Alice in Chains opened for Van Halen on the For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge tour in 1991 and 1992 after Sammy Hagar saw the video for “Man in the Box” on TV and personally requested the band. The 99-show run was a grind for Alice in Chains at that early juncture in their career, often meeting hostile audiences who just wanted to get on with the main event.
The Van Halen camp treated Alice in Chains well and, by all accounts, were stand-up gentlemen. When Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell returned home from months on the road — he was living in the basement of his manager Kelly Curtis’s house at the time — he was surprised and elated to find a special gift from EVH. Cantrell had asked Eddie for a discount on one of his signature Ernie Ball models, but he ended up getting a whole lot more for the ultimate bargain: free.
“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 shit out of my garage? I need to put my car in there,’” Cantrell recounts Curtis told him in a recent documentary on Cantrell by Gibson Guitars.
Cantrell didn’t recall storing anything in Curtis’s garage, so the manager went on: “‘Eddie Van Halen filled the garage with gear for you. I haven’t been able to park my car in my garage for months,’” Cantrell recalls. “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.”
Watch the clip below, and the full documentary from which it came here.
Cantrell’s tribute to Eddie is just one of many that have surfaced from around the metal and rock community since the iconic guitar player died yesterday. You can catch up with those here.