Discover more from Talking Guitar ★ Jas Obrecht's Music Magazine
Eddie Van Halen Plays, Sings, and Hums Unreleased Van Halen Songs, 1980
An Exclusive, Never-Before-Heard Recording
If you haven’t already heard them, check out Tapes 1 through 4 of my day-long 1980 interview with Eddie Van Halen (links below). There are only about 15 minutes of usable material on Tape 5, but what’s here is special! Playing his unplugged Frankenstrat, Eddie demoes several songs he’d written for Van Halen, but none of these made it onto their just-recorded album, Women and Children First. In the process, he offers insight into how he composes and constructs songs.
Eddie identifies the first two compositions as “Where Were You” and “Light in the Sky.” He came up with the unnamed next one, he says, at the end of Van Halen’s 1979 tour, when his bandmates asked him to write an “AC/DC-type song.” If you can identify any of the other riffs and songs he plays, please mention it in the comments section. Eddie’s musical performance ends when our host, photographer Neil Zlozower, enters the room and tells us it’s time for Eddie to drive me to the airport.
Soon after Eddie played me his unreleased songs, we took off for the airport in his new Jeep CJ. At one point, we were stuck in a long line of traffic at a light. Flashing me an impish grin and telling me to hang on, Eddie gunned his engine, turned his steering wheel hard-right, jumped the curb, and sped us across the front lawns of several houses. We zoomed down to the intersection, jumped the curb, and sped off down a side street. A minute or two later Eddie pulled up in front of a convenience store and asked me to loan him five dollars. He jumped out, ran into the store, and came out with a couple of packs of Marlboros. He tossed one to me, though I don’t smoke, and we completed the drive to the airport with just minutes to spare. The last sounds you hear are his farewell.
I hope you enjoy this unique recording!
For more historic Eddie Van Halen interviews, check out these Talking Guitar podcasts:
Thanks to engineer/producer Nik Hunt for enhancing the sound of all of these recordings.
Help support the Talking Guitar project by becoming a paid subscriber or by hitting the donate button. Thank you!
© 2023 Jas Obrecht. All right reserved.