Eddie Van Halen was hot for a clean-up crew.
While the legendary guitarist was out on a reunion tour with his eponymous band and its original frontman David Lee Roth, a broken water main near his Hollywood Hills home started a mudslide that ended up trashing his backyard early Monday morning.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the incident occurred at approximately 1 a.m. when an air valve on a 26-inch main ruptured, unleashing a torrent of watery mud and litter down a 300-foot slope that eventually found its way into Van Halen’s swimming pool.
Fortuitously, the flood stopped just short of the 52-year-old rocker’s home, which was saved by sandbags placed there by firefighters during the night.
The resulting mess, however, led authorities to shut down the busy Studio City intersection of Coldwater Canyon Avenue and Mulholland Drive so emergency crews could work on the problem throughout the night to beat the morning rush hour.
Workers for the Department of Water and Power ended up fixing the water main in time for the roads to reopen for the morning commute, but not before the gusher sprayed Van Halen’s yard with gallons of goop and debris and destroyed his pool.
His publicist and live-in girlfriend, Janie Liszewski told the Times the axeman learned about the mudslide from firefighters early Monday following a concert in Edmonton, Canada the night before, and hopped a plane and headed home.
“You’re tired, you’re beat up, you come back to find your backyard completely wasted,” she said.
When Van Halen arrived and saw what was basically a swamp, Lizewski quoted him exclaiming, “Where’s the pool?”
The rep noted that the pool was buried in mud and almost “non-existent,” while the flood took out the driveway gate and some potted plants and trees. However, she added that things “could have been a lot worse.”
Though Van Halen’s home was the only residence in the area to suffer any damage, he can thank his lucky stars that workers were able to stop the waters from drenching the interior of his abode.
The muddy flow ran down with enough momentum from the site of the break that it covered two miles of ground before coming to a halt by Ventura Boulevard. Officials speculated the water main probably snapped due to soil erosion caused by excessive rains.
When he’s not filing insurance claims, Van Halen has been enjoying his band’s much-ballyhooed trek with Roth, their first since Diamond Dave prematurely exited Van Halen to forge an ill-considered solo career following the multi-platinum success two-plus decades ago of their album, 1984.
And by the sound of the reviews, fans are ecstatic, even if it’s not quite a full reunion. (Eddie Van Halen’s 16-year-old son Wolfgang replaced bassist Michael Anthony, who was fired a few years ago.)
Van Halen is scheduled to play Los Angeles’ Staples Center on Friday night. The jaunt will continue making stops across America in the coming months before wrapping up next March in Dallas.