Nancy Wilson on Gifting Eddie Van Halen His First Acoustic Guitar
Nancy Wilson recalled in a recent interview the time she gifted Eddie Van Halen his first acoustic guitar.
Speaking with Australian Musician, Wilson said, “One time Eddie said to me — and I love to tell this story — ‘I love the way you play that acoustic guitar.’ And I go, ‘Well, thanks. Coming from you, that’s everything. Why don’t you ever play acoustic guitar?’ And he said, ‘Well, I don’t really have an acoustic guitar.’ And I was, like, ‘Well, you sure do now, because I’m giving you one right now.'”
Wilson continued, “So then, cut to the crack of dawn the next morning, and my phone in my hotel room rings, and it’s Eddie. And he goes, ‘You’ve gotta listen to this. Listen to this. Listen, listen, listen, listen.’ So I was, like, ‘Okay.’ I was not even awake. But he played to me over the phone this really beautiful piece of acoustic music — an instrumental — that had elements of classical and then some really rock stuff in the middle, and then another beautiful melodic flourish at the end. So I got to be the one who gave Eddie his first acoustic. And somewhere there’s gotta be that song [that he played for me] somewhere recorded; it’ll probably turn up.”
This moment ended up inspiring a song on Wilson’s upcoming debut solo album, You And Me, called “4 Edward.” Wilson explains, “So what I did is, for him, I wanted to return the favor of something that was so unforgettable, just over a hotel phone, that he played for me. So [my song is] like about a minute and a half, and it starts out very sort of classically oriented, and it goes into a rock thing. So the shape is very similar to what I vaguely recall, what he [played] for me. And I’m really proud of it, and I’m proud of the whole thing.”