Darlene Aderoju of People reports:

To the public, Eddie Van Halen was known for his extraordinary guitar playing abilities — but to his friends, the late icon was an all-around inspiration.

…[KISS bassist] Gene Simmons recalls the moment he learned of Van Halen’s death on October 6th.

“…I was shocked to find out Eddie had passed, the first image that hit me — so help me God — was Eddie Van Halen grinning from ear to ear with that big, huge, million-dollar smile.

He always had that on, whether he was onstage playing for packed houses or in videos or meeting a stranger. He just smiles and says, ‘Hey, how you doing?'”

“He would smile and his eyes would disappear. His cheeks would shoot up and they would take his whole face, like a little 12-year-old kid smiling when you’re not trying to impress anybody or you’re not aware of what you look like,” Simmons vividly remembers. “It was a full-face smile. It was catchy. It grabs you off-guard.”

…Simmons continued, “He was unabashed and just comfortable in his own skin…I was not just amazed by his talent, but I admire him so much as a human being.

Eddie was aware that he had this God-given talent, but I never saw him push that in anybody’s face. At the core, Eddie just seems to be a happy guy.

Every once in a while, God gets it right…He did a good job with Eddie Van Halen, I’ll tell you that. He was a far better man than I’ll ever be, that’s the truth.”

Read more at People.

5 Responses

  1. Appreciate Gene’s comments but methinks he is doing it for some publicity – not that he needs it.
    EVH did appear to be an everyday guy with extraordinary talents. And that impish smile spoke volumes
    So glad he cleaned himself up..that seemed to be his only major vice.

  2. David Crosby responds “Meh” to Gene’s nice comments about Eddie Van Halen. :o)

    Gene $immon$ can be a douchebag a lot of the times, but he also has a big heart. His warm words of Eddie Van Halen should be a lesson to that idiot David Crosby on how to show respect.

  3. Quite a compliment from Gene, who usually compliments primarily himself. It’s very big of Gene to say that, but then again no one can deny Eddies genius, and apparently (I’ve never met him) he could be a really nice guy. I was also happy to hear that Eddie and Sammy spoke earlier this year, and it went well. Michael Anthony has also shown nothing but class, regardless of Eddie’s very public attacks on him.
    Eddie’s passing seems like the End of an Era.

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