Now that he’s safely back on North Dakota ground, I feel comfortable sharing more details regarding the mystery gathering I hinted at last week. Yes, this really IS my DH (dear hubby) with one of the most revered guitarists in rock history, Edward van Halen. And even though Troy says he (meaning himself) looks goofy in the photo because the photog caught him midsentence, I think it’s adorable. His face is absolutely lit up as he converses with someone he truly has admired from the earliest days of his own musicianhood. What a thrill. Who wouldn’t be excited upon meeting their hero?
So what gives? How did Troy get so lucky to have been in Eddie’s presence? As business owner of a guitar shop here in Fargo, Troy ventures off to L.A. annually this time of year to take part in the National Association of Music Merchants convention. And every year, the vendors do their best to woo merchants their way to encourage them to sign contracts with them for the coming year. EVH was one of the show’s highlights this year, but not everyone was able to participate in the “meet and greet.” Because Troy’s store offers the EVH line, he was among those who had the chance to gather with Eddie the first evening of NAMM. Mostly, it was a chance for Eddie to thank the merchants for their support in selling his product. So, there you have it.
I should mention that Troy’s not the only person in our family who has gone gaga over EVH. Yes, yours truly once had a “thing” for him. In fact, in my childhood bedroom, back in high school, I had a poster of Eddie adorning my wall. I loved his smile, especially, and how confident and happy he seemed to be while playing his guitar. It was very alluring to a girl at age 15. I mean, who could resist this smile?
This was the David Lee Roth era, of course, and though I no longer have the poster, in it, he was wearing this same outfit and playing this guitar.
But wait a minute, this is a parenting blog, right? So what does this posting have to do with parenting? Well, there are several angles, but among my favorites is this:
A while back, one of our little boys wanted to talk to his Daddy, who was in his music/exercise corner playing his guitar, probably a Van Halen song. The conversation went something like this:
“Dad, whatcha doing?”
“Just playing a little music. Do you recognize this song? I’ll give you a hint: it’s played by Eddie van Halen.”
“Oh…” (pause) “Well, I don’t wike Eddie van Hawen.”
(Daddy’s eyes grow large in mock shock.)
“What??! You don’t like Eddie van Halen??!!”
“No, I don’t wike…”
(Daddy puts down his guitar.)
“Alright, that’s it, young man, I’ll have none of that,” he says. A chase commences, ending in the nearby bedroom, where Daddy playfully grabs his youngest and tosses him onto the bed.
“Now, what was that you were saying? You said you don’t like who?” (In his face now, mock threatening.)
(Child belly-laughing now, a gleam in his eye.)
“Eddie van Hawen! I don’t wike Eddie van Hawen!”
“Alright, Mister, you’re asking for it this time!”
(Daddy picks him up and throws him onto the bed a second time.)
By now, older brother (by just a few years), having followed the commotion and taken inventory, wants to be part of the fun.
“Hey,” he says, “I don’t like Eddie van Halen, either!” (Now he gets thrown and bounced on the bed, too, and it continues until everyone is out of breath and exhausted from giggling so hard.)
And there you have it: The “I Don’t Like Eddie Van Halen Game,” created by Nick, Adam and Troy Salonen, 2008.
So, my teenage dreams didn’t come true; I didn’t end up with Eddie van Halen, after all. But I did end up with a guy who got to hang with him for a while, and I have been blessed on countless evenings by the squeals emanating from the downstairs bedroom as my husband steps out of his guitar-playing, trance-like state to wrestle with our little boys; kids who haven’t a clue who Eddie van Halen really is, but who know well that whenever they mention his name in a negative light, they’re sure to get Daddy’s prompt attention.