Former Vans bandmate David Lee Roth said in a revived interview that Eddie van Halen and his family struggled with racism.
The acclaimed Van Halen guitarist died at the age of 65 last week after a long battle with cancer. The famous rocker was born to mother Eugenia, who was born in Indonesia, and father Jan, who was born in the Netherlands.
Speaking on the “WTF with Mark Maron” podcast in 2019, Roth discussed his former bandmate and how he and his brother, Alex, supported racism from people who grew up in the Netherlands for “half-breeds” did.
“That was a big deal. Roth explained at the time, where he grew up in a terrible racist environment where he actually had to leave the country.
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“They came to America and did not speak English as a first language in the early 60s,” he continued. “So that kind of spark, that kind of stuff, that runs deep.”
As people note, Eddie van Helen himself discussed racism that he and his mother had during a 2017 interview with “What Rock ‘n’ Roll All About Renewal? In which he spoke about his life with Dennis Cowan talked to.
“We already went to Holland, you know, first day, first grade. Now, you’re in a whole other country where you can’t speak the language, and you don’t know about anything at all and it was beyond frightening, “he said.” I don’t even know how to explain, but I guess. It made us stronger because you had to be. ”
He noted that most of the vitriol that came his way came from white children, depending on their race. In fact, he said that he identified more with black students at his school, noting that he felt like they were also in the minority.
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“It was actually the whites who were bullies,” he said in the interview. “They would tear down my homework and papers, sand me the playground, eat all those things, and the Black kids stuck for me.”
Luckily for rock history, the Van Helen brothers co-found the famous rock group, which is still considered the most prominent in the rock genre. With his own distinct solos, Eddie van Halen was the engine behind the last California party band and helped to shut down the disco in the late 1970s with his band’s self-titled debut album and then the blockbuster record “1984” These include the classics “Jump,” “Panama” and “Hot for Teacher.”
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Van Halen is one of the top 20 best-selling artists of all time, and in 2007 the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Rolling Stone magazine ranked Eddie van Halen at number 8 on the list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists. .