What motivates a sober, settled Eddie Van Halen to still play guitar? It's not warm, fuzzy feelings for his old VH bandmates. It's not keeping pace with the kids. The answer's simple: "You make music for people. To do it any other way would be selfish."

Eddie Van Halen doesn't listen to music. This is not a fake-out or a misdirection, nor is it a seemingly straightforward statement that actually means its opposite. Eddie Van Halen does not listen to music. "I don't listen to anything," he tells me from a greenish couch inside 5150, the expansive home recording studio built on his seven-acre residence in Studio City, Calif.

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