Eddie Van Halen’s guitar tech could lose his home due to COVID-19: “The music industry is washed off the face of the planet”

For Tom Weber, 2020 went “from a banner year to zero income overnight”.

Eddie Van Halen and Tom Weber

Photos: Daniel Knighton / Getty, GoFundMe

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Tom Weber, longtime guitar tech for the late Eddie Van Halen, is in danger of losing his home due to financial difficulties that stem from the pandemic.

2020 was shaping up to be a busy year for Weber, who makes his living on the road. He was scheduled to tech for both country star Reba McEntire’s 2020 tour and Poison, the latter of whom were supporting Motley Crüe and Def Leppard’s tour. Then, COVID-19 struck.

“It was going to be one of those years where my family wasn’t going to see me, but it was going to be a $200,000 year. And I thought, ‘This will allow me to pay off my house. It’s going to be amazing,’” Weber told Cincinatti.com. “And of course it went from a banner year to zero income overnight.

“The music industry, we’re not just out of work. We’re washed off the face of the planet at this point.”

Unfortunately, Weber’s financial troubles didn’t end there. He was also allegedly “forced” to vacate his guitar repair shop after 25 years, according to a GoFundMe campaign set up to support the veteran music worker. The campaign notes that he faced “the loss of his business at the hands of a predatory landlord, who successfully forced him out of the building”.

“The loss of the business has been compounded by the sale of two other buildings where what remained of Tom’s business has been stored,” the GoFundMe page reads. “One of the buildings was sold recently, which makes it necessary for him to move yet again, at a time where there is no income, and no potential for work on the horizon in the foreseeable future due to the total collapse of the live entertainment industry because of COVID-19.”

Weber is a cancer survivor who underwent chemotherapy in the 1980s. Now, he’s been forced to put a number of medical tests on hold due to his financial troubles.

Elsewhere in his interview, Weber recalled the last conversation he had with Van Halen before the guitarist died in October 2020.

“We were discussing when we would potentially go out again,” Weber shared. “And he said, ‘Whatever happens, you’ll be my first phone call because I’m not leaving the house without you.’”

The GoFundMe campaign was organised by Sandy Espinoza of Roadiecare. At press time, it has raised $17,493 of its $40,000 goal. You can donate to the campaign here.

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