Tonechaser – Understanding Edward: My 26-Year Journey with Edward Van Halen


Legendary rock journalist Steve Rosen has finally released his long-awaited book about the friendship he shared with the late iconic guitar player Edward Van Halen. The book is titled Tonechaser – Understanding Edward: My 26-Year Journey with Edward Van Halen and chronicles the writer’s remarkable relationship beginning in 1977 (before the release of Van Halen’s first album) and continuing through 2003.

Rosen, who has previously authored seven other books including biographies on Jeff Beck, Free/Bad Company, Black Sabbath and Randy Rhoads, writes about what it was like being friends with the greatest guitar player in the world.

Not an easy task to undertake.

In order to tell the story accurately, Rosen pored over hours of interviews—all fastidiously recorded and catalogued on cassette—and peered deep inside distant memories to create a book unlike any other out there.

The journalist spent many hours with Edward at his own Hollywood Hills guesthouse; up at Van Halen’s 5150 studio; on airplanes, in cars; and even jamming on several occasions with Ed. There is no other book out there that captures the heart and creativity of the late master instrumentalist. Rosen was Edward’s friend—close friend—for many years and no other writer can lay claim to that title.

Tonechaser – Understanding Edward: My 26-Year Journey with Edward Van Halen is a hardcover, 580-page tome with a 7×10 format. Front and back covers were shot by the iconic Van Halen photographer Neil Zlozower who also provided interior photographs.

The author was going to write Edward’s authorized biography back in 1985 but that book never came to light. Van Halen fans have literally been waiting some 37+ years for Rosen to revisit the book. If early responses from readers are any indication, fans say the wait was well worth it. Steve Rosen writes, “I chose that title,Tonechaser, because Edward once described himself in that way. I thought it was such a beautiful, fragile, and poignant word for him to use in his pursuit of the ever-elusive Brown Sound. I also thought it worked on another level in terms of the “tone” of his life and being a guitar player, bandmember, husband, father, and icon.

“I had never heard Edward ever use that phrase anywhere else and in fact after interviewing hundreds and hundreds of guitar players, I’ve never heard one of them ever use that word to describe what they

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Post featured image photo credit: Neil Zlozower

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