The loss of Eddie Van Halen is a loss not only for his friends and family but also for the millions around the world who loved his music. Among those who are mourning the loss of Eddie Van Halen are the people behind a film franchise in which the man was incredibly influential. Both Ed Solomon, the co-writer of the Bill & Ted movies, and co-star Alex Winter have spoken about just how much Eddie Van Halen meant to the movies and what an inspiration he was.
Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure doesn't make it more than a couple of minutes into its runtime before Eddie Van Halen gets name-dropped. Bill and Ted were clearly big fans and that's at least in part because the movie's writers Ed Solomon and Chris Solomon were also big fans. Solomon took to Twitter to pay tribute to Van Halen rocker and talk about how the man was a major influence while the first script was being written. It also turns out that Van Halen music is the perfect accompaniment to reading that original script.
In addition to Ed Solomon's comments, Alex Winter, who played Bill in all three Bill & Ted movies, spoke at length to Rolling Stone about the influence that Eddie Van Halen had on the franchise. Winter himself was personally a fan of the music, and he says that, at least from his perspective, the classic Bill and Ted air guitar was always the characters doing their best Eddie Van Halen impression. According to Winter...
I can’t speak for Keanu, but speaking for myself, the air guitar came completely from Eddie’s playing...And I always thought of Eddie’s incredible physicality with the air guitar stuff, and just the way these guys would have seen him and how that would have impacted them.
In the first Bill & Ted movie, the pair believe that getting Eddie Van Halen to play with them is their ticket to success. He is the epitome of what it is they want to be. Getting him in their band would make them stars. Later in the film, Bill takes on the name Deputy Van Halen on the phone with Ted's dad. From the music to the man himself Van Halen permeates the franchise.
And then of course there's the dozens of movies and television shows that have used Van Halen music in them over the decades and will almost certainly continue to do so. His loss will continue to be felt by fans and loved ones, and everybody who watches a Bill & Ted movie from now on.