Eddie Van Halen has been back in the spotlight, but, this time, the headlines don’t concern Eddie’s feuds with other Van Halen members or news of a reunion of the band’s original line-up. Instead, the Van Halen founder has been garnering the best kind of attention through his charity work. Most recently, Mr. Van Halen donated 75 guitars from his personal collection, gifting the items in order to further the cause of music education. Eddie recently shared his reasons for giving away such a large portion of his guitar collection and the reason only proves that Van Halen’s love for music is ever lasting.
Eddie Van Halen Gives The Gift Of Music To Low Income Students
It’s common knowledge that schools seeking to cut costs often look to canceling music and theater programs first, as those types of courses and extracurricular activities are often deemed the least essential. As Guitar World reports, this has been a problem that has concerned Eddie Van Halen in recent years and the classic rock star wanted to find a way to help keep music education alive in the schools. His solution was to donate 75 guitars to schools capable of putting the instruments in the hands of low-income students with a desire to learn.
As Eddie soon learned, giving away a collection of guitars was to be easier said than done. Most institutions and charities are more interested in gifts of cash. Eventually, Van Halen teamed up with Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation and, through that charity, Eddie was able to realize his dream of putting his guitars in the hands of eager students.
Felice Mancini, who serves as CEO of the foundation, says that Eddie’s generous gift is something that continues to benefit countless students. The schools keep the guitars, so, each year, new students will have them available for learning and practice.
For Eddie Van Halen, there was a deeply personal motive behind his gift. As the lead guitarist and founder of the Van Halen band, there can be no denying that Eddie has a deep love for music. He recognizes that many talented students may suffer when schools cut music programs, so he wanted to do what he could to prevent those cuts from happening.
“My whole life has been music. I could not imagine anything else,” Van Halen added. “It’s a must. It has to be taught.”
Eddie Van Halen Connects With A Dying Fan
Michael Brewer has been diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer and, as Ultimate Classic Rock shares, he had just one dream he wanted to live out, before his time comes, and that was to meet Eddie Van Halen. A long-time fan of the band, Brewer had always dreamed of meeting Eddie. It’s not shared just how the meeting had been made possible, but Michael’s wife, Julie, may have been responsible for contacting Mr. Van Halen, considering her Facebook posting of the meeting.
While Eddie didn’t fly out to meet Michael in person, Julie Brewer posted a picture showing the musician connecting with her husband via FaceTime.
“Soooo…this just happened! Eddie & his wife Janie were simply amazing! Felt like we were sitting and chatting with a close friend! Thanks to Eddie & Janie Van Halen & everyone at LCFH [Lower Cape Fear Hospice] for making Michael’s dream come true! Eddie still has the best smile,” Ms. Brewer wrote.
Brewer has been checking off items on his bucket list, since receiving his terminal diagnosis. Previously, Michael flew in a helicopter for the first time, but that may not compare with meeting guitar legend Eddie Van Halen.
Also on Brewer’s bucket list is learning to play the guitar and reading War and Peace.
[Featured Image by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]