Eddie Van Halen, Guitarist Par Excellence–1955-2020, Good Memories

bella lago from USA / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)

In the early 1980s I was was managing a new store in Sherman Oaks, CA for the Al ‘n Ed’s Auto Sound Stores. In that area, we had a lot of show business people and as manager I was the one who dealt with them. One morning a bright red Lamborghini Countach pulled up to the corner on Van Nuys Blvd., the doors lifted up and out stepped Eddie Van Halen. We talked for a few minutes and he told me what he wanted done. He gave me the keys and asked that I be the only one to drive it.

Where he had parked, the only way to the service bays was to get on the Ventura Freeway and off again, circling around. He waved goodbye and got in another car with someone else. I swallowed, got into the bright red sports car and shifted into first. By the time I was on the freeway and in 3rd gear I was over 60mph. I curbed my temptation to drive to Santa Barbara and back and got off at the next exit. I pulled into the service bay and my team got to work on the car.

Later that afternoon, I called him to tell him the car was finished. He showed up and we chatted for a few minutes before I showed him the car. He smiled, said “thanks” and drove off. He seemed like a genuinely good guy. RIP, Eddie.

Ed Simon

About Ed Simon

Ed is a native of Los Angeles who loves food and food cultures. Whether he's looking for the best ceviche in Colombia, the best poke in Hawaii, the best tequila in Jalisco, the best Bun bo Hue in Vietnam or the best Taiwanese Beef Roll in Los Angeles, it's all good food! He also loves a good drink. He's had Mai Tais in Hawaii, Bourbon in Kentucky, Tequila in Mexico and Rum in Jamaica. His wine escapades have taken him to Napa, Sonoma, the Willamette Valley and the Santa Ynez Valley. And he's had beer all over the world! Music is another of Ed's passion, writing and interviewing many classic rock, rock and blues musicians. Getting the great stories of road experiences from them is a particular delight. Traveling also fits in with Ed's writing, exploring all over to find the most interesting places to visit, even in out of the way areas.
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