That Time KRNA’s Mike Almost Got Beat Up By Eddie Van Halen
I've never told the story of that time I met Eddie Van Halen.
Correction: I almost met Eddie Van Halen.
I was attending a rock radio conference in Los Angeles back in the early 90's. Warner Bros Records was hosting an album listening party with special guests Van Halen.
When the band arrived, there were about 100 radio DJs and Program Directors in the room. What usually happens is that no one wants to seem too anxious, so like most of the radio guys I stayed back, not wanting to look like a noob.
The band members were taking it all in stride, and began posing for photos with braver radio dudes.
That's when I spotted Eddie's wife, Valerie Bertinelli on the other side of the room standing alone. Like a star struck fan I paraded right over, gushing and telling her that my wife and I were big fans of hers. She was charming and gracious, as we exchanged about 30 seconds of small talk..
Then I quickly excused myself and hurried back across the room just in time to nudge up next to Michael Anthony for a band photo with my radio pals Rick Church and Michael Luzak (he's the one in glasses).
As soon as the picture was snapped, Alex Van Halen turned to me and gave me the business for hitting on Eddie's wife right in front of him. Believing him, I fell for it and that's when he layered it on thicker, telling me Eddie was extremely jealous and always "packing".
I damn near crapped myself. Then Alex and Michael busted out laughing. They got me. They got me good.
By now the photographer was hustling us out of the way for the next photo, so I never got to say hello to Sammy or to Eddie. But I did say hi to Valerie. I think she liked me.
But it ended there, and was probably all for the best. If Eddie had seen me hitting on his wife, my eye might have been as Black and Blue as the band's latest single.