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January 2019 Retro Gaming Article

January 26, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Happy Birthday Eddie Van Halen!

Eddie Van Halen Shark guitar
At 64, Guitar-God Eddie Van Halen releases the EVH Shark guitar, based on his '78 tour model, during the 2019 NAMM.
Born in Amsterdam in 1947, Eddie Van Halen celebrates his birthday on January 26th. Having inspired so many guitarists, we hope more kids will want to learn to play an instrument rather than using Instagram as a steppingstone to the music industry.

Legendary band Van Halen has amazed me since the late 70s. Like most old-school fans who grew up during their early days, I'm partial their DLR era. However, I was stoked at the perceived rebirth with Gary Cherone and the release of the Wolfgang guitar. A buddy of mine and I both ordered this model with the drop_D tuning hardware. I've always been a terrible guitarist, but love the thrill of a new ax and cranking up an amp!

Share your favorite childhood bands with your kids!
In the early 80s I was exposed to Diver Down when it arrived ata friend's house via the Columbia House Record Club. I went to his house after school and there it was. We dropped it on his turntable and I was in love with Van Halen again. In the pre-internet age, we had no idea when new albums were dropping. It was a complete surprise!

Compare this to the day my son and I went to a local music store to pick up the remastered Van Halen CDs including a recent live concert. introducing him to Eruption felt like "passing a torch" to a generation who've grown up in an era were solo-singers who don't play instruments rule the charts. While today's solo-singers crank out hits, my son discovered AC/DC, Queen, and others. I try to share my favorite bands with him - from def Leppard to Cheap Trick. Share your favorite music with your kids!

It seems a majority of today's chart-topping artists don't play instruments. Solo-singers have taken over the music world, as stories about the "death of rock n roll" are regurgitated across social media. I still adore and regularly listen to Black Sabbath, Whitesnake, Kiss, Quiet Riot, Devo, and countless others from my childhood. Many of my favorite bands are still making music! Power to them! We need more kids growing up with rock n roll dreams and an avenue for success.

Eddie Van Halen Shark guitar - back From the EVH website:
One of those guitars became as iconic to Van Halen's sound as tapping was to Eddie's playing. Aptly named the "Shark," Eddie took his angular offset axe and sawed a chunk out of the body, leaving jagged edges in the wood that resembled teeth. After applying a coat of silver paint, Eddie added tape in his famed striped pattern and then grabbed a rattle can of burgundy Schwinn bicycle paint to finish the job.

The final striped creation was initially seen live during the first Van Halen World Tour in 1978, but became more widely known and adored by fans after appearing on the back cover of Van Halen's 1980 album, Women and Children First.

Grab some EVH shoes to go with that wicked axe!

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