"Eddie" is the late rock guitarist Eddie Van Halen, whose October 2020 passing deeply affected the band. The day after his death, Red Hot Chili Peppers' bassist Flea came into rehearsal with an emotional bass line. Guitarist John Frusciante, drummer Chad Smith, and frontman Anthony Kiedis started playing along, and a heartfelt song in his honor unfolded. "It felt good to be sad and care so much about a person who had given so much to our lives," said Kiedis.
Born in Amsterdam to a Dutch jazz pianist father and Indonesian mother, Eddie Van Halen moved with his parents and older brother to Pasadena, California, in 1962.
Sailing the Sunset Strip, I'm a bit of a king
Granny would take a trip, I've been bending the strings
Got hammers in both my hands, such a delicate touch
They say I'm from Amsterdam, does that make me Dutch?
The song doesn't mention Eddie Van Halen by name but Kiedis delivers lines that clearly reference the late Van Halen axeman. "It talks about his early days on the Sunset Strip and the rock 'n' roll tapestry that Van Halen painted on our minds," he said. "In the end, our song asks that you not remember Eddie for dying but for living his wildest dream."
Red Hot Chili Peppers recorded "Eddie" at Shangri-La studios in Malibu, California for Return Of The Dream Canteen. Rick Rubin produced the album; the legendary producer also helmed many of RHCP's past albums, including 1991's Blood Sugar Sex Magik, 1999's Californication, and 2022's Unlimited Love.
Red Hot Chili Peppers gave "Eddie" its live debut at Austin City Limits on October 9, 2022.