This is going to be a short post since I don’t have as close a connection to Van Halen as some other groups but I still wanted to comment on what happened.
I guess what I’m thinking about right now is a comment that a friend of his made that The New York Times quoted in the initial announcement. In sum, they described the joy that Eddie brought to guitar playing at a time when the instrument’s sound was “gloomy.” That may be a reference to shoegaze, who knows, but joyful is certainly what Van Halen is. “Jump”, of course, is just such ’80s oversized hair metal that you can’t help but smile every time you hear it. Not everything has to be quote-unquote serious music and indeed, there’s significant value in getting that kind of escape.
So turn it up to 11 in memory of a great guitarist. Eddie, you’ll be missed.