Well, we obviously need to show this first:
In case you were not aware, the grinning chap in the video above is the late Eddie Van Halen. Let me be very clear that as much as I love music, I will not pretend to be a fan of Van Halen. I liked what I heard, but it wasn’t like I was really into it. Yet, as a child of the 80s, I was obviously constantly exposed to songs like Jump, Panama, and Hot For Teacher. I loved the videos, and when I first started working at Apple in 1987, one of the first guys I worked with was the keyboardist for Van Halen, Brett Tuggle.
When Jump came out, I heard on MTV that it only cost them five hundred bucks to make it, which I thought was incredibly cool. There’s something charming about seeing an entity, be it a person or a group or even a company, who could easily afford whatever they want, but find a way to do something on the cheap which is still very effective (Slope is a living example of that).
I also thought it was pretty awesome that Eddie was married to the irresistible Valerie Bertinelli. I also read that Eddie would sometimes turn away from the audience when he played since he didn’t want them to see just how he was getting his guitar to create the sounds he was making.
What I found most appealing about Eddie Van Halen, though, was his smile. You can see it in the thumbnail of the video above. The guy just looked so damned happy. And, during the video, when he’s really rocking out on the guitar, he makes this look at the camera for a few moments which seemed to say to me:
- Isn’t this awesome?
- Don’t you wish you could do this?
- I hope you’re having as much fun as I am!
I suppose everyone’s life is like this. One by one, you see the heroes and celebrities of your youth disappear.
And it’s all gone in the blink of an eye.