Alice in Chains Guitarist Jerry Cantrell Tells Van Halen Story
Back in 1991 Alice in Chains were an up and coming band from Seattle who got the chance to open for Van Halen in the summer. Prior to the band’s first show with the rock legends, Eddie, his wife Valerie Bertinelli and their new baby, Wolfgang were watching Alice in Chains on stage. It would turn out it was one of Cantrell’s worst live performances because of Eddie watching him play.
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Cantrell would reveal to GibsonTV
“He was like, ‘Expletive that, dude. I’ll just give you a guitar. Everybody gives me everything for free now when I can totally afford it. When I couldn’t afford it, no one would give me anything. Let me do that for you,’” .
Not only that but Eddie sent Jerry enough equipment to build two rigs at his home.
Between tours, Cantrell lived in the basement of his manager and Pearl Jam manager Kelly Curtis’s house. After the Van Halen tour ended, Cantrell remembers Curtis came out of the house to welcome him back.
“It was a nice sunny day. He’s like, ‘Hey, man, welcome home. Did you have a good tour? Now you can relax. By the way, do you think you can clear your stuff out of my garage? I need to put my car in there.’”
Cantrell was puzzled since he hadn’t stored anything in the manager’s garage with him recalling
“‘Eddie Van Halen filled the garage with gear for you. I haven’t been able to park my car in my garage for months, He hits the clicker and [the door] goes up and it’s like a scene from a movie. The whole thing is filled with cardboard boxes.”
Eddie would send Cantrell four amplifier cabinets, two amplifier heads and two guitars.