Always Meet Your Heroes

Mitch JoelPosted by

That picture above was take in 1991 (that’s me sandwiched between Eddie and Mike).

29 years ago.
This was one of the handful of times in my life that I got to tell someone (in this case, Eddie Van Halen) who had a massive influence on me two very important words…

Thank You.

In 1983, my older brother (and a guitar player) introduced me to the world of hard rock via the US Festival.
That one show made a dent in my universe.
I saw music differently.
I felt something inside that connected to me.
With every band… for different reasons…
Quiet Riot.
Motley Crue.
Ozzy Osbourne.
Judas Priest.
Triumph.
Scorpions.
Van Halen.

Who would guess that a few short years later, this dorky teenager would be interviewing these bands (and countless others)?

But Van Halen.

Van Halen was my The Beatles.
Van Halen was my Led Zeppelin.
Van Halen was my The Rolling Stones.
Van Halen was my Pink Floyd.
Van Halen was my Black Sabbath.

All rolled up into one.

Van Halen was my Patient Zero.

When Eddie Van Halen played, you knew exactly who it was.
When Eddie Van Halen played, everything about guitar playing changed from that moment forward.
When Eddie Van Halen played, everything that happened before became something different.

I’ve changed a lot since those days.

But I think about those days as I get older.
I think about those day a lot.
Nostalgia will do that to you.
It was an amazing time to be alive.
It was an amazing time to be a fan of rock music.

And, as each day passes, we get further and further away from those impactful moments.

Those musicians that rocked our world, wind up leaving our world.
I still can’t believe that I’m living in a world without Eddie Van Halen.
I still can’t believe how lucky I was to live in a world with Eddie Van Halen.

They say that you should never meet your heroes.

That’s not true.
If you can, meet your heroes.
They might not remember you, but you will get the chance to say to them those two most important words…

Thank you.

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