How Eddie Van Halen corrupted — then saved — Valerie Bertinelli


It was not probably the most auspicious of wedding-day omens: The drunken groom regurgitated into a rest room as his bride held again his shoulder-length hair.

After all, in April 1981, guitar god Eddie Van Halen, then 26, and prime-time TV sweetheart Valerie Bertinelli had been something however your run-of-the mill couple. Apparently, although, they each knew the right way to deal with Eddie’s penchant for overindulgence. Miraculously, he managed to maintain his white tuxedo spotless. Valerie, 20 years previous and already well-known for starring as harmless Barbara Cooper on “One Day at a Time,” solely wanted to straighten her smashed beloved’s tie earlier than they made a grand entrance at Grayhall mansion in Beverly Hills.

The 2 had met simply eight months earlier than, backstage at a live performance by his band Van Halen — within the midst of what was then probably the most in depth continental rock ’n’ roll tour in historical past — and their courtship was a curler coaster. For one factor, the guitarist received walloped with a paternity swimsuit whereas they had been relationship. He insisted that, whereas he did have relations with the opposite lady, it was earlier than he met Valerie — and that the indiscretions that went down in his automobile on the Pacific Coast Freeway had been restricted.


“You realize I like a reasonably face in my crotch,” he informed Van Halen street supervisor Noel Monk, writer of “Runnin’ with the Satan: A Backstage Cross to the Wild Instances, Loud Rock, and the Down and Soiled Fact Behind the Making of Van Halen.”

Valerie Bertinelli, left, arrives at the premiere of the film "America's Sweethearts" with husband Eddie Van Halen in Los Angeles on July 17, 2001. (Associated Press)

Valerie Bertinelli, left, arrives on the premiere of the movie “America’s Sweethearts” with husband Eddie Van Halen in Los Angeles on July 17, 2001. (Related Press)

Though, Monk claimed, Eddie did ask him if it was doable to get somebody pregnant by way of oral intercourse.

The case was ultimately thrown out of courtroom, but it was removed from the final time America’s early 1980s “It” couple would have it tough.

However, insiders stated, when issues had been good, they had been actually good.

“They had been an exquisite couple. They completed one another’s sentences and knew what the opposite wished,” Bob Daitz, who road-managed Van Halen after Monk, informed The Put up. Not that Eddie was significantly laborious to please. Daitz remembered Valerie dutifully making Eddie’s favourite meal: “Hebrew Nationwide sizzling canines, cooked for 1 minute, 47 seconds within the microwave.”

Joel Selvin — who co-wrote the memoir “Purple: My Uncensored Life in Rock” with later Van Halen vocalist Sammy Hagar — recalled operating into Valerie and Eddie backstage on the 1983 Us Competition, which Van Halen co-headlined. As The Conflict revved up on stage, Selvin discovered himself sitting with the couple on an gear trunk.

“Eddie had a bottle of Jack Daniels; I had a bunch of joints,” Selvin informed The Put up. “Valerie drank as a lot as he did and Eddie was hilarious. He was bombed. A man came visiting and wished an autograph on the again of his shirt. Eddie took a Sharpie and wrote his title as massive as he may.” The lovebirds “had been like a few youngsters, drunk at a rock live performance.”


However his bad-boy methods would, inevi­tably, corrupt the TV star and ultimately break her coronary heart.

Eddie was born within the Netherlands to a Dutch jazz-musician father and an ­Indonesian mom. When he moved to California at age 7, he didn’t converse English, however shortly made up for misplaced time.

He picked up the guitar early and was solely 17 when he shaped Van Halen alongside together with his drummer-brother Alex, bassist Mark Stone (later to get replaced by Michael Anthony) and singer David Lee Roth. “He spent his entire life as a rock star and had by no means been something however that,” Martin Popoff, writer of “Unchained: A Van Halen Person Guide,” informed The Put up. “Since his younger teenagers in Pasadena, he was lauded as a star.”

