Hello new music lovers. Welcome to NEXT. We have a simple goal: Find you a NEXT, new favorite song. #NextFavoriteSong

Let us begin NEXT week 754 with really the only way one should when remembering Eddie Van Halen. Eruption. Eddie was one of the reasons so many started playing guitar. His influence on thousands of other guitar players worldwide is monumental – just staggering. When you talk true guitar revolutionaries – players that just totally changed the game – you talk Hendrix and you talk Eddie Van Halen. He was a “once-a-generation” musician. I saw him play live many times in the big arenas when I was growing up and I was dumbfounded in amazement – how was he getting those sounds and making it look so easy? A true musical genius – and he did it all with an ear to ear smile on his face. Always a smile. 

Blankslate is an alt/indie rock band formed in Denver by college roomates it’s PamNation’s daughter. So not shocking it’s a quite brilliant track. 42 – very good, there’s lots of influences in there – a bit of Sneakerpimps, a bit of Mammas and Papas, a bit of Beautiful South…not that any of that is a bad thing! The Ohio trio CAAMP release their latest recorded single and companion video for “Officer Of Love,” via their label home, Mom + Pop. The band notes of the track: “We recorded this song on the road in the summer of 2019. It’s a tune that’s close to our hearts and one of our favorites to play live. We hope it brings a little joy to your life. Let’s all choose love.”

Lake Street Dive adds “‘Making Do’ which is about the world that future generations are inheriting. We are all concerned about what is happening to our planet, so the song explores what arises when we consider both our role in it and our responsibility to address it. Hopefully it comes through as a rallying cry to do the best you can with what you have.” – Lake Street Dive. Steven Wright-Mark with a brilliant Cover. Great and timely cover of the 1965 hit. I’ve actually heard quite a few other covers of this tune this year. This version is my favorite. Great job brother my brother. Pixies recorded “Hear Me Out” during the sessions for their 2019 album, Beneath the Eyrie. The song will be released on a 12-inch vinyl single, out October 16th, with a cover of T. Rex’s “Mambo Sun.” Also on track to open for Pearl Jam in 2021 at Hyde Park. What a bloody great double bill. I may have book airfare.

Now we say goodbye to EVH. Eddie was pure, unrestrained, moving at the speed of light, Rock’n Roll Energy! That Was His Guitar in ‘Back to the Future’ A scene in 1985’s Back to the Future features Marty McFly slipping a cassette marked “Edward Van Halen” into a Walkman and blasting it into his future father’s ears to wake him up. In 2012, the guitarist admitted it was “just a bunch of noise” he recorded and not part of an unreleased song. Let’s show another side of his brilliance. Still with diamond Dave. Van Hagar coming up soon. We played Big Bad Bill (Is Sweet William Now) and Drop Dead Legs. 2 widely different Eddie styles. And still Eddie.

Eddie Van Halen traced his penchant for modifying guitars to his father, Jan, who was also a musician. The elder Van Halen continued to play clarinet and saxophone, even though he lost a finger and bottom teeth, by constructing devices that allowed him to compensate for his deficits. He played clarinet on Van Halen’s 1982 cover of “Big Bad Bill (Is Sweet William Now).” I understand not changing the name and I always liked van Hagar. I have time for two Sammy songs: Finish What Ya Started and Man On A Mission.

DAVE is back and they dip into old, unreleased songs to review and make new. This album is over looked. Under appreciated and worth a revisit. There’s a few good ones on here. I picked: You And Your Blues.

A few of my favorite stories.

He Gave Away 75 of His Guitars to Public Schools. In 2012, Eddie donated 75 guitars from his collection to the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation so they could be distributed to schools around the Los Angeles area. “If I can help a kid discover a liking, or even a passion for music in their life, then that’s a wonderful thing,” he said. “Music has provided a good life for me, and, hopefully, it can help make life better for others with this donation.” Felice Mancini, the foundation’s executive director, described the meeting with the legend. “He came to our office with his lovely wife and took some pictures with the staff,” she said. “He’s a lovely man and very shy. It was fun. Eddie’s wife was delightful; they were just so happy that this happened. Eddie did sincerely want to feel that he gave something back, and he did. It was win-win all the way around.”

The Cosmic Link Between Eddie Van Halen and Bill & Ted.  Bill S. Preston, Esq. and Ted “Theodore” Logan, heroes of the Bill & Ted franchise, worship a lot of rockers, but no rock idol is as triumphant to them as Van Halen. Just minutes into the first film, Bill muses that their amateur band, Wyld Stallyns, “will never be a superband until we have Eddie Van Halen on guitar”. Van Halen’s influence is also apparent in the air-shredding sound effects made famous in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, and Ted wears a Van Halen T-shirt throughout that film. As it turns out, Van Halen himself was offered the role of Rufus — the wizened time-traveling guide, played by George Carlin — but turned it down. After hearing of the guitarist’s death, screenwriter-producer Ed Solomon expressed his condolences on Twitter and revealed that they had tried to somehow involve Van Halen in 2020’s Bill & Ted Face the Music, but the rocker had been unavailable.

Pearl Jam lead guitarist Mike McCready paid tribute to Eddie Van Halen on Twitter following news of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarist’s death. “Can’t believe Eddie Van Halen died,” he wrote, next to a photo of himself with Van Halen. “I saw them on the VH2, Women and Children First, Fair Warning, and Diver Down tours. Also when they came back with [David Lee Roth]. I started playing guitar about a year after Van Halen I came out. It sounded like Eddie was from another planet and the energy from Van Halen was undeniable. Amazing songs too. ‘Romeo Delight,’ ‘On Fire,’ ‘Unchained,’ ‘Mean Street,’ ‘DOA,’ ‘Light Up the Sky,’ ‘Ain’t Talkin’ Bout Love,’ ‘Eruption,’ ‘Atomic Punk,’ ‘Everybody Wants Some,’ on and on I can go…”McCready added: “Tim Dijulio and I would skip school and wait in line all day for Van Halen back in the day. Eddie was like Mozart for guitar. Changed everything and he played with Soul. RIP EVH.”

Music is Life. And new music keeps you young at heart. And keeps your mind nimble. It’s science. Do the google if you don’t believe me.

It was tough before Covid 19. Now more than ever we need to support these bands. Even something as simple as buying an album, or a ticket to a show (when live music comes back or if they are hosting online events), or a tee shirt. And if you can buy directly from them. Even better. Thank you.

Spotify playlist updates on Thursday(ish). Link to Chris Bro on Spotify.

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WARNING may contain bad words. Or may not. Depends.

You can listen to NEXT on the radio. Listen to NEXT on Ocean 98 in Maryland Sunday nights at 10. Or Saturday afternoon on VOBB in Canada

Artist and Song Title:

  • Van Halen – Eruption
  • Van Halen – You Really Got Me
  • Blankslate – 42
  • Caamp – Officer Of Love
  • Lake Street Dive – Making Do
  • Steven Wright-Mark – Eve of Destruction (Cover)
  • Pixies – Hear Me Out
  • Van Halen – You’re No Good
  • Van Halen – Everybody Wants Some!
  • Van Halen – Unchained
  • Van Halen – Big Bad Bill (Is Sweet William Now)
  • Van Halen – Drop Dead Legs
  • Van Halen – Finish What Ya Started
  • Van Halen – Man On A Mission
  • Van Halen – You And You’re Blues

and remember if you love someone hug them right now

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