Why Eddie Van Halen was told to stop throwing picks into the audience

Eddie Van Halen of Van Halen performs at their dress rehearsal for family and friends at the Forum on February 8, 2012 in Inglewood, California.
(Image credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Former Eddie Van Halen guitar tech Tom Weber and Van Halen keyboard tech Greg Rule recently appeared on Rock Talk with Mitch Lafon and The Jeremy White Podcast, and among the many, many great stories VH stories discussed (including the infamous 2007 performance of Jump when Ed’s guitar was completely out-of-tune with the keyboard track), they went deep on a tale about stolen Eddie guitar picks.

The story began with a comment from Rule about how, at one point on the road, Ed was told not to throw any more picks out into the audience. “It incited a brawl,” Rule said. “And so he agreed, and I think that’s when they started to sell the picks.”

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.