In charge of his sound, Eddie couldn’t deal with the substances that ran roughshod over his life. It’s a trait handed on to him by his father, Jan. “I’ve heard about Eddie discussing his father’s ingesting being a household battle,” Greg Renoff, writer of “Van Halen Rising,” informed The Put up. “A well-known story Eddie informed about his acclimation to alcohol was that [as a kid] he received bit on the hand by a German shepherd and was bleeding. His father gave him a cigarette and a shot of vodka and informed him he can be tremendous.”

Van Halen in London in May 1978. From left: Alex Van Halen, Michael Anthony, David Lee Roth, Eddie Van Halen.

Van Halen in London in Might 1978. From left: Alex Van Halen, Michael Anthony, David Lee Roth, Eddie Van Halen.
((Picture by Fin Costello/Redferns))

Eddie as soon as informed Billboard: “I received drunk earlier than I’d present up for highschool.”

Years later, when Eddie created and performed the memorable guitar solo on Michael Jackson’s “Beat It,” he declined monetary compensation that will have led to monumental royalties. “I feel Eddie wished a case of beer as compensation,” a supply on the recording session informed The Put up. “Quincy [Jones, who produced the track] introduced Eddie into the studio and he reworked the entire track.”


Enjoying 132 reside gigs a yr by 1980, Eddie relied on all of the rock-star trappings to maintain himself entertained. He reportedly stashed strains of cocaine atop his amplifier throughout concert events and had a drug vendor who’d journey to him, wherever on the earth, with the best ­Peruvian powder.

Groupies had been additionally a daily a part of life, even when it didn’t at all times contain ­precise intercourse. In keeping with “Runnin’ with the Satan,” Eddie and his bandmates as soon as entertained a pair of bare ladies generally known as the Ketchup Queens, dousing them within the condiment.

Medicine and music quickly took precedence over Eddie’s marriage. When Valerie joined him on the street, Eddie reportedly had her sleep in an adjoining bed room in order that he may keep up all night time together with his booze, cocaine and guitar.

At first, the actress tried to maintain up — and, maybe, compete with groupies — and commenced utilizing cocaine herself.

“Ed likes me skinny,” she defined to Monk’s fiancée.

However she overdid it and issues received uncontrolled to the purpose that even Eddie seen. He implored her to cease snorting and begin consuming. In her 2008 e book, “Shedding It,” Valerie writes about her then-husband taking her for a chili cheese canine and fries and provides that he helped “save me from a critical consuming dysfunction.”

By 1984, she writes, “I used to be achieved with coke. I didn’t like the best way it made me really feel.” She additionally didn’t just like the impact it was having on her marriage. “It made sense that I used to be offended,” she writes. “It wasn’t one factor or ­one other as a lot because it was every little thing collectively. There was rather a lot happening: Ed’s fights with Dave [David Lee Roth], Ed’s ingesting and coke, his obsessive work habits.”

Valeri Bertinelli, ex-wife of Eddie Van Halen, shared a throwback photo featuring herself, the rocker and their young son Wolfgang on her Instagram story on Wednesday.

Valeri Bertinelli, ex-wife of Eddie Van Halen, shared a throwback photograph that includes herself, the rocker and their younger son Wolfgang on her Instagram story on Wednesday.
(Valerie Bertinelli/Instagram)


Valerie’s “One Day at a Time” co-star Mackenzie Phillips recalled in her personal e book, “Excessive on Arrival,” Eddie and Valerie dropping by her Manhattan loft for champagne. Eddie nipped into her rest room “and proceeded to Hoover up most of my coke,” Phillips writes, including that he whispered to her: “Don’t inform Val.” Within the elevator, “Eddie dropped his smokes. When he leaned over to choose them up, about 15 Quaaludes fell out of his pocket. Val was pissed. However we [Mackenzie and Eddie] will need to have taken them . . .”

Ratt singer Stephen Pearcy recalled in his autobiography how Eddie, a neighbor, would ask him to cover bottles of vodka within the bushes exterior his home — so Eddie may come by and seize them with out Valerie figuring out.

