Fans and fellow musicians everywhere turned out to mourn Eddie Van Halen’s death earlier this month, and Kenny Chesney was among those to pay tribute to the rock guitar legend.
On social media, Kenny remembered a time when Eddie and his brother, Van Halen drummer Alex, joined the country star onstage for a show in Los Angeles. Now, Kenny further reflects to People that that show was a dream come true, as he was a lifelong Van Halen fan.
“It was one of those moments that every kid who dreams about rock music dreams of,” Kenny says. “It was so alive, so in the moment, and both Van Halen brothers [Eddie and Alex] played like it was their show, their fans.”
Making a personal connection with a longtime musical hero is a memory Kenny will never forget.
“You can imagine how I felt having [Van Halen manager] Irving Azoff ask, ‘Is it all right if Eddie Van Halen gives you a call?’ And then looking down a little bit later to see that 818 area code and thinking, ‘That’s Eddie Van Halen,’” Kenny continues.
“I answered, and he sounds just like you’d think, but then he falls into talking to you about music, life, road life and all these things,” Kenny recounts, adding that the two musicians quickly fell into an easy rapport.
“It’s like you’ve always been friends,” he says, “and he knows your life and he understands.”
The legendary rocker died of cancer on October 6 at the age of 65.
By Carena Liptak
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I am devastated at the news of the passing of my friend Eddie Van Halen. pic.twitter.com/hUyIdKXsdG
— Kenny Chesney (@kennychesney) October 6, 2020