I was sitting in my office working when the phone rang. On the other side of the line a voice said: "Lou, this is Big Rig. Dude, that is the nastiest Xmas card I've ever seen. So, you wion and you are going to London ... to meet Van Halen at their Balance album release party."
I knew it was not a crank call cause I listened to you all the time and recognized your voice.
The contest was: "Send us your ugliest Xmas card."
My best friend sent me a card of this very fat lady, with the ridiculous make-up, wearing only a tiny red bikini bottom, a Santa hat and 2 poinsettia leaves covering her nipples. It was absolutely hideous! I knew I had a chance.
A few days later my girlfriend and I flew to St. Louis and met a couple of winners from every state in the US, and we all flew to London.
We met Van Halen (i.e.: Van Haggar 😄) at the Abbey Road Recording studio.
The band didn't come out until the show started. Eddie had his new short hair and had just gotten out of Rehab for Alcohol, but he was pounding the non-alcoholic brews.
During the breaks, while the played the songs from the new album it was funny to see him there air guitaring to the songs. Sammy did most of the talking. After the show, the band hung out and mingled with everyone. I spoke to Alex for about 5 minutes. He keep asking me, "do you know (random person) in Tampa?", but I didn't. He was cool anyway.
At some point during the night, they ran out of NA beer and Eddie switched to regular beer (Heineken I believe), but he was cool, very friendly and with that amazing smile.
Thank you for some wonderful memories. Eddie will be missed.