The History of Eddie Van Halen’s Relationship With Shreveport
Earlier today, legendary rock and roll star Eddie Van Halen lost his battle with cancer, passing away at the age of 65. Since the news broke, the music world has been reacting nonstop. Eddie influenced so many artists, in so many different genres, that the outpouring of posts honor his memory has been vast.
But its not just those Eddie influenced, its fans too. We're talking about the founder, and primary songwriter, for a band that stacked platinum records like they were potato chips. Legions of fans have been paying their respects online all day.
In Shreveport, the mourning has an added dimension.
Back in the 1980s, seeing Eddie Van Halen in Shreveport wasn't that weird. Not only was his band playing here regularly, his in-laws were in town.
Eddie Van Halen married actress Valerie Bertinelli after the two met backstage at a Van Halen concert. That night was August 22nd, 1980...at the Hirsch Coliseum in Shreveport, Louisiana.
Bertinelli's father worked for General Motors, which brought the family to Shreveport, where she spent part of her youth...
After the two were married, Bertinelli's family remained in Shreveport. Which meant Eddie had a big reason to come through more often than the band's concert stops. So it wasn't uncommon to see him around the area in that time period.
But Eddie had come to Shreveport before he even knew Bertinelli. The band made the Shreveport Municipal Auditorium a stop on their first ever major tour in 1978. They played Shreveport for the first time on April 13th, 1978. Becoming the next young musical act to help launch their career on the stage at the Muni.
In 1986, Eddie had one more life milestone in Shreveport. The band kicked off their 5150 Tour on March 27th, 1986 at the Hirsch Coliseum. That night was the first public performance Van Halen ever had with Sammy Hagar as their new lead singer.
Eddie and Van Halen played Shreveport at least 6 times between 1978 and 1991, as the band went from small venue to world-wide arena shows. It's safe to say that Van Halen outgrew Shreveport by 1991, but that doesn't take away the memories that were created here by the band during that period.
Here is a more complete list of the Van Halen shows we could find from Shreveport:
- April 13th, 1978 – Municipal Auditorium– First major tour
- August 22nd, 1980 – Hirsch Coliseum – World Invasion Tour – Met Bertinelli backstage
- September 8th, 1981 – Hirsch Coliseum – Fair Warning Tour
- September 25th, 1982 – Hirsch Coliseum - Hide Your Sleep Tour – Canceled the following night’s show
- March 27th, 1986 – Hirsch Coliseum – 5150 Tour – First public show with Sammy Hagar as lead singer for Van Halen
- December 3rd, 1991 – Hirsch Coliseum – Final Shreveport show we can find record of