Throughout the franchise history of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, the musical legacy of artists like the late Eddie Van Halen has been a crucial part to the influences that William “Bill” S. Preston, Esq and Theodore “Ted” Logan have held dear. And with this year’s Bill & Ted Face The Music bringing Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves’ wholesomely famous rockers back to movie screens far and wide, series co-writer/co-creator Ed Solomon would have liked to have Mr. Van Halen himself play a role in the film, before his untimely passing at the age of 65. But sadly, this did not come to pass, as Solomon himself revealed recently.
Paying tribute to Eddie Van Halen on his Twitter feed, Ed Solomon started his message with an anecdote about how Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure director Stephen Herek read the script to the film while listening to the classic Van Halen album 1984. Intending on making a movie as energetic and dynamic as the band’s classic song “Jump,” it would seem that this strategy worked just as well as Herek had hoped. Which then led to the following story about how Solomon attempted to draft Eddie Van Halen into Bill & Ted Face The Music:
Capping his respectful message to the memory of Mr. Van Halen, Ed Solomon then included an iconic clip from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, in which the boys plan out trying to get Eddie himself to play guitar in their band, thus assuring them superstardom. Were this particular wish of Ed Solomon’s to have been fulfilled, it would have tied together the latest entry in the Bill & Ted saga with the adventure that started it all rather nicely.
Much like the history of both Bill & Ted films before it, Face The Music has its fair share of concepts dreamed up and ultimately dashed for one reason or another. Unfortunately, the story of Eddie Van Halen being unavailable for a cameo in any capacity is tinged with the fact that he was undergoing a battle with throat cancer. Ultimately causing his death, this condition was more than likely why the founder and guitarist of legendary ‘80s rock band Van Halen couldn’t participate. Though in its own way, even without the participation of Eddie Van Halen, Bill & Ted Face The Music is a perfect tribute to the man and his work.
With Bill & Ted both taking their musical cues from Van Halen, their ultimate quest to perform and inspire music that united the world will forever be inspired by the legacy of the man who helped start it all. So while Eddie Van Halen may have never been seen in a Bill & Ted film, his presence and musical canon were most certainly felt in spirit, and always will be in the finished product. You can see for yourself as you watch Bill & Ted Face The Music, which is currently available on VOD, with the film heading to Blu-ray and DVD on November 10th.