Here's Why Eddie Van Halen Allegedly Held a Gun to Fred Durst's Head
An encounter with Limp Bizkit didn't exactly go smoothly
Published Apr 23, 2020When it comes to Fred Durst, collaborators and contemporaries have either found the Limp Bizkit frontman a delight to work with or damn near unbearable. While some have thought that a swift kick in the pants would solve any issues, a new book claims that Eddie Van Halen found the best way to get through to Durst was by holding a gun to his head.
The allegation comes from videographer Andrew Bennett's new photobook Eruption in the Canyon: 212 Days & Nights With the Genius of Eddie Van Halen, in which he recalls the time spent filming Van Halen in the studio between 2004 and 2007 for a planned documentary. The guitarist took Bennett to court over the footage for the scrapped project in 2018.
As Ultimate Classic Rock highlights, an anecdote from Bennett recalls the time Limp Bizkit held auditions to fill the role of recently departed guitarist Wes Borland, with Van Halen getting involved after being introduced to Durst by a record executive who suggested they work together.
According to Bennett, Durst responded, "That would be hilarious. The greatest guitar player ever plays with the worst band ever." The iconic guitarist replied, "Fuck it, let's jam."
Van Halen then attended a jam session with Limp Bizkit in Beverly Hills, only to leave once those in attendance started smoking weed. Bennett said the guitarist described the experience "like being a scholar amongst kindergartners," which is hilarious when one considers who he played music with.
Seeing as Van Halen did not love the leaf, he hightailed it out of Beverly Hills without his gear in tow, and reached out to Durst to see if he could pick it up the following day. It was after he didn't hear back from the Limp Bizkit leader for 24 hours that the six-stringer apparently decided to be a gun-slinger.
"Eddie once bought an assault vehicle from a military auction," Bennett writes. "It has a shine gun mount on the back and is not legal. Eddie drove that assault vehicle through L.A., into Beverly Hills, then parked and left it running on the front lawn of the house Limp Bizkit was rehearsing in. He got out wearing no shirt, his hair in a Samurai bun on top of his head, his jeans held up with a strand of rope and combat boots held together by duct tape. And he had a gun in his hand."
Bennett then recalled Van Halen, explaining, "That asshole answered the door. I put my gun to that stupid fucking red hat of his, and I said, 'Where's my shit, motherfucker?' That fucking guy just turned to one of his employees and starts yelling at him to grab my shit. ... Eddie Van Halen stood on the front lawn of a residential home in Beverly Hills in broad daylight, smoking a cigarette while holding a gun on Fred Durst as he went back and forth from the house to the assault vehicle, lugging amps and guitars."
In 2003, Durst revealed to MTV News that Van Halen did in fact audition for the group. Limp Bizkit eventually settled on guitarist Snot's Mike Smith, who remained with the group from 2002 through 2004. "He's what we've been looking for," Durst told MTV in 2003. "We need an actual guitar player."
Of course, guitarist Borland would return to the fold in 2004 and then again in 2009. Limp Bizkit reunited their original lineup last year for a special $3 show in Los Angeles, with Billy Corgan, Machine Gun Kelly and Marilyn Manson all in attendance.
Limp Bizkit last released Gold Cobra in 2011, with fans eagerly awaiting a follow-up said to be titled Stampede of the Disco Elephants. In 2017, Durst suggested that the effort had already been released online.