I grew up in a household that loved classic rock. It was always on the stations we tuned in to and the CDs we played. I’m positive I had been subject to the legendary work of Van Halen before I brought home a copy of Gran Turismo 4 at the age of 13. But it wasn’t until I turned on my PS2 and anxiously sat through the intro video that I truly knew who they were. While the video opens with Moon Over The Castle, it doesn’t truly begin until the opening riffs of Panama break through.

I was mesmerized. Also hyped as hell to start playing. But I also knew at that moment that I had to go and find more of Van Halen’s work. It was one of the first songs I bought on iTunes along with Running With The Devil. As more services came along for listening to music, like YouTube and later Spotify, their work continued to be in my regular rotation. And today as the news of Eddie Van Halen’s passing broke in the news, this video was the first thing I pulled up. The rush of being a teenager waiting anxiously to experience a new game only to be blown away by the intro music instead is one of my favorite gaming memories from my childhood. It’s as good a time as any to relive some of that magic and pay respects to one of the greatest guitarists of all time.

Shred in peace, Eddie. Blast the fuck out of your Van Halen today.

[Source: YouTube, NPR]