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Publisher's Summary

Get a completely new look at guitar legend Eddie Van Halen with this groundbreaking oral history, composed of more than 50 hours of interviews with Eddie himself as well as his family, friends, and colleagues.

When rock legend Eddie Van Halen died of cancer on October 6, 2020, the entire world seemed to stop and grieve. Since his band Van Halen burst onto the scene with their self-titled debut album in 1978, Eddie had been hailed as an icon not only to fans of rock music and heavy metal but to performers across all genres and around the world. Van Halen’s debut sounded unlike anything that listeners had heard before and remains a quintessential rock album of the era.

Over the course of more than four decades, Eddie gained renown for his innovative guitar playing, and particularly for popularizing the tapping guitar solo technique. Unfortunately for Eddie and his legions of fans, he died before he was ever able to put his life down to paper in his own words, and much of his compelling backstory has remained elusive - until now.

In Eruption, music journalists Brad Tolinski and Chris Gill share with fans, new and old alike, a candid, thoroughly enjoyable, and definitive oral history of the most influential rock guitarist since Jimi Hendrix. It is based on more than 50+ hours of unreleased interviews they recorded with Eddie Van Halen over the years, most of them conducted at the legendary 5150 studios at  Ed’s home in Los Angeles. The heart of Eruption is drawn from these intimate and wide-ranging talks, as well as conversations with family, friends, and colleagues.

In addition to discussing his greatest triumphs as a groundbreaking musician, including an unprecedented dive into Van Halen’s masterpiece 1984, the book also takes an unflinching look at Edward’s early struggles as young Dutch immigrant unable to speak the English language, which resulted in lifelong issues with social anxiety and substance abuse. Eruption: Conversations with Eddie Van Halen also examines his brilliance as an inventor who changed the face of guitar manufacturing.

As entertaining as it is revealing, Eruption is the closest listeners will ever get to hearing Eddie’s side of the story when it comes to his extraordinary life.

©2021 Brad Tolinski, Chris Gill (P)2021 Hachette Books

Critic Reviews

“During Eddie Van Halen’s lifetime, few — if any — journalists were granted the access that journalists Brad Tolinski and Chris Gill were afforded. And as Eruption: Conversations with Eddie Van Halen demonstrates, the guitarist’s trust was not misplaced. This is the final word on what made this epochal musician, guitar innovator and, it must be said, complicated man, tick.” (Tom Beaujour, New York Times best-selling co-author of Nothin’ But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the ‘80s Hard Rock Explosion)

“Though he lived his adult life under a spotlight, Eddie Van Halen remains shrouded in mystery. There is no duo better suited to peel away the fictions and fog and get to the heart of Van Halen the man and the musician than Brad Tolinski and Chris Gill, two of the greatest guitar journalists of our era. That's exactly what they do in Eruption. Even the keenest fan will find surprises on every page.”(Alan Paul, New York Times best-selling author of Texas Flood: The Inside Story of Stevie Ray Vaughan and One Way Out: The Inside History of the Allman Brothers Band)  

“Guitarists and rock fans can rejoice that Eddie Van Halen’s story has finally been told, accurately and with insights from those who knew him best. Tolinski and Gill compellingly unravel such details as the development of Ed’s two-handed tapping technique and the Frankenstein guitar, and sheds new light on every corner of Van Halen’s life and prodigious artistry. It’s a long-awaited and vital read about the most important and influential guitarist of the modern age.” (Christopher Scapelliti, Editor-in-Chief, Guitar Player magazine) 

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Enjoyable listen

Always been a VanHalen fan and the back stories were like listening to a friend give me the scoop. Well done.

4 people found this helpful

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Well Done

The same guy who narrated Noel Monks "Running with the Devil" is the same narrator for this book and on a scale from 1 to 10 he's a 20.
Would like to know about more books that he has done.... he's EXCELLENT!

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Definitely worth it!

A good insight to how Edward grew up and how he and is brother progressed to one of the most iconic bands in the world. His life and his legacy will live in through music and his Son Wolfy, another amazing musician in his own right.

2 people found this helpful

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Required listening for any EVH fan

A great book through and through. Interesting interviews and perspectives that make it a unique listen.

1 person found this helpful

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Good but not great

Fred berman great. The best in this business. The official voice of Van Halen =). There where great new info for me but just too little. Most of the book is well know info.

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A must for any Eddie fan

This was the most comprehensive book on all things EVH. The interviews, the insight inside the genius and different points of view from others was fantastic. And it's read by Fred Berman who narrated Running with the Devil which was awesome. After listening to this audio book, I feel like I understand and appreciate Eddie more than ever.

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  • JK
  • 12-24-21

Remember the unbelievable life of EVH

Enjoy the interviews with not just EVH but also many others who worked with him throughout the years. Even better yet, listen to your favorite Van Halen albums that you may or may not have heard recently.

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A must read for any music fan

Very well done! Highly recommended for any fan of music and music history (even if you’re a just casual fan of Van Halen). Excellent!

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excellent

love it . EVH was one of the greatest ever and I'm so happy for this amazing book

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Laughed and Cried…

As a lifelong Van Halen fan, this is a well-done and fitting tribute to the greatest musician of our generation.

Through so many in-depth interviews, over the course of so many years, you really get to go behind-the-scenes and hear what a unique individual this man was.

Way more than a just a musician or rockstar, Edward Van Halen was a craftsman, inventor, perfectionist, genius, and most of all, a proud father.

Many thanks to all involved in the writing and production of this top-notch audiobook.

And sincerest thanks to you, Eddie, for providing the soundtrack to my youth.



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  • Colin Smith
  • 11-09-21

Closest we will ever get to a true EVH autobiography

Just when I thought I’d read everything that could ever be published about the mighty EVH having been a fan since childhood this comes along. I’ve purchased every book and followed the band religiously across forums etc for as long as I can remember. Definitely putting the Fan in fanatic. This book is truly excellent and really shines a light on Eddie by providing his words rather than the authors themselves. The way the book is split to include the band history then inter splices the interviews that fit with each time period is masterful. You can really hear where Eddie was on a personal level particularly with some of the darker periods in his life and then see it all come full circle. My only criticism was the actor reading Eddie’s answers to questions really wasn’t a good fit, he didn’t try to embody any mannerisms or vocal qualities that are unique to Eddie. This doesn’t massively detract from the overall package however. I have no doubt I will revisit this book again.