Eddie Van Halen Makes Surprise Visit to Los Angeles Music School

by Guitar World Staff
Posted Dec 9, 2013 at 11:32am

Eddie Van Halen made a surprise visit to music students at LA Unified School District's Foshay Learning Center in Los Angeles last Thursday, December 5.

Twenty-seven students, under the tutelage of Music Director Vincent Womack, were transfixed as Van Halen told 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," he said. "It took years of dedication and practice, practice, practice.

"The gift of music is yours, no one can take that away no matter what," Van Halen said to the class. "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."

Van Halen and the Fender Musical Instruments Company donated one of his signature EVH 5150lll amps to the class. Van Halen also presented each student with a gift bag filled with EVH picks, guitar straps, cables, guitar strings and a Frankenstein key chain.

After scoring a gift bag of his own, 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."

Last year, Van Halen donated 75 electric guitars from his personal collection to the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation, which distributed the guitars to nine schools throughout Los Angeles County. One of the recipients of a guitar, a student named Jose who was on hand Thursday, received a hands-on, one-on-one "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" lesson from Van Halen.

Photo: Lee Salem


Add a Comment
0 Comments

Similar Guitar News

Watch One of the 'Minions' Play Van Halen's "Eruption" — Video (7/10/2015)
As you might've detected from the non-stop (and fairly annoying) TV commercials, Minions opened in theaters today. The animated comedy, which is about gibberish-spewing yellow creatures who are looking for someone to serve, happens to feature a ...
Watch Eddie Van Halen Shred at Van Halen’s Hollywood Bowl Tour Finale — Video (10/5/2015)
Last night marked the end of Van Halen’s 2015 North American tour, and the band made sure it was a night to remember. They took the stage at the Hollywood Bowl for two nights, October 2 and 4, returning to Los Angeles, where they kicked off the ...
Watch Eddie Van Halen Play Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and The Beatles — Video (7/9/2015)
Bassist Billy Sheehan recently appeared on Eddie Trunk’s podcast, where he revealed that Van Halen had twice invited him to join the group to replace Michael Anthony. Sheehan also noted in that interview that he has played with all the members ...
Van Halen Perform "Panama" at Billboard Music Awards — Video (5/18/2015)
Last night, Van Halen kicked off the Billboard Music Awards with a powerful performance of "Panama," which you can check out below. David Lee Roth turned in a solid vocal performance that was a step up from Van Halen's recent appearances on Jimm...
Thirty Guitar Legends — Including Eddie Van Halen, Dimebag Darrell and Jeff Beck — Pick the Song They'd Most Want to Be Remembered By, Part 1 (6/24/2015)
From the GW Archive: This feature originally appeared in the May 2002 issue of Guitar World. The story has a "time capsule" theme: We asked several veteran guitarists to choose the one song they'd most want to be remembered by after many years. ...
Sammy Hagar Responds to Eddie Van Halen's Billboard Interview: "F— You, You’re a Liar!” — Video (6/22/2015)
Over the weekend, singer Sammy Hagar responded to several claims made by Eddie Van Halen in a high-profile new Billboard interview. Hagar was particularly upset about Van Halen’s statements concerning former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony. I...
Roth Erupts and Van Halen Stop Show When Fan Throws Beer Onstage — Video [NSFW] (8/31/2015)
David Lee Roth had some choice words for a fan who threw a beer onstage at Van Halen’s August 27 performance in Camden, New Jersey. The group were just launching into “Dirty Movies” at the Susquehanna Bank Center when Roth stopped the show. “So...
Rosie Botterill Covers Joe Satriani's "Satch Boogie" and Eddie Van Halen's "Beat It" Guitar Solo — Video (10/20/2015)
Here's something we found on a growing Facebook community called Shreddelicious: Female Guitar Players Community. It's a new cover (October 16) of Joe Satriani's "Satch Boogie" by guitarist Rosie Botterill. The track is from Satch’s landmark Sur...
Readers' Poll: The Best American Rock Band Ever — Van Halen Vs. Red Hot Chili Peppers (9/9/2015)
When Labor Day came and went earlier this month, it reminded us of the American labor movement and the contributions American workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of the good ol' U.S. of A. However, since we're Guitar Wor...
Readers' Poll: The Best American Rock Band Ever — Van Halen Vs. Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band (9/30/2015)
When Labor Day came and went earlier this month, it reminded us of the American labor movement and the contributions American workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of the good ol' U.S. of A. However, since we're Guitar Wor...
Readers' Poll: Best Rock Headphone Song Ever — "Tomorrow Never Knows" (The Beatles) Vs. "Girl Gone Bad" (Van Halen) (11/3/2015)
What, exactly, is a headphone song? The definition changes depending on who you are. For audiophiles, a headphone song—or album, for that matter—is a work that is so exquisite that it demands you listen to each beautifully recorded note under a ...
Paul Gilbert Performs Van Halen's "Spanish Fly" — Video (6/29/2015)
Below, check out a video of Racer X/Mr. Big guitarist Paul Gilbert playing "Spanish Fly," a classic 1979 instrumental tune by Van Halen. Although we're not sure when (or where) the brief clip was filmed, we do know it was posted to YouTube early...
Lady Gaga Covers Van Halen's "Panama" at New York City Show — Video (6/23/2015)
Over the weekend, Lady Gaga let her love for hard rock, specifically Van Halen, show. The pop superstar performed a wild version of Van Halen's "Panama" with the Dirty Pearls at the band's gig at New York's Gramercy Theatre. Check it out below,...
Jim Dunlop Introduces MXR EVH 5150 Overdrive Pedal, Designed with Eddie Van Halen — Demo Video (11/10/2015)
The MXR design team has collaborated with Eddie Van Halen to deliver a full range of powerful saturation and hyper-driven tones right at your feet. The resulting EVH 5150 Overdrive joins hand-adjusted multi-stage MOSFETs with a full complement o...
Hear Van Halen Play “All Day and All of the Night” in Newly Unearthed 1976 Live Recording (9/11/2015)
The clip below presents a newly unearthed soundboard recording of Van Halen performing the Kinks’ “All Day and All of the Night” live at the Pasadena Civic Center November 19, 1976. This recording, which has never been presented before, comes co...