In 2006, Eddie Van Halen and his brother Alex surprised fans at a Kenny Chesney concert, getting on stage with the country star to perform Van Halen's hit "Jump" as well as a few more of the band's tunes, including their cover of The Kinks' "You Really Got Me." Speaking to PEOPLE, Chesney reflected on the moment he shared the stage with Van Halen, who died earlier this month after a battle with cancer.
"It was one of those moments that every kid who dreams about rock music dreams of," Chesney said. "It was so alive, so in the moment, and both Van Halen brothers [Eddie and Alex] played like it was their show, their fans." He continued, "They just brought it and every single person onstage was losing their mind. The audience loved it and so did Eddie and Alex ... They were so generous with their time."
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Chesney shared that prior to the show, Van Halen's manager Irving Azoff asked him, "Is it alright if Eddie Van Halen gives you a call?" "And then looking down a little bit later to see that 818 area code and thinking, 'That's Eddie Van Halen,'" Chesney recalled.
"I answered and he sounds just like you'd think but then he falls into talking to you about music, life, road life and all these things," he said. "It's like you've always been friends and he knows your life and he understands."
Chesney added that years before they sang together, he "first heard Eddie Van Halen's guitar coming out of my friend David Far," Chesney remembers of the Hall of Famer. "You never forget the first time you heard it and it sets a bar for life."
The 52-year-old previously detailed his performance with Van Halen in a tribute he shared on social media after the musician's death where he wrote that he was "devastated" after the rocker's passing.
"Eddie and his brother Alex joined us on stage at one of our stadium shows in Los Angeles and it was one of the highlights of my touring life in all my summers on the road," Chesney wrote alongside a pair of photos from the show. "I will never forget that night and how happy we both were that our musical paths crossed that night on stage. Rest In Peace to the best guitar player that ever lived. We will miss you, Eddie Van Halen. Your music will live forever!!"