It’s cool when you can meet your heroes and this certainly was the case when Billie Joe Armstrong met Eddie Van Halen. Armstrong, of course, is the longtime lead singer of Green Day. Van Halen created a whole new guitar sound with his group Van Halen. But Armstrong looked up to and admired Van Halen a whole lot.
Armstrong recounted the first time he met the guitar legend during an appearance on The Howard Stern Show.
“When I saw Van Halen in ’84, I was 12, and they were my favorite band, and I cried,” Armstrong said, according to Consequence. “It’s like his guitar playing came from a different place. He reinvented how to play guitar. But they also wrote great songs, that’s the main thing that I took away from Van Halen. The songs were just so f**king great.”
Billie Joe Armstrong Flew To Van Halen Concert
Armstrong met Van Halen once. He said that it was just after the group Van Halen reformed with original lead singer David Lee Roth. Armstrong said that he and some friends boarded a plane. It went to Kansas City for the concert. He said they didn’t want to see them in California because “we knew it was going to be a s**t show.”
He told Stern that when the group went backstage, they initially ran into Van Halen’s son Wolfie. Armstrong said that he was “super cool.”
“And then they were like, ‘Do you want to meet Eddie?’ and I was like, ‘Oh my God!’” Armstrong said. “And so he’s back there and he’s got his guitar on, he’s plugged in, and it’s like he’s talking to me and shredding at the same time, and I was just like, Oh my God!”
Armstrong shared that Eddie Van Halen’s hands were, in his words, “gigantic.”
“And I grabbed his hands and I looked at them, and I was like, Dude your hands are so…,” Armstrong said. “And he’s like, ‘Oh I got arthritis now and blah blah blah.’ And then, like, this really insane thing happened, where he kind of started crying. He looked at me and he put his hand behind my neck, and he goes, ‘You’re the only one that understands me.’”
Eddie Van Halen Left Armstrong Speechless
In this emotional moment, Van Halen had tears coming down from his eyes. Armstrong told Stern that he didn’t know what to say to the guitar legend at all. “I was like, ‘Man you have no idea how much you’ve meant to me as a musician and as a songwriter,’” Armstrong said. “He’s like, ‘People think I’m an alien because of the way I play,’ and I’m like, ‘It’s all about your songs,’ and he goes, ‘Exactly, exactly.’ It was this really kind of heavy experience.”
Eddie Van Halen died after suffering a stroke on October 6, 2020. He was 65 years old.
Green Day will be hitting the touring circuit later this year. Armstrong confirmed that the group will perform “Dookie” and “American Idiot,” classic albums from them, in their entireties. It all goes down on their Saviors tour.
Green Day was formed around the East Bay of California back in 1987. Besides Armstrong, band members include bassist Mike Dimt and drummer Tre Cool. They’ve won five Grammy Awards throughout the band’s run.
But they’ve also been in the news for a cool reason, too. Green Day teamed up with The Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon to perform in the New York subway system near Rockefeller Center. Subway riders were caught by surprise when the group started playing their music. People pulled out their cell phones and recorded Green Day in action.
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