January 29, 2015

Eddie Van Halen will speak on February 12th at L.A.’s Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and Zocalo Public Square as part of the ongoing “What It Means To Be American” program.

The Dutch-born Van Halen will discuss his American journey, “his role in creating one of the biggest American rock bands of all time, how he has reinvented the way the guitar is played and designed, and he will answer the question, ‘Is rock n’ roll about reinvention?’” Entertainment journalist Denise Quan will moderate the sold-out event, which will be streamed the next day (February 13th) at WhatItMeansToBeAmerican.org


According to the event’s press release for the event, “Van Halen and Fender will donate a master-built replica of Van Halen’s infamous white-with-black-stripe Stratocaster. This is the guitar that changed the guitar world in 1978 when Van Halen cross-pollinated Gibson electronics with Fender body and neck designs. To represent the path of progressions in his instrument designs, a Stealth finished EVH Brand Wolfgang will also be included to represent his modern-day workhorse.”

In addition to the guitars, Van Halen and Fender Musical Instruments Corp. will also donate an EVH Brand 5150-III amplifier and speaker cabinet to showcase Van Halen’s electronic growth and musical gear over the decades.

Eddie Van Halen said that most of Van Halen’s music stems from jam sessions with drummer and brother Alex: “What I do on any record is I basically lock myself up in the studio with my brother, and we jam, and whatever comes out is what we (laughs) use. And a lot of the stuff we, we don’t use, ’cause it’s not good (laughs). But the good stuff we keep, and we just carry on from there.”