In a revealing new interview with Esquire Magazine, Eddie