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

Jim Dunlop Effect Pedal Throwdown, Round 1: EVH95 Eddie Van Halen Cry Baby Vs. ZW95 Zakk Wylde Cry Baby (10/21/2014)
It's time to compare the mettle of Jim Dunlop pedals! In GuitarWorld.com's latest readers poll — the first annual Jim Dunlop Effect Pedal Throwdown — we're pitting Dunlop, MXR and Way Huge pedals against each other in a no-holds-barred shootout....
'Retrogrenade': Gary Cherone Talks New Hurtsmile Album, Extreme and Van Halen (10/2/2014)
If you follow the career path of frontman extraordinaire Gary Cherone, you can't avoid bumping into some serious guitar-rock royalty. Whether it's his partnership with Nuno Bettencourt in Extreme, fronting the mighty Van Halen or performing with...
Eddie Van Halen on How He Created His Signature Sound Using MXR's Phase 90 and Flanger Pedals (9/23/2014)
This is an excerpt from the all-new November 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the rest of this story, plus our cover feature on Jeff Beck and ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, not to mention features on Weezer, George Thorogood, the guitar pick revolution,...
David Lee Roth's Unaccompanied Vocal Track from Van Halen's "Running with the Devil" — Listen (8/4/2014)
"Running With the Devil" began the career of one of rock's most enduring bands with quite a bang. As the lead-off track on Van Halen's diamond-selling, self-titled 1978 debut album, it made quite the impression. Whether it was Eddie Van Halen's...
Watch Paul Gilbert Perform Van Halen's "Spanish Fly" (4/7/2014)
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 only ...
Gene Simmons Talks About Setting His Hair on Fire and Convincing Eddie Van Halen Not to Join Kiss (3/13/2014)
This is an excerpt from the April 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the rest of this story, plus an interview with Paul Stanley and much more Kiss (not to mention the Scorpions, three kings of acoustic shred, the hottest gear from the 2014 NAMM Sh...
EVH Gear Revamps Website, Adds "Ask Eddie" Van Halen Feature and More (3/4/2014)
EVH has announced that its website — evhgear.com — has been revamped. Probably the most notable addition to the site is the new “Ask Eddie” feature, which allows fans to ask Eddie Van Halen questions about his career, his gear and whatever else ...
Original MTV VJs Alan Hunter and Nina Blackwood Talk New Book, Van Halen, Ozzy and the Eighties (2/28/2014)
It was 12:01 a.m. August 1, 1981. The music business was in the toilet when a fledgling channel named MTV hit the airwaves to start the engine again. Throughout the decade, MTV became one of the biggest things on the planet and revolutionized t...
Video Finds: Van Halen Goes Acoustic (1/9/2014)
In honor of Guitar World's Van Halen cover this month, here's a little acoustic Van Halen for your listening pleasure. This live in-studio recording comes from a DVD called The Downtown Sessions, which was included within a special package of 20...
Eddie Van Halen Looks Back on Van Halen's Landmark '1984' Album and the Creation of 5150 Studios (1/2/2014)
This is an excerpt from the February 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the rest of this story, plus several vintage Van Halen photos and more — including Ozzy Osbourne & Zakk Wylde, the return of Jake E. Lee, Tosin Abasi, Steel Panther, Five F...
David Lee Roth Confirms Van Halen Are Working on New Album (12/3/2013)
During his recent chat with Jim Florentine of That Metal Show, David Lee Roth confirmed that Van Halen are indeed working on their next studio album. That's the good news. The bad news, if any, is that the album is more than a year away from bei...
Hear Eddie Van Halen Play Eric Clapton's "Crossroads" Guitar Solo Note for Note (11/25/2013)
Unfortunately, we're not allowed to embed the YouTube clip for your listening pleasure. However, if you simply follow ... THIS LINK ... you'll hear Eddie Van Halen playing Eric Clapton's guitar solo on Cream's "Crossroads" — note for note — in e...
Thirty Guitar Legends — Including Eddie Van Halen, Dimebag Darrell and Jeff Beck — Choose the Song They'd Most Want to Be Remembered By, Part 1 (11/15/2013)
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. ...
Prime Cuts: Eddie Van Halen Breaks Down 10 Van Halen Classics, from "Eruption" to "Right Now" (11/13/2013)
From the GW archive: This feature originally appeared in the December 1996 issue of Guitar World. King Edward weighs in on two decades’ worth of Van Halen classics! “Eruption”Van Halen (1978) “I like the way ‘Eruption’ sounds. I’d never heard a...
Poll Results: Eddie Van Halen's "Eruption" Tops Readers' List of the 50 Greatest Guitar Solos of All Time (9/19/2013)
Who says lightning doesn't strike twice? For the second year in a row, Eddie Van Halen has topped a major summer-long poll at GuitarWorld.com. In 2012, readers crowned him the Greatest Guitarist of All Time. This year, one of his many six-string...