By Anthony Donatelli

Eddie Van Halen is making sure we have a new generation of rock stars.

He recently donated 75 guitars from his personal collection to the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, a nonprofit that helps keep music alive in low-income public schools.

“Music is such a necessity because it touches people’s souls,” Van Halen told CNN. “Music is the universal language to me. It transcends everything.”

Related: 5 People Who Almost Became Van Halen’s Lead Singer

Van Halen’s passion for music began as a child. He learned to play piano at the age of six and formed a band with his brother, Alex, in the fourth grade, eventually leading him to be one of the greatest guitarists of all-time.

“My whole life has been music,” Van Halen said. “I could not imagine anything else. It really hit me when I graduated high school, you sign everybody’s yearbook and everybody asks you, ‘So what college are you going to?’ Uh… ‘Hey Al, I think we better stick to what we know.'”


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