Eddie Van Halen discussed going to Germany and Switzerland for lung cancer treatment to make himself a ‘guinea pig’ in a desperate attempt to prolong his life in text messages with a fan named Blair, recently released on Rolling Stone. One procedure, Eddie said in a text, “felt like two hands digging a 44-magnum bullet out of my chest.”
He was then asked if he got recognized at hospitals. “People really don’t recognize me like in the ’80s or ’90s,” he responds. “They might look at me like it might be me and sometimes they ask.” Other times Ed heard them say as they walked away, “F**k, that was Eddie Van Halen!!”
Eddie was helping take care of an ailing family member shortly before his cancer diagnosis, texting, “When I go, I hope I go quick!! I don’t wanna be a burden on anyone!!”
Eddie Van Halen had once intimidated Keith Scott, the lead guitarist of Bryan Adams’s solo band. Scott recalled Eddie Van Halen’s role in the resurgence of guitar-based music in the late ’70s, arguing how rock has always had its ups and downs. It has been noted that of all the guitar players that made the ’80s a glorious decade for the instrument, Keith Scott is arguably the least talked about.
Keith Scott opens up on Eddie Van Halen
It is said that Eddie Van Halen held Scott in particularly high regard, as Mitch Lafon and Jeremy White noted in a recent interview with Bryan Adams’s first ax. When asked about the fact that Eddie Van Halen himself named him one of his favorite guitarists, Scott replied:
“Maybe he got me mixed up with somebody else. No, I remember that he had said things… But he would come out [to the shows], and he was a fan. He loved Bryan, he loved his voice. And he was always so, so great. He’s just it’s just a normal guy… He was just really cool.”
After downplaying Van Halen’s comment at first, Scott admits that the late guitar hero did indeed express admiration for his playing at one point. That must have meant a lot for the guitarist, particularly as he recalls being “intimidated” by EVH’s sheer skill:
“And I did hear about the comment in a publication that he said something about me. You know, I just thanked him for that, I think, at the time, which is the late ’80s. But he’s just a really nice guy, and obviously, we were a little intimidated because of his role in electric guitar in the last 40 years.”
Scott further noted how prior to Van Halen, many people claimed that guitar-focused music was dying – and given that the case proved to be the exact opposite, we probably shouldn’t pay much attention to similar claims made today:
“Because we have to remember, people were saying in the late 70s, ‘Guitar is dead.’ I remember Bruce Springsteen said something like that.
“And it came back with a vengeance. Things like Ozzy came out with Randy Rhoads; Eddie [Van Halen], and AC/DC ‘Back in Black.’ And it was like, ‘No, it is coming back to get you.’
“It really did, and it hasn’t gone away. You see kids on YouTube, 10, 12 years old and they’re absolutely shredding it, and doing really well. I guess that’s the biggest advantage, so much more information available at a young age, as opposed to when we started.
“We had to skip the record thing to get the notes, but now you’ve got a guy who’s written it all out in tab for you, everything you’ve ever wanted to know.”
Bryan Adams and Keith Scott are currently on the European leg of Adams’s ongoing “So Happy It Hurts” tour.