My thoughts on the death of Eddie Van Halen
Eddie was my all-time favorite guitarists. Some would argue that he was the best of all time. In my opinion, he basically inspired and defined the 80’s Hair Band phase, whether for good or bad. When “Eruption” first hit, it caused a lot of players to look at their guitars and wonder “How on earth did he do that?” It really changed everything for rock. I have read and listened to a lot of interviews over the years, even though I am not a musician. Most guitarists that you have heard of will give credit, one way or another, to Eddie. One of the funnier ones I remember was Zakk Wylde saying that Eddie was such an influence, he had to deliberately try to not sound like him.
Also, he was regarded as a great rhythm guitarist. Van Halen didn’t have a second player, so he had to do both duties, and while he is obviously best known for his solos, a lot of musicians have given him props for his rhythm playing.
And that is all well and good. The bottom line is that I really just enjoyed his music. I don’t think he had anything to prove on VH’s last album, but if he did, he succeed. At 57, he was playing better than he ever had (though I can’t say the same for Dave’s singing. But it was still a good album).
All of Van Halen’s albums went platinum (over a million in sales) except VHIII, which we will all do good to forget about. So not only was he good, he was successful. He recorded albums, went on tour, and was always looking to make the best guitar, and spent a lot of his time later in life doing just that. I don’t want to glamorize anything about his lifestyle, but he lived the proverbial Rocker life. At his death, it was estimated that he was worth $140 million. For all intents and purposes, he gained the world.
Which brings me to this. Normally, when a celebrity whom I liked dies, I get sad. I get the initial gut-punch that a lot of folks get. Even if they are really old, and it was just their time. It doesn’t last long, because while I liked their work, I didn’t know them or have a relationship with them outside of their sharing their talent. However, I didn’t really feel anything when I saw the news feeds announcing Eddie’s death. I can’t exactly say why. I was affected, but not in the normal way. All I know is that one verse kept running through my head. Matthew 16:26 says, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, but forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” That really is the question. And not just for him. For all of us.
Obviously, I can’t say with 100% certainty that Eddie didn’t have a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. But there is a good chance that he didn’t. And now it is too late for him. There is no RIP. Hebrews 9:27 says, “And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgement…” That is it. Once we die, there is no longer any chance to repent of our sins. All that is left for us is judgement.
One of two things will happen. If you are a believer in Christ, your judgement happened on the Cross when Jesus Christ bore the penalty for you sins. You will spend eternity in the presence of Christ. If you are not a believer in Christ, you will be judged an enemy of God, and will suffer eternal torment. There is no third option.
“He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” John 3:36
If you have read this far, and you are not a believer in Jesus Christ, this is my invitation to you to do so today. Today is the day of Salvation. We are all sinners, and all deserve God’s wrath. But in an act of mercy and grace, He sent His Son to take our punishment on the Cross for our sins. Please don’t let the sun set on you today without at least examining the claims set forth in the bible. If you have questions, please ask. I will do my best to answer. Get a copy of the bible and read the four gospel accounts. See if they ring true. This is definitely something that you cannot afford to be wrong about.
And if you have made it this far, thank you.
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