The couple’s son, Wolfgang, was born in 1991, however dad or mum­hood didn’t resolve their issues.

By the 1990s, the couple’s marriage slowly unraveled. Hagar wrote a couple of bombed Eddie knocking on his door at 2:30 a.m., demanding that they write a track collectively and admitting that ­Valerie kicked him out for the night time.

By 2000, the actress had reached her personal all-time low. Eddie had undergone a daunting spate of medical maladies, together with a hip alternative on the age of 44 and a prognosis of tongue most cancers, main him to swear to her he had give up utilizing medication and alcohol. She believed him — till she discovered a folded-up bindle of cocaine his pockets.

Guitarist Eddie Van Halen joins pop star Michael Jackson on stage to perform his hit song "Beat It" during The Jacksons Victory Tour on July 14, 1984 at Texas Stadium in Dallas. (Getty Images)

Guitarist Eddie Van Halen joins pop star Michael Jackson on stage to carry out his hit track “Beat It” throughout The Jacksons Victory Tour on July 14, 1984 at Texas Stadium in Dallas. (Getty Photos)

Eddie and Valerie cut up in 2001 and their divorce was finalized 5 years later.

“There’s no query that Valerie had robust emotions for Eddie,” Selvin stated. “I don’t know that she received sick of him. However I do assume she received sick of the alcohol and the medication.”

Left to his personal units, in line with Hagar’s e book, Eddie was an unrequited mess. The singer recalled visiting his former bandmate’s 16,000-square-foot residence. “It seemed like vampires lived there,” Hagar wrote. “There have been bottles and cans all around the flooring … There have been spider webs in every single place. He had large blankets thrown over the home windows … I had by no means seen a dirtier place in my life.”

Guitarist Eddie Van Halen of Van Halen performs on stage at Sleep Train Amphitheatre on Sept. 30, 2015 in Chula Vista, Calif. (Getty Images)

Guitarist Eddie Van Halen of Van Halen performs on stage at Sleep Practice Amphitheatre on Sept. 30, 2015 in Chula Vista, Calif. (Getty Photos)

Regardless of experiences that Eddie was value an estimated $100 million, Hagar described the rock star’s digs as “like a bum shack.”

However, Hagar identified, most annoying was that the person who had solely just lately overcome most cancers appeared hooked on alcohol and cigarettes. The vocalist wrote, “He was lacking a variety of enamel and those he had left had been black … He walked round all day, ingesting low-cost Shiraz out of the bottle. That’s why his enamel had been all black.”

When Hagar advised that Eddie use a glass, the guitarist hoisted his bottle and replied, “It’s in a glass.”

Over the following decade-and-a-half, although, Eddie seemingly received it collectively. He married Janie Liszewski, a Hollywood stunt lady, in 2009, with Valerie in attendance. Likewise, he was a visitor at her second marriage ceremony, to monetary planner Tom Vitale, two years later.

Eddie was additionally a significant presence within the lifetime of Wolfgang, now 29. The 2 teamed up in Van Halen in 2013, with Eddie and Valerie’s son taking up bass duties. “I’m coming into my very own,” he informed Guitar World about acting on stage together with his dad. “I actually really feel like I’m imagined to be doing this and that I’ve one thing to show.”


Eddie had reportedly been clear and sober since 2008. “I thank God on my knees that I’m alive and clearly to be sober and to be working with my son,” he informed Rolling Stone in 2009. “I’m so rattling blessed it’s past phrases.”

When Wolfgang revealed that Eddie died Oct. 6, at age 65, from most cancers, tributes flooded social media — from former bandmates; rockers together with Gene Simmons, Nikki Sixx, Flea and Ozzy Osbourne; and well-known followers corresponding to Jimmy Kimmel and designer Kenneth Cole.

However probably the most touching of all was from Valerie. Tweeting a classic photograph of the couple posing with their new child son, she wrote: “40 years in the past my life modified endlessly after I met you … I’m so grateful Wolfie and I had been in a position to maintain you in your final moments. I’ll see you in our subsequent life my love.”

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