The Wailing Wall Of Metal

Eddie Van Halen is the reason I’ve finger tapped endless Friday nights away, whenever my wife is out of the house, leaving me free to blare Eruption on Vinyl and use my kids like mini air guitar appendages, which is what dreams are made of. In these moments of high kicking, rip roaring delight, I’m able to let my hair down, relive my age of innocence and become in touch with what made my unsure, pubescent putz plagued self, come roaring to life like no other, Heavy Metal music.

But it was pictures of Heavy Metal guitarists such as the late great Eddie Van Halen who received prominent placement throughout my childhood bedroom, which I affectionally nicknamed The Wailing Wall Of Metal, in the pilot episode of a TV show I tried selling to VH1 Classic called Heavy Metal High.

The first time I heard the haunting, stuck in time, Church bell clang on Hells Bells by AC/DC, my pubescent soul, no longer felt like an amorphous void of scaredy-cat goo. It was as if God came down from Heaven himself through my boom box of yesteryear to tell me, “You’re more metal than you think kid. And you’ll only start living, when you get out of your self-esteem strangling head already, which is what Heavy Metal is doing to you right now. So stop acting like another Richard Lewis in the making.  As you can see, I also breath renewed life into knock kneed, putz prone kids like yourself through AC/DC to. Your manly metamorphosis has begun. You’re welcome.”

So it was only fitting for me to eventually receive my TV writing break, which was 15 years in the making, when I was hired by VH1 Classic to write all the TV Host reads for America’s Hard 100, which ranked the greatest hard rock and heavy metal videos of all time. But the 1st time I heard the song Eruption at my all Jewish sleepaway camp in Kent, Connecticut, it felt like a meteor shower blasted through my Hanes Tighty Whities, which amplified my Heavy Metal loving soul with a higher octane surge of propulsive might than ever before.

The most special thing about Eddie Van Halen’s music making career, is being blessed to play with his son Wolfgang for a living. His son Wolfgang, who was taught to play piano, bass and drums posted on Instagram, “I couldn’t have asked for a better father.” He got to make magical metal with his dad, which is what made Eddie Van Halen feel most in touch with the divine. He was quoted as saying “I couldn’t wait to make music with my son.” Because from what I’ve read, Eddie Van Halen wanted to transfer his love of creation through songwriting and guitar playing, which is what made him feel most alive, knowing he constantly made comments about wanting to make the most of his God given blessed talents.

No wonder the late great Eddie Van Halen kept running to his son Wolfgang to play more majestic metal music again and again.   Also, the name Van Halen is an homage to the family name, because Eddie’s brother Alexander Arthur Van Halen, their longtime drummer, was also one of the founding members of the band, responsible for the band’s signature funk filled, pounding backbeat, which I got the entire world off its feet.

Long live Van Halen’s wailing wall of metal. Van Halen ruled on top of the metal world for more than a while. Wolfgang’s professed love of his dearly departed father on Instagram really got to me, strumming my heart strings ever so light, because his dad gave him the opportunity to dream and boy did he love his dad back for it, for making him feel like the center of his universe, instead of the reverse. And that’s how you know when it’s love. Sammy Hagar lives.

Michael Kornbluth

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