Eddie Van Halen turned 59 on Sunday, with no apparent plans to stop rocking anytime soon.
The rock and roll legend is still churning out music, with a steady stream of albums from his band Van Halen and even work with a 1980s rap legend in the past year.
But Eddie has also been spending a lot of time lately thinking about the past. With the 30th anniversary of the launch of the band’s classic album 1984, Van Halen has recalled the work that went into the album and the tension it created in the group.
In interviews throughout January, Eddie Van Halen has opened up about how the album’s production put him at odds with longtime producer Ted Tempelman. Though many Van Halen fans were aware of the rift growing between Eddie and David Lee Roth — which would lead to Roth’s departure the following year — it was actually the problems with Tempelman that ran deeper.
The split finally grew so much that Eddie Van Halen decided to break free and construct his now-famous 5150 studio, where the band would record 1984 and every album to follow.
“The bottom line is that I wanted more control,” Eddie recalled. “I was always butting heads with Ted Templeman about what makes a good record. My philosophy has always been that I would rather bomb with my own music than make it with other people’s music. Ted felt that if you redo a proven hit, you’re already halfway there.”
Though the album, and the troubles that came with it, may seem like rock and roll history now, Eddie Van Halen is anything but faded from the music landscape. This week he made a surprise appearance at the 2014 NAMM (National Association Of Music Merchants) Convention in Anaheim, for example.
Eddie has also extended his musical horizons, appearing on two tracks of LL Cool J’s album Authentic in 2013.
At the same time, Eddie Van Halen has also remained active with his legendary band and even gotten his son in on the act. Wolfgang Van Halen joined the band in 2012 for their 12th studio album, A Different Kind Of Truth.