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A new book on Eddie Van Halen has debuted on the Amazon bestsellers list, almost a year to the day of the rock legend’s passing.
Eruption: Conversations With Eddie Van Halen was released October 5th and is currently Number Eight on Amazon’s list of top musician biographies and memoirs (Dave Grohl’s The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music currently holds the Number One spot).
Co-written by Brad Tolinski, former editor-in-chief of Guitar World magazine, and Chris Gill, former editor-in-chief of Guitar Aficionado, Eruption is a new oral history of Van Halen’s life and career, drawing from more than 50 hours of interviews with the guitarist himself, as well as interviews with his family, friends, and industry colleagues. The book was released exactly one year after the death of Van Halen, who died of a stroke on October 6th, 2020, at 65.
While Eruption is not an officially authorized biography, the authors did spend time with Van Halen at his legendary 5150 studio, and at his home in Studio City, California. Everything was on the record, and the authors say the rocker sat down for multiple interviews.
According to the publisher, Hachette, many of the stories and anecdotes from the interviews have never been told. “The heart of Eruption is drawn from these intimate and wide-ranging talks,” reads a description from Hachette, “as well as conversations with family, friends, and colleagues.”
The book traces Van Halen’s storied career, from his early days emigrating from the Netherlands to the U.S. to his first time picking up a guitar (he had previously been studying classical piano) to the success he had with the band that carried his name.
Eruption also offers commentary and insight into a number of Van Halen albums, from their self-titled debut in 1978 to, according to Hachette, “an unprecedented dive into Van Halen’s masterpiece 1984.” This was the final full-length album to feature all four original members (Eddie and Alex Van Halen, David Lee Roth, and Michael Anthony). The book also tracks the subsequent solo work and collaborations that the guitarist released.
Over the course of more than four decades, Van Halen gained renown for his innovative guitar playing, and Eruption: Conversations with Eddie Van Halen also “examines his brilliance as an inventor who changed the face of guitar manufacturing.” Per the publisher’s notes, “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.”
Eruption: Conversations with Eddie Van Halen is available now in hardcover for $23.99 on Amazon.com. Prefer narration? Listen to an audiobook version of the Van Halen story by downloading it on Audible. You can currently get a 30-day free trial to Audible here.