Ex-W.A.S.P. Guitarist CHRIS HOLMES: How EDDIE VAN HALEN Ended Up Using My Guitar To Record 'Women And Children First'
October 10, 2020
In a special bonus interview feature in the Blu-ray version of the upcoming documentary film "Mean Man: The Story of Chris Holmes", due out January 15, 2021 via Cleopatra Entertainment, former W.A.S.P. guitarist Chris Holmes speaks in loving tones of his late, longtime friend and fellow guitarist Eddie Van Halen.
Said Holmes: "The one who inspired me a lot was Eddie Van Halen — not just as a guitar player, [but] just as a human being, the way he was to other people. Eddie used to borrow some of my equipment [even]. I had crashed a motorcycle [one time] and I was laid up in the hospital, and he came in and asked me if he could borrow my guitar for his new album ['Women And Children First']. I said, 'Yeah, just go by and tell my mom that I said that you could borrow it,' and he went over and picked it up."
Added Holmes's childhood friend Jack Van Furche: "It [Holmes's Ibanez Destroyer] had just that right raunch and crunch, and there it is. We all hear it — it's on the album. We know it."
Written and directed by French filmmakers Antoine De Montremy and Laurent Hart (whose music production career includes televised interviews with SCORPIONS, DEEP PURPLE, SLAYER, GUNS N' ROSES and more),"Mean Man: The Story Of Chris Holmes" was a project that was born in 2014 after they had an opportunity to meet and direct Holmes in a music video for the Holmes-penned song "Let It Roar" in Cannes, France. At that time, the former W.A.S.P. guitarist had more or less disappeared from the music scene, leaving his home in the U.S. to seek a new beginning with his wife Sarah in France. Not content with merely directing a music video for the reborn Holmes, De Montremy pursued his bigger dream of writing and directing a documentary film about this iconic metal guitar legend, and for the next several years shadowed him throughout Europe while filming everything from band rehearsals, to recording sessions to live performances.
By creatively combining archival footage, interviews with past and present band members and musical peers, family members and childhood friends — interspersed with beautifully filmed concert performances of Holmes's current solo band — De Montremy skillfully portrays the story of an iconic guitar player who has lived a life of extreme highs and lows. After losing the publishing rights of his own songs and combatting dangerous addictions, the legendary W.A.S.P. guitarist is shown starting over from scratch while living at his mother-in-law's in Cannes, France as he puts together, with his wife, a brand new band and a brand new musical role as not only the main guitarist, but now as the actual lead singer of this newly born musical project aptly named MEAN MAN.
Holmes joined W.A.S.P. in 1982 and remained with the group until 1990. In 1996, Holmes rejoined W.A.S.P. and stayed with the band until 2001. Holmes has not played with W.A.S.P. since.
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