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Guitarist Eddie Van Halen says dad fueled his drinking

Eddie Van Halen puts some of the blame on his father for his long struggle with alcohol.

In the May issue of Esquire, the Van Halen guitarist said “the whole alcoholism thing” developed when he asked his dad how to combat his nerves when playing in front of people.

His father gave him a shot of vodka and a cigarette to ease his nerves, and that started Van Halen on a near lifetime of drinking.

The 57-year-old Van Halen also talked about the struggle to get clean, pulling his son Wolfgang out of school at 15 to join the band, and his relationship with ex-wife Valerie Bertinelli.

The issue hits newsstands on Tuesday.

Van Halen is on tour and is scheduled to perform May 22 at the Sprint Center. Tickets are $46-$146 through

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