In the glorious, spandex-clad late seventies and early eighties, Eddie Van Halen's fret-torturing fingers ruled the cock rock universe. Starting with the epic guitar wankery of "Eruption" and classic keg party anthems like "Runnin’ With the Devil" and "Unchained" and then peaking (commercially at least) with the monster 1984 album, EVH reigned as the undisputed king of arena-ruling ax men.
Today he turns 63, and Maxim salutes him. Yes, it's been a few years since Eddie played with the once-mighty Van Halen: an aging David Lee Roth has long reclaimed the lead singer’s mic, and Eddie’s son Wolfgang plays bass, replacing traitorous Sammy Hagar defector Michael Anthony.
They may not "Jump" as high as they used to or inspire the same fierce devotion among jean-jacketed high school stoners as they did back in the day, but classic Van Halen is still pretty awesome. And for that, we have Eddie Van Halen to thank.
Here's hoping the rest of his sixties will be one prolonged encore.