EddieVanHalen400 Eddie Van Halen, one of music’s most inventive and influential guitarists, made a surprise visit to music students at L.A. Unified School District’s Foshay Learning Center on Thursday, December 5th.

Twenty seven aspiring musicians, under the tutelage of Music Director Vincent Womack, were transfixed as Van Halen inspired them to pursue their passion for music by sharing stories about the importance of music in his own life.

“I wasn’t born ‘Eddie Van Halen,’ successful or famous, it took years of dedication and practice, practice, practice,” said Van Halen.

To help better benefit students in their quest to master music, Eddie and the Fender Musical Instruments Company donated one of his signature EVH 5150lll amplifiers to the class. Eddie also presented each guitar student with a gift bag filled with EVH brand picks, guitar straps, cables, electric guitar strings and a Frankenstein key chain. Fender also contributed acoustic guitar strings to the gift bags.

After scoring a gift bag of his own, Mr. Womack said, “I am so grateful to you for fueling and inspiring us and raising the ceiling of possibilities for the kids. We will never forget today.”

Van Halen’s visit to the music students was inspired after he attended a fundraising event a few weeks ago for the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation where he was first introduced to Foshay’s Musical Director.

Last year, Van Halen donated 75 electric guitars from his personal collection to the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation who distributed the guitars to nine schools throughout Los Angeles County. One of the lucky recipients of a guitar, a student named Jose, who was on hand Thursday received a hands on one-on-one lesson from the rock legend who took time to personally teach him the intro to the Van Halen classic “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love”.

“The gift of music is yours, no one can take that away no matter what,” Van Halen said to Mr. Womack’s class. He added, “It is not a rich/poor thing nor does it discriminate. If you have a love or even a like for music, go after it, pursue it. Music helps lift your self-esteem, it gave me an identity, kept me out of trouble, gave me goals and the desire to improve. It gave me a life. I am an example of what music can do for someone. What it did for me, it can do for you all. Anything is possible.”

Watch a video from KCBS Channel 2 below.

Photo: Lee Salem

16 Responses

  1. Wow seems like Eddie put himself aside for once. With all the fan support he has gotton over the decades from VH fans he needs to start to give back rather than be a prick. Instead of one school he should donate to the thousands out there, maybe we would think better of him then.

    1. Maybe we could all donate time and or money to schools John. Why is it just Eddie who is a prick? The guy does a decent thing and you pile on him for not doing more? Unbelievable.

    2. Right on. EVH doesn’t owe anybody anything. He could’ve retired after the first 4 or 5 VH LPs and he’d have left the world a much better place.

  2. Jack Russell……Eddie Van Halen….Michael Anthony…..Sammy Hagar all in a celebrity death match. My money is on the dynamic duo of Sammy and Michael. These two are a class acts. Jack and Eddie? They are pricks.

  3. Here is what I want for Christmas (5 year window of opportunity): Eddie calls a press conference and says he and Alex want to reunite with Michael and Sammy. They plan to do a large tour and not hose the fans with ticket prices…..Hell….each reasonably priced ticket comes with a free LARGE beer voucher and a parking pass too (a man can dream can’t he?) Anyway, at this conference, Eddie apologizes to Michael and Sammy for being such a douche all these years (blames it on bad sushi)and says that it would be an honor to be on stage with such phenomenal musicians again. He literally begs for forgiveness…..crying…snot bubbles in his nose…the whole bit….. Fast forward to the fantasy tour and the band is red hot and singing all their classic hits that Diamond Dave can only dream of singing. Oh, and for an encore, Sammy brings out Chicken Foot and they have a monster jam. You’re welcome!!! 🙂

  4. Eddie: Sam, get Mike and get down here to 5150. Sam: We’re busy doin some stuff up here, put it on hold. Eddie: Are holding your phone: adios to both of you.

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