The world lost a guitar legend today. In the ever-increasing history of guitar music, there are people who come along now and again who create something completely new an original. Eddie Van Halen is one of these, whose contribution to the guitar world was so massive that he will continue to inspire young musicians for many years to come. He could shred like no other, but also wrote some of the most distinctive and melodic solos in rock history. From time to time, I work as a front of house mixer for TV shows which once had a studio audience. On some shows, that position also makes you act as the DJ for the audience warm up and commercial breaks. This is a somewhat sensitive position, as the warm up music is generally tailored to the demographic of the audience. Some shows provide a playlist, while others leave it to you to decide what is appropriate and then complain accordingly. It can really be a challenge to strike the right balance, so it’s nice to have some go-to playlists for various situations. Of course, no artist is appropriate all the time, but there are some who come close. Van Halen is pretty close to being universally acceptable in these situations. It’s very rare indeed when you can’t get away with playing “Panama” or “Hot For Teacher.” I feel like that is a testament to just how great and impactful they are. And if that doesn’t prove it, you can just look at how many of their albums went platinum. Spoiler alert: it’s a lot. RIP EVH, and thank you for the joy and memories you brought into our lives.