From an impending apocalypse to the promise of a new Van Halen album with David Lee Roth, the bar was set high for 2012. Everyone from the Mayans to Nostradamus prophesied 2012 as being the end of the world, but who could have predicted Green Day's epic trilogy of new albums, or Rush churning out their heaviest record this side of 2012, or Joe Walsh's first solo effort in two decades?
Usually, this is where I bitch about the horrible state of the music industry and what slim pickings there are for true guitar hounds … but this year was actually jolly good fun. A lot of veterans stepped up to the plate (Neil Young, Led Zeppelin, Edward Van Halen), and so did a few new, impressive hot shots (Periphery, Gary Clark Jr., HAARP Machine).
I guess you could say this about any recent year, but 2012 often felt a lot like the late '70s. We got high-profile studio releases by Van Halen, ZZ Top, Aerosmith, Neil Young, Carlos Santana, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Rush, Kiss, Joe Walsh, Asia, Ringo Starr, Alvin Lee, Jeff Lynne and two members of The Jam, plus a live Led Zeppelin album and a pair of new songs by The Rolling Stones.
Make no mistake. Eddie Van Halen can still kick your ass. The man who single-handedly changed the face of rock is still mean, lean and sharp as a tack. And if you dispute the ownership of the crown, try to imagine a world without him. I came to pay my tribute, sneak a peak at that famous Marshall and meet the man I most wanted to be at 17.
By all accounts, Wolfgang Van Halen has been having a ball on the road with Tremonti in recent weeks, filling in while his father recovers from emergency surgery following a severe bout of diverticulitis.
After nearly half a million total votes were cast, Eddie Van Halen has been named the victor in Guitar World's first-ever Greatest Guitarist of All Time poll. The tournament-style readers poll began in April with 132 guitarists, including four — Malcolm Young, Nuno Bettencourt, Jake E. Lee and Chet Atkins — who were voted in by readers.
On the first leg of Van Halen’s A Different Kind of Truth tour, toward the end of the band’s set, there was a moment during the middle of Eddie Van Halen’s solo spot in the show where the world seemed to stop spinning. Even the techs, security staff and backstage production personnel would stop what they were doing to focus on the celestial sounds emanating from the stage, with huge smiles on their faces that mirrored Ed’s beatific grin as he unleashed a staggering cascade of notes. At that particular point in Ed’s solo, it was clear that there was no place in the world that they’d rather be.