötley Crüe, Tommy Vance and Y & T.

Angus Young said that Eddie was a innovative guitar player

Angus was also a good friend of Eddie and the admiration between them was mutual. AC/DC released their album “Power Up” about a month after Van Halen passed away at the age of 65 after years battling cancer. So Angus Young was asked a lot about the guitarist and what was his opinion on him.

Talking with, the AC/DC guitarist recalled that the last time they played in Los Angeles, Eddie went to see them and also talked about how he loved Malcolm. He was just such a warm person. The first thing you notice about him was as soon as you saw him he had a big smile, like a big laugh and ‘give me a big hug.’”

He continued:

“Always excited to see you. To the music world, it’s a big loss. But again, for those of us lucky to have met him, it’s probably an even bigger tragedy. Also for his family and everyone close to him. When you heard the news that cancer had come back to him, you’re praying that the guy would get through. But that’s how I always remembered him. And I also remember seeing him when we toured in America and he came out to Los Angeles.”

“And he came to the shows to see us. He was still the same – big smile, happy, and he was ever so happy to see us. And he was very fond of Malcolm. It is a tough thing and he definitely leaves a big hole. And if you knew him, he does leave a big hole in people,”” Angus Young said.

Angus Young often recalls that when Eddie went to see them he kept asking if they would play some songs from the album “Powerage” (1978), which was his favorite one. He particularly loves songs like “Down Payment Blues” and “Riff Raff”.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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