Eddie Van Halen recently surprised music students at Los Angeles Unified School District’s Foshay Learning Center, not only wowing them with tales of his legendary career as a recording artist, but also gifting them with one of his signature EVH 5150III amps.
Van Halen met 27 students who were taught by music director Vincent Womack, and the guitarist talked about how important music in his life. Van Halen also left each student with a swag bag filled with EVH picks, guitar straps, cables, guitar strings and a Frankenstein key chain.
Van Halen’s visit was inspired after he attended a fundraising event a few weeks ago for the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, where he met Womack. Last year, Van Halen donated 75 electric guitars from his personal collection to the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, which in turn distributed them to nine schools throughout Los Angeles County.
One of the lucky recipients of a guitar, a student named Jose, was on hand Thursday and received a one-on-one lesson from Van Halen, who took time to teach him the intro to the classic “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love.”
“The gift of music is yours, no one can take that away no matter what,” Van Halen told the students. “It is not a rich/poor thing, nor does it discriminate. If you have a love or even a like for music, go after it, pursue it. Music helps lift your self-esteem, it gave me an identity, kept me out of trouble, gave me goals and the desire to improve. It gave me a life. I am an example of what music can do for someone. What it did for me, it can do for you all. Anything is possible”.
Check out a report from Van Halen’s appearance below and visit the band’s official website for more information.