The very first album I ever owned was Van Halen – Van Halen. I got it for my eighth birthday, along with some pop rocks, and other ephemera. Having heard it at a relatives house, I instantly fell in love, and knew I had to have it. At seven years old I was already on a heavy metal journey, but that journey was grounded in other genres, but most importantly, great vocal harmonies – something that Michael Anthony brought to the table, as I would discover on this album.

Another thing I would discover was blues, as a result of this album and the 12 bar progression of “Ice Cream Man”. That song would eventually become the one I played the most, followed by “Feel Your Love Tonight”.

Van Halen - Van Halen cassette

I have no idea what happened to the original vinyl. To be honest I don’t know how or when it left, and its cassette replacement arrived. But I know this tape stayed in rotation for many years, as this album proved timeless.

I have an Onkyo cassette deck in my office, but no longer have a vehicle capable of playing tapes. So, while recognizing how important this album was in my musical journey, it’s time to get rid of it.