I was 16 years old when Van Halen changed the world of guitar players worldwide. The year was 1978 and I vividly recall the first time I heard their debut album. I had gone to the local record store and purchased the newest Rainbow record and decided to pick up the VH debut because I liked the album cover. Something about that striped guitar just called out to me. When I got home I was told to listen on headphones due to my mother having company. I put on side one, cranked it up and as the first song (Runnin’ With The Devil) played, I began to nearly hyperventilate with excitement. Nothing could have prepared me for what came next. Eruption literally changed my life…Eddie Van Halen’s guitar solo showcase was 1:43 seconds of molten lava, jaw-dropping, face-melting insanity. It was a game changer, and I can only imagine the priceless look on my face as the revolution took place between my ears! Track by track, the album just reinvented rock guitar, not to mention just the sonic perfection of the mix, the rich bottom end and cavernous drum sound, all topped with David Lee Roth’s banshee wails and cocky swagger. Van Halen had party anthems to spare, and it was a glorious time to be 16 years old. Several generations have claimed to be part of the golden age of rock ‘n’ roll, and I’m pretty sure us kids of the ’70’s have a legitimate argument to plead our case. Van Halen rules!
Written By Braddon S. Williams