The one word that might best summarize Eddie Van Halen’s outlook on life these days is ‘thankful.’ In a recent interview with Spinner, the guitar legend emphasizes just how grateful he is to be in a place where everything seems to have finally come together for him.
That may sound strange when we’re talking about a talented musician who truly made it, and has experienced the highs of living the life of an honest-to-God rock star, but like so many others who find themselves in the celebrity spotlight, the tremendous highs are often accompanied by devastating lows, and Eddie Van Halen has not been spared his share.
After enduring battles with cancer and addiction, Van Halen sounds like a man who has finally managed to gain the upper hand in his long battle with the demons that haunted him through the decades. Numerous references to ‘God’ reveal an Eddie Van Halen that sounds more humble than might be expected of someone who is considered by many to be the best rock guitarist of all time.
Even so, Van Halen does not hesitate to take credit where he believes it is due, mentioning three times during the interview that he writes all of the group’s music. He does acknowledge, however, that the group – at least in its current incarnation – is indeed a democracy, and as a result, he does sometimes get outvoted. “I’m not a tyrant, as a lot of people think,” he says. “I just expect other people, if you’re in this band, to work as hard as I do.”
Asked whether he has a different appreciation for where he is at with his life and music these days, he responds by saying: “Yeah, I thank God on my knees that I’m alive and obviously to be sober and to be working with my son. I’m so damn blessed it’s beyond words.”
To read the entire interview, visit Spinner.