Van Halen guitar legend Eddie Van Halen made a surprise visit to music students at LA Unified School District's Foshay Learning Center last Thursday (December 5th). According to a press release and TV reports, Eddie spoke to a class of 27 students, encouraging them to pursue music in their own lives while sharing stories of how important it's been in his own. He said, "I wasn't born 'Eddie Van Halen,' successful or famous, it took years of dedication and practice, practice, practice."
Eddie also told the students, "The gift of music is yours, no one can take that away no matter what. It is not a rich/poor thing nor does it discriminate. If you have a love or even a like for music, go after it, pursue it. Music helps lift your self-esteem, it gave me an identity, kept me out of trouble, gave me goals and the desire to improve. It gave me a life. I am an example of what music can do for someone. What it did for me, it can do for you all. Anything is possible."
- One person who told us that Eddie has always provided him with advice and inspiration is, not surprisingly, his son, Van Halen bassist Wolfgang Van Halen: "He definitely has some quirky lines he gives me that definitely help me out, like, in terms of playing music, 'If you ever make a mistake, do it twice so the audience thinks you're meant to do it' (laughs)."
- Eddie donated one of his signature Fender EVH 5150lll amplifiers to the class and also presented each guitar student with a gift bag filled with EVH brand picks, guitar straps, cables, electric guitar strings and a Frankenstein key chain. Fender also contributed acoustic guitar strings to the gift bags.
- Eddie was inspired to visit the school after meeting its musical director at a recent fundraising event for the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation, which provides resources such as instruments to music programs in underserved schools.
- Last year, Eddie donated 75 electric guitars from his personal collection to the Foundation, which distributed them to nine schools throughout Los Angeles County.
- Van Halen the band reunited with original singer David Lee Roth in 2007 for a two-year world tour and a 2012 album, A Different Kind Of Truth. Roth recently said that the band is in the early stages of work on its 13th studio effort.
CHECK IT OUT: Watch a local TV report on Eddie's visit to the school:
INTERNET COMMENTS at Blabbermouth -- agree or not?
Sam Reimer wrote: "Eddie rules, must have been a cool time for the students."
Dennis Goller wrote: "Way to go Ed. You look happy and that makes us happy. It's a great thing what you are doing for these students."
Ian Eagling wrote: "He's got to do something seeing that Van Halen aren't doing anything but collecting dust."
Wolfgang Van Halen On Getting Advice From His Dad
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