Red Hot Chili Peppers, Eddie: the lyrics & the meaning

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Eddie is the second single extracted from Return of the Dream Canteen, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ album set for release in October 2022. The song received much attention from fans and music lovers because it has a relevant meaning for the Californian band, as it is a tribute to a dead artist that many love. In this article, we will explore the song’s meaning and provide the complete lyrics at the end.

You can find the official streaming of the song below.

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Eddie (Official Audio)

Eddie: the lyrics and their meaning

Eddie is a tribute song to Eddie Van Halen, one of the best guitar players in the history of music, who died in October 2020. As Red Hot Chili Peppers’ leader Anthony Kiedis explained on Instagram, the song was born out of the feelings they had after Eddie’s death, and we can find the meaning of its lyrics in this comment:

“Sometimes we don’t realize how deeply affected and connected we are to artists until the day they die. Eddie Van Halen was a one of a kind. The day after his death Flea came into rehearsal with an emotional bassline. John, Chad and I started playing along and pretty soon with all our hearts, a song in his honor effortlessly unfolded. It felt good to be sad and care so much about a person who had given so much to our lives. Although the song doesn’t speak to Eddie by name, it talks about his early days on the Sunset Strip and the rock n roll tapestry that Van Halen painted on our minds. In the end, our song asks that you not remember Eddie for dying but for living his wildest dream.”

Anthony Kiedis on Instagram

The chorus expresses precisely the intention that Red Hot Chili Peppers had when writing the song: please don’t remember Eddie Van Halen only for what he did in his career or for his death; remember him for what he represents, still today, an artist who dedicated his life to music and became an icon who inspired many people.

Please don’t remember me, for what I did last night, oh
Please don’t remember me
What’d I say Lord?
Please don’t remember me, it’s only 1980
It’s only 1983
Please don’t remember me, for what I did with David
You know I’m talkin’ David Lee
Am I ready?
Please don’t remember me, for what I did last night, oh

David Lee Roth was Van Halen’s lead singer until 1985 and always had a controversial relationship with Eddie Van Halen.

The song’s verses are a poetic image of how Red Hot Chili Peppers see Eddie Van Halen as an individual: Eddie is a talented guitarist with “hammers in his hands” (referring to his ability to do hammer-ons with both hands while playing guitar), able to make music that sent the old generations in heaven (“granny would take a trip”), an artist who received worldwide recognition, overcoming his national identity.

Sailing the Sunset Strip, I’m a bit of a king
Granny would take a trip, I’ve been bending the strings
Got hammers in both my hands, such a delicate touch
They say I’m from Amsterdam, does that make me Dutch?

Eddie’s wife was Valerie Bertinelli, an American actress working on TV. The two got married in 1981 and divorced in 2007. Eddie was also famous for his love for Chevrolet cars, especially Camaro. The car parked in the high school could refer to getting high during school hours. And that “little sombrero because the teacher was way too hot” in verse below refers to Van Halen’s song Hot For Teacher, where the lyrics talk about being attracted by a school teacher (in urban slang, the “sombrero” is an erection).

Smoking the reefer, feeling my own light
My brother’s a keeper, I married a TV wife
The devil’s Camaro, parked in the high school lot
A little sombrero ’cause teacher was way too hot

Eddie is, therefore, a celebration of Eddie Van Halen for what he was in life and represented as an artist. The real meaning behind its lyrics is: please remember Eddie Van Halen as a personality symbolizing an era, not only a dead guitarist.

Read other popular song lyrics meaning on Auralcrave

The complete lyrics

Sailing the Sunset Strip, I’m a bit of a king
Granny would take a trip, I’ve been bending the strings
Got hammers in both my hands, such a delicate touch
They say I’m from Amsterdam, does that make me Dutch?

Please don’t remember me, for what I did last night, oh
Please don’t remember me
Lord and children
Please don’t remember me, it’s only 1980
It’s only 1983

Smoking the reefer, feeling my own light
My brother’s a keeper, I married a TV wife
The devil’s Camaro, parked in the high school lot
A little sombrero ’cause teacher was way too hot

Please don’t remember me, for what I did last night, oh
Please don’t remember me
Listen Lord now
Please don’t remember me, it’s only 1980
It’s only 1983

Tell my love “But leave me never”
Can’t complain about the weather
Snowing at the rainbow, have a ball
Cut my teeth down at the whiskey
GTO’s tried to kiss me
One more song, they have seen it all

Please don’t remember me, for what I did last night, oh
Please don’t remember me
What’d I say Lord?
Please don’t remember me, it’s only 1980
It’s only 1983
Please don’t remember me, for what I did with David
You know I’m talkin’ David Lee
Am I ready?
Please don’t remember me, for what I did last night, oh
I guess I played a Flying V