I was just a small kid, maybe 7 or 8 years old, when I first saw the video for Hot For Teacher on MTV. I remember seeing Eddie playing his solo while walking on the tables in library and thinking 'that is the coolest guy on the planet playing the coolest possible solo on the coolest looking guitar.' That moment pretty much started my obsession with electric guitar. Soon after my grandma bought me a Mickey Mouse plastic toy guitar from Target as a gift and I immediately covered it in my dad's black, white, and red electrical tape. I begged for 1984 for my birthday and ended up getting Van Halen I instead (I was disappointed at the time but to this day VH1 is my favorite album by Van Halen). My musical tastes have evolved and changed quite a bit since that time...and I never could shred, tap, or dive bomb even close to an acceptable level (when I started playing seriously I was more focused on blues, country, and jazz), but I've always loved Van Halen and Eddie's playing in particular. There never seems to be enough volume on the stereo when Panama, Drop Dead Legs, Unchained, Ain't Talkin' 'bout Love, or countless other songs of theirs come on. I feel very fortunate that I got to see him live with both DLR and Sammy incarnations. Thanks for the inspiration, Eddie - RIP.