Local Army recruiter’s Van Halen tribute goes viral

Updated: Oct. 7, 2020 at 12:17 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - As music fans mourn the loss of iconic rock guitarist Eddie Van Halen, a Watertown Army recruiter’s tribute is on a roll.

As soon as Staff Sergeant Austin West learned of Van Halen’s passing Tuesday, he plugged in his guitar and started playing live on Facebook.

West is not only a recruiter, he’s also an Army musician.

He got to see Van Halen perform live when he was 14.

West says the legend’s music has touched the lives of plenty of aspiring rockers.

“When you actually learn ‘Eruption’ on guitar and you’re 15 or 13 years old and it sounds completely horrible, you feel like a rock god. It’s just that power. This dude was making full songs with a guitar by himself. Insane,” said West.

After his recruitment assignment, West will join the well known Army rock outfit “As You Were” for a three year U.S. tour.

As for that rock and roll tribute? At last count, it has had more than 320,000 views.

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