The Story Behind Eddie Van Halen Inspiration For A 1980s Movie

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Legendary guitarist Eddie Van Halen had a very important and potent influence during the Bill & Ted franchise, as the website Looper recalls.

The main character loves rock, especially the band Van Halen. In the first few minutes of the original film, the characters make a video to try to convince the guitarist to teach them how to play for real and become a better group.

Eddie surely had an impact on the life of actor Alex Winter, who plays Bill. In an interview with Rolling Stone, the artist recalled the musician who died at the age of 65, October 6, 2020, and how he inspired the entire franchise.

There was a really beautiful quality to what he would play that I think really impacted people profoundly. I hate to keep it to this California thing, but, to me, it’s connected a lot to the Beach Boys and what made Brian Wilson so great. There was depth and intelligence and craft within these accessible pop songs.”

Winter also shared how, for him, “the air guitar came completely from Eddie’s playing. I’m a huge Who fan and I’m a huge Townshend fan, but there’s a kind of street punk violence to Townshend that is not to be found anywhere in Bill & Ted. And I always thought of Eddie’s incredible physicality with the air guitar stuff, and just the way these guys would have seen him and how that would have impacted them.”