Eddie Van Halen Was an Inspiration for a Popular ‘80s Movie

by Allison Hambrick

Legendary rockstar Eddie Van Halen is iconic in many ways, which is why it’s no surprise that he served as the inspiration for a cult classic film.

Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure released in 1989 to positive reviews. Moreover, it was a box office smash, earning $40 million on a $10 million budget. The film starred a then-unknown Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter as two rock-obsessed teenagers destined to save humanity. The boys go on a wild adventure through time. They meet a bunch of historical figures including Napoleon Bonaparte, Abraham Lincoln, and Joan of Arc.

The film spawned two sequels. First, Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey came out in 1991. Reception by critics was mixed, but it went on to develop the same amount of love from fans as the original. The third film, Bill & Ted Face the Music came out in 2020. The film saw the introduction of the protagonists’ daughters Billie and Thea, and critics considered it a return to form.

Central to each film is the concept of music bringing people together. Writer Ed Solomon said the inspiration came from Van Halen himself. Back when Van Halen passed in 2020, he took to Twitter to share a eulogy.

“Super sad to hear about the passing of Eddie Van Halen,” Solomon said. “He was a big influence on Chris [Metheson] & me as we were writing Bill & Ted. In fact, when director Stephen Herek was reading the script he got three pages in, stopped, put on 1984 & resumed. We wanted the movie to be a cinematic ‘Jump.'”

Additionally, Solomon revealed that he tried to get Van Halen to cameo in Face the Music: “We tried to get him to do something — anything — in Face the Music, but they said he was unavailable and wouldn’t tell us why. Sadly, I think I know now.”

Valerie Bertinelli Mourns Ex Eddie Van Halen

Prior to his death, the rockstar was married to actress Valerie Bertinelli. Their marriage lasted 26 years, before they split due to irreconcilable differences.

“I hated the drugs and the alcohol, but I never hated him–I saw his pain,” Bertinelli said. “I loved Ed more than I know how to explain.”

Even though it didn’t work out for them, the actress revealed that she and their son Wolf Van Halen were with him hours before his death.

“I didn’t know those would be my last words to him,” Bertinelli continued. “After we told each other we love each other and we’re holding him, we said, ‘We’ll see you tomorrow,’ and tomorrow never came because he had a massive stroke that night. He never woke up from that, and a couple days later, he was gone.”

Despite seeing him so close to his death, Bertinelli expressed her regret over not spending more time with Van Halen.

“That was really hard,” Bertinelli said. “And if I can give any small bit of wisdom to anybody, it’s to treat someone like you’re never going to see them again and let them know how you feel about them because you just don’t you just don’t know when, when is going to be the last time that you see them.”