Eddie Van Halen Not So Hot For Nike Shoe Design

When I think of “athletic,” pretty much the last thing I think of is Eddie Van Halen. Contrary to what he might claim, he didn’t get mouth and tongue cancer from having his guitar pick in his mouth: I can’t remember a picture of him from Van Halen’s glory days (i.e. pre-Sammy Hagar) that didn’t involve him sucking down a Marlboro. We’re talking the music version of Vlade Divac here.

Eddie Van Halen

So you might find it pretty surprising that he’s involved with anything to do with Nike. But KTLA-TV says that he’s suing the shoe company for copyright infringement. Specifically, he’s claiming that the design on Nike’s new “Dunk Low” sneakers is a rip off of his famous “Frankenstein” guitar (seen being played by Eddie Van Halen on a clip from “Late Night with David Letterman” from the 1980s):

Yes, that man looks the picture of fitness and health, and that was probably 25 years ago. But looking at the two designs, it’s hard to argue that there aren’t a lot of similarities. And that guitar is one of the iconic images of the 1980s, so if Nike was going after a “retro” look for their shoe, it’s not that much of a leap to assume that they might come up with a design that mimicked Van Halen’s guitar.

(In related news, former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony is also involved with a lawsuit, suing Jack Daniels for copying his bass guitar design. Although legal experts say the lawsuit has a zero percent chance of winning, let’s give the guy a break: he was fired and replaced with Eddie Van Halen’s fat teenage son, and probably needs the money.)

But in case you need to have Van Halen shoes, you’re in luck: Eddie Van Halen has released his own shoe line with the trademark red with black and white stripes design. And…hey, those look an awful lot like Chuck Taylors. Perhaps those who are ripping off shoe designs from Converse shouldn’t be suing Nike?