It has come to light that Van Halen had a particular nickname for the late and great Eddie Van Halen – which wasn’t “The Dutch Master” or “Your Shreddiness.” It seems that it did have to do something with the guitar hero’s Dutch roots, as David Lee Roth explains in a recent episode of “The Roth Show” podcast.
David Lee Roth opens up on the matter
David Lee Roth tackles the story with particular relish. Before he gets to the part about the guitar legend’s nickname, however, the frontman first recalled that one time his bandmates brought his grandma to one of the Van Halen shows (transcription via Loudwire):
“Played the show at the Sportatorium in Miami — a very successful show.
“I remember they brought my 90 — Jesus, I think she was, 95 — year-old grandma. They had bought her some brand new — I think they were Nike tennis shoes. That were several sizes too big for her.”
Roth’s grandma nevertheless left “halfway through the show”, as the frontman says:
“She demanded to leave ’cause she thought the volume was gonna shake her bones apart. Came backstage, [said] hello — ‘Oh, I love ya, darling; I love ya, darling.’ She was like Aunt Em out of Wizard of Oz — ‘Ah, love ya, darling.’ Pinched my face and everything.
“And halfway through the show I said, ‘What happened to Grandma?’ At the end of the night — Oh, she [thought] the volume was gonna shake her bones apart. So she took off.”
Roth recalled how the band “adjourned to the Holiday Inn” following the Miami gig, where his bodyguard was waiting with heaps of lightbulbs which members of Van Halen would use as shooting targets for their Japanese air rifles in the hotel where they had over 40 rooms for themselves – you know, as people do.
Incidentally, the bodyguard’s name was also Edward and David Lee Roth goes on to explain how he and his bandmates differentiated between Ed the guitar wizard and Ed the lightbulb-fetching muscle:
“We didn’t call Eddie Van Halen ‘Eddie,’ we called him ‘Vard’. That’s because his mother used the Dutch [pronunciation]. The way she said it was Dutch — Edvard! Edvard! And we would call him Vard. My security guy’s name was Ed, and we called him ‘Big’ Ed.”