I consider myself lucky to have been born into a family which enjoyed music. From a very early age, around 4, I remember listening to and playing 45s for my folks when they had friends round. They'd do stuff like, swap the records into the wrong sleeves to test me, I always noticed and swapped them back into the right ones.
The knock on effect of this upbringing didn't really manifest itself until my early teens, when I started buying records myself. T Rex, Slade etc. in the early 70's.
Fast forward to secondary school, Belfast 1974. A character building experience moving to N Ireland and all that entailed but, meeting other guys that loved good music opened my eyes to a whole new world. Pink Floyd? Who?
So started a true love affair with rock music in all its variants. I became a rock fan, what's now known as Classic rock, with a tinge of Prog. Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Bad Company ..... Family, Genesis (the real one )
1978 and my buddy and I have decided that there's a disco but, what about all us rock fans? So, after a bit of wrangling, one of the DJs came down on our side and they allowed us, to play our own albums in the club.
So began Album Nights at HMS Seahawk.
The two of us would cart a crate of albums up to the club on a Wednesday night and share our rock with a growing bunch of pals and fans. Loved it.
Now there was a reason to search out and discover ever new sounds. I will not forget the day we wandered into ..... I cannot remember for the life of me, the name over the hardware / electrical shop at the top of Coinagehall St in Helston however, they had a record department upstairs, run by Capt. Sensible, as we called him and he took great pleasure in finding something new for us. (Was it Eddy's?)
Then one day, he did! I remember him putting this album on the turntable, it started ....hmmmmmm. We wandered into the back room to browse. Track 2 started and segued into 3!
I don't think I'd ever been so stunned.
I'd never heard guitar playing like it!
Now, I didn't become a full instant fan of Van Halen, the band but, Eddie's guitar? Most definitely. I didn't buy everything ever but, loved what he could do with that instrument.
Now, I'm pretty sure there are some of you reading this thinking really? Awful noise and that's totally fine. My 83 year old father, a huge Roy Orbison fan, absolutely LOVES the Van Halen version of Oh Pretty Woman, it was him text me late last night to tell me that Eddie had died of throat cancer.
Van Halen will be remember by many for Jump, which i guess was a good single but, it really wasn't them, in my opinion.
There was fun, loud brash rock, calm soothing guitar and humour through it all.
That moment, when I first heard Eruption, break into You Really Got Me will stay with me all my life.
R.I.P. Eddie Van Halen and thank you