Ted Templeman reveals no fighting in Van Halen during David Lee Roth era but rather they didn’t click
With the very sad news that Van Halen guitar legend Eddie Van Halen lost his fight with cancer only five days ago, RollingStone did a comprehensive interview with world renowned producer Ted Templeman who produced Van Halen‘s first six studio albums with David Lee Roth on lead vocals — Van Halen (1978), Van Halen II (1979), Women And Children First (1980), Fair Warning (1981), Diver Down (1982) and 1984 (1984) — and co-produced the record For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge (1991) when Sammy Hagar was fronting the band.
Van Halen, Templeman indicated: “No. They never fought. It’s just that they didn’t click. I think it had to do with the early days because Dave used to boss them around. He’s like P.T. Barnum. “We’ve got to make a show out of this. Ed, you’ve got to dress this way. Al, do this.” And Ed used to tell me they’d be on the road, doing these stadiums, and if Al didn’t think Ed was moving around enough, he’d throw his drumstick and hit him in the back to remind him to keep moving; don’t just stand there and play.
But I got to know Ed before. Even on a personal level, when the guys didn’t want him to get married. He said, “Ted, I don’t know, what should I do?” I said, “Fuck those guys. They can’t tell you your life. You want to walk out right now? I’ll walk out with you.” That night I saw Valerie [Bertinelli, Ed’s first wife], and she said, “Oh, Ted. Thank you so much.” It was like the band was deciding whether he was getting married or not. And I was like, “It’s your life. Screw the band.” And he never forgot that either. Every birthday, I’d call him, or he’d call me, and that’s how we got to be good friends.”
In terms of Eddie Van Halen‘s battle against cancer, Templeman revealed: “He told me the day that he’d just had his first steroid shot… He was OK, and within two weeks, he was in the hospital. From then on, we would talk — but then pretty soon he couldn’t talk. He would send me texts every day. ‘Oh, God. The chemo’s terrible.’ Then it got down to the point where he would just send little hearts at the bottom of a text. ‘I love you, Ted,’ and that stuff. One time, he texted, ‘Ted, you were the first one who ever believed in me.’ He was all medicated, too, but he was always great.”
You can read the rest of the interview with Ted Templeman at RollingStone‘s website.