October 20, 2021

The Queens County Citizen

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Jean Simmons on Eddie Van Hollen: ‘He Was a Superhero’

gene simmons eddie van halen

Although it is sometimes forgotten, Kiss – and the band Jean Simmons In particular – played a key role in the early days Van Hollen. After seeing the then unsigned team at the Los Angeles Club in 1977, Simmons brought Van Hollen to New York to create their first demo. A year later, Van Hollen had a record deal and a huge debut album. Simmons has been in close contact with the guitarist for some years. Notably repressed Simmons shares memories of his late friend.

It was a heartbreaking day for me. Eddie is a beautiful soul; Girlfriend of a man. From Hendrix and all those exaggerations you can say that he is the best guitarist on both legs, which is true. An unforgettable picture for me when I heard that he passed today was Eddie smiling from ear to ear.

If you look at the rotating pictures, Eddie is always smiling. He enjoyed life. He can tear down the sucker roof on stage and all the time he is looking at the fans, at the freightboard. He laughs because he has the time of his life. I get that smile every time. Someone says something and he has a kind smile. I never heard him shout at anyone.

It was an off night in 1977 and I was going to the Starwood Club. I had never heard of Van Hollen; I was there to see a group called Boise. You go upstairs to the “you are so awesome” area and downstairs fans. I’m looking forward to the boys and the first band comes. They are making this angry noise with these melodic sounds from the guitar like I have never heard before.

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I went to the balcony and looked. Roth looked up without his shirt on, and Alex was playing garbage from the drums and Michael pumped away. And then I never hesitated to do things with my hands on this guitar player guitar. No one used backing tracks or auto tune or that rubbish. It is authentic.

I went to New York and set them up at Hendrix Studio in Flight Lady. We have the same engineer who worked with Humble. All the right tools. I said, “Now you have to deliver. Go there and play live. ”Eddie did all the guitar parts live. He broke down solo Live In the studio. Some take 14 or 15 songs and finish. With Eddie – and he really likes to be called Edward – get off the street clothes and you are standing next to the superhero. Those were wonderful, innocent days. I bought a pair of David leather pants.

Around ’77, I wrote “Christine Sixteen” and two other songs. On my way back from Japan, at one o’clock in the morning, I called Eddie and Alex and asked, “I got some songs – would you like to help me do these shows?” And they did. Eddie did a solo on “Christine Sixteen” in a take. I loved it so much, I noticed an ace copy for the note. So when you hear “Christine Sixteen”, it’s Eddie Solo you hear, but copied by Ace.

Once he came through the studio where we worked and played us “Jump”. Like Linda Blair in Exorcist, Your head starts to turn around and you say, “What is it? Keyboards? ” I don’t know what to think about it. There’s a solo there, but it’s too short. I said, “When are you playing the guitar?” I said. He said, “No, this is our new thing.” But that song still has their DNA.

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Like all bands, there is always some kind of dysfunction and ego. Eddie was not happy with Van Hollen at one point and he called me in 1981 or 1982. He said he wanted to leave the team and had enough Dave and knew nothing more. I had lunch with him and said, “Don’t do this. You are an amazing band. There are bulbs in every voyage on the ship ”- all those corn stuff. I said, “You are in Van Hollen. It got your name. ”He pulled it out. I went to Rainbow with groups and money and fame. I never saw Eddie there. He never played the game. He is not interested. He loved that music and the band.

Most guys play fast but without melody or heart or soul. Eddie Solos has it all. Not because Hendrix was bending strings like hi to anyone. He cast a big shadow. You think you are very good and famous and you are filling the fields. But when you sit in front of Eddie, you are in the presence of greatness.