Billie Joe Armstrong recalls Eddie Van Halen cried when they met

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Billie Joe Armstrong, the co-founder, guitarist, and vocalist of Green Day, hails from Oakland, California, sharing a birth year with the formation of the legendary band Van Halen in 1972. At the tender age of six, during the release of Van Halen’s groundbreaking debut album, Armstrong began cultivating a deep admiration for the group, eventually becoming a fervent fan in the ensuing years.

Fortuitously, Armstrong’s initiation into the realm of live concerts unfolded with Van Halen, marking a pivotal moment in 1984 when he was just 12 years old. Decades later, during Van Halen’s final reunion with David Lee Roth, Armstrong not only witnessed their performance but also had the extraordinary opportunity to meet the iconic guitarist, Eddie Van Halen. In an interview with Howard Stern, Armstrong recounted a profound conversation that left an indelible mark on him.

Reflecting on his first encounter with Van Halen in 1984, Armstrong shared, “When I saw Van Halen in 1984, I was 12, they were my favorite band and I cried (laughs). Because Eddie’s guitar playing came from a different place, he reinvented how to play guitar. But they also wrote great songs. I think that’s the main thing I took away from Van Halen, it’s the songs. (They) were just so f*cking great.”

Armstrong went on to describe the emotional meeting with Eddie Van Halen during the band’s reunion with David Lee Roth. The setting was in Kansas City, chosen deliberately to avoid the chaotic atmosphere of California. In a moment of profound connection, Armstrong found himself in the presence of Eddie Van Halen, whose hands, he noted, were “gigantic.”

Amidst the guitar talk and admiration, a poignant revelation unfolded. Armstrong shared, “He looked at me and he put his hand behind my neck and he goes, ‘You are the only one that understands me.’” Eddie Van Halen’s tears during this exchange highlighted the depth of emotion and connection they shared. Armstrong expressed his gratitude and admiration for Van Halen’s influence on him as a musician and songwriter.

The encounter took an unexpected turn when Wolfie (Wolfgang Van Halen) entered the scene, providing a unique glimpse into the familial bond between father and son, both accomplished musicians. Eddie and Wolfie engaged in a lighthearted discussion about tuning their instruments, capturing a beautiful father-son moment that resonated with Armstrong.

The impact of this meeting lingered with Armstrong, influencing his perspective on music and the enduring connections it fosters. Green Day, the band Armstrong co-founded, stands as one of the most successful Pop Punk bands globally, having sold over 75 million records worldwide. The trio comprises Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt on bass, and Tré Cool on drums.

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