Gene Simmons is reminiscing about the late guitar great Eddie Van Halen for a new piece published in Classic Rock magazine.
The KISS bassist and co-founder talks about the first time he saw Van Halen play in a Hollywood club in 1976 and says despite what some have said, he didn’t discover the band. “No, I didn’t. I did no such thing,” he says, “I just happened to be there and witness their greatness at what was still a very early stage.”
“I saw them that night and was left incredulous. I stood at the front of the stage and couldn’t believe my eyes and ears,” he adds. “What really intrigued me about Van Halen was that they came out of nowhere … to this day I’ve no clue where Van Halen came from.”
Simmons calls Eddie, who passed away in 2020, “such a kind and beautiful soul.” He said he’s particularly upset that young people don’t know, and may never know, how truly great Eddie was.
“As much as his death was upsetting, it also made me a little furious that so many of our so-called ‘younger generation’ remain unaware of his talents,” he says. “For f***’s sake, parents should be slapping mobile phones out of their kids’ hands and telling them to check out this guy.”
He adds, “Our millennials need to know about the most important musician since Jimi Hendrix. There will never be another like him.”
Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.