HEART's Nancy Wilson has released "4 Edward With Love", an extended version of her tribute to VAN HALEN guitarist Eddie Van Halen, "4 Edward", from her debut solo album, "You And Me".
"You And Me" came out in May via Carry On Music. The LP was recorded primarily in Wilson's California home studio, working with band members and special guests remotely.
Asked if she ever got to meet Eddie or tour with VAN HALEN, Nancy told Australian Musician: "Oh, yeah. We played with VAN HALEN a few times in the earlier '80s mainly — at festivals and just gigs that we were opening for them. Those brothers, they were out of control — they were always out of control. They were the ones who we would end up in some bar in a hotel with. And they were, like, 'Try this kamikaze.' They were a really bad influence on us. Then they would just get into a yelling match, they were so out of it. And then, a couple of minutes later, they'd be hugging: 'I'm sorry, man. I love you, man.' They were just really out of the realm of normal. But same on stage — [they were] just absolutely an incredible rock band, especially with what Eddie invented.
"One time Eddie said to me — and I love to tell this story — 'I love the way you play that acoustic guitar,'" she continued. "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.' 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.
"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."
With her band HEART, Nancy Wilson has recorded 16 albums, sold over 35 million albums worldwide and has four Grammy nominations. She had previously released one other album with just her name on it, "Live At McCabe's Guitar Shop", which captured her playing a set of covers and new songs in 1999. But she considers this her first true solo album, a positive creative move amid a surreal year of loss; life during lockdown.