Nancy Wilson’s New Album Includes Tribute to Eddie Van Halen
"I have an instrumental song on this album called 'For Edward', which is dedicated to Eddie Van Halen," Wilson explained, adding that she "was the first one to ever give him an acoustic guitar.”
Wilson went on to detail the story, which took place when Heart toured alongside Van Halen. “When we were touring with those guys in the '80s, he was, like, 'I like how you play that acoustic.' And I said, 'Well, why don't you play more acoustic?' And he goes, 'Well, I don't have an acoustic.' And I said, 'You don't have an acoustic? What?' And so I went and got him one out of my stash and I gave it to him.”
As Wilson recalled, it didn’t take long for Eddie to embrace the his new guitar. “Early the next morning, in the hotel, back when people would ring your room, he rang my room and he played for me this beautiful piece of acoustic guitar instrumental music on the phone. I was so touched, and it was so beautiful, it was one of the prettiest things I'd ever heard. So I tried to return the favor by making a beautiful little tribute to him."
While it’s been decades since Heart and Van Halen toured together, Wilson still vividly remembers the experience - and the antics going on behind the scenes.
"There were those days where you'd go down to the bar. The Van Halen brothers, they won the prize of just how to be totally raucous and totally out of control and drunk,” the singer confessed. “They'd just be yelling and cavorting all over the room and all over each other, and fisticuffs would bust out, and then, two seconds later, they'd be hugging: 'I love you, man.' They were out of control. They were the first ones to ever introduce us to the kamikaze — the vodka with lime or whatever."
Wilson will release the first solo album of her career (reportedly titled You and Me) later this year. The rocker previously released her first single from the LP, a cover of Bruce Springsteen's "The Rising,” last October. Two further covers will make up the album - versions of Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Boxer” and Pearl Jam’s “Daughter.” The rest of the LP will be original tunes, with guest appearances by Sammy Hagar, Duff McKagan and Taylor Hawkins.
Listen to Wilson’s full interview below.