New Book Says Eddie Van Halen Once Put a Gun to Fred Durst’s Head
A friendly jam session between Eddie Van Halen and Limp Bizkit reportedly wound up with the guitar icon putting a gun to Fred Durst’s head around 2001, a video director recalled.
In his new photobook Eruption in the Canyon: 212 Days & Nights With the Genius of Eddie Van Halen, Andrew Bennett presents pictures and anecdotes from the period he spent filming Van Halen at work in their studio between 2004 and 2007. The band was unhappy with his results and a dispute over ownership ended up in court in 2018.
The incident with Durst allegedly took place after guitarist Wes Borland had quit Limp Bizkit and the band held auditions to find a replacement. Durst and Eddie Van Halen were introduced at a party where a record-label executive suggested they work together. Bennett said Durst responded, “That would be hilarious. The greatest guitar player ever plays with the worst band ever.” But Van Halen responded with, “Fuck it, let’s jam.”
The session went ahead at a house in Beverly Hills, but Van Halen, who’s not a fan of weed, left abruptly after people began smoking it, leaving guitars, amps and other equipment behind. Bennett said afterward the guitarist described the jam as “like being a scholar amongst kindergartners.”
The following day, Van Halen contacted Durst to recover his gear, according to Bennett.The guitarist was still upset about the experience, and after not hearing back from Durst after 24 hours, he decided to take matters into his own hands.
“Eddie once bought an assault vehicle from a military auction,” Bennett writes. “It has a shine gun mount on the back and is not legal. Eddie drove that assault vehicle through L.A., into Beverly Hills, then parked and left it running on the front lawn of the house Limp Bizkit was rehearsing in. He got out wearing no shirt, his hair in a Samurai bun on top of his head, his jeans held up with a strand of rope and combat boots held together by duct tape. And he had a gun in his hand.”
“That asshole answered the door," Bennett recalled Van Halen explaining. "I put my gun to that stupid fucking red hat of his, and I said, ‘Where’s my shit, motherfucker?’ That fucking guy just turned to one of his employees and starts yelling at him to grab my shit. ... Eddie Van Halen stood on the front lawn of a residential home in Beverly Hills in broad daylight, smoking a cigarette while holding a gun on Fred Durst as he went back and forth from the house to the assault vehicle, lugging amps and guitars.”
Bennett said the Van Halen-Limp Bizkit summit remains a head-scratcher to this day: “Katy Perry could join Slipknot and I would be less shocked.”