The Realm of the Verbal Processor

Jarvis's Ramblings

Van Halen ramblings

From back in Junior High days, I have been impressed with the musical talent of Van Halen. It struck me years later that one of the reasons that I enjoyed some of their music was the fullness of it. They had the same number of instruments as other bands (electric guitar, keyboard, drums, bass), but what they did with the instruments was a step above many other bands in the same genre. Eddie had some classical training, and that comes out in the sound.

One aspect of classical music is the interaction between various instruments that gives the music a “life”. During intense or high energy sections (true classical fans are cringing at my description) of classical music, there is a fullness (don’t know how to describe it better than that) to the music. Each instrument is intimately connected with all of the others to create an auditory experience that the instruments by themselves aren’t capable of.

In a similar way, there are many Van Halen songs that do the same. The instruments combine into a combination where there is no dead space…more than the individual instruments are capable of. That was in many ways the draw of their music to me.

Now…there is another aspect here. Many indications are that much of that music was created in a drug or alcohol induced haze…do you remember the music video for either “Jump” or “Panama”…Eddie certainly appeared to be stoned out of his mind. Substance abuse is something that he has battled for a couple of decades. He just recently went back into rehab for alcohol abuse. I came across a quote from an interview that Eddie gave to Rolling Stone magazine back in 1995 where Eddie tells why he drinks. He said, “I always got hammered to be able to cope. I have zero social skills and I don’t know how to act, so I get drunk. And then I make a real a– out of myself.”

Here is a guy who has been blessed by God with immense musical talent. (Yes…blessed by God. All talent comes from God…how we utilize that talent is another story.) To many in the world…myself included in Junior High and High School…he had everything going for him…successful band, fame, money, beautiful wife (Valerie Bertinelli)…but by his own admission, he had insecurities that he didn’t know how to deal with.

Okay, so I’ve rambled a lot about VH. What can we take from it? What can we learn? Three things come to mind.

  • First, let’s pray for Eddie. As he is in rehab right now, let’s pray for him to get to the root issues and kick his habits.
  • Second, and more importantly, let’s pray for someone to come into his life who truly knows and loves Jesus. Let’s pray for Eddie’s salvation.
  • Third, we can realize that no matter how good or successful someone appears, everyone has insecurities…some are just better at masking it than others.

April 17, 2007 - Posted by | Jesus, music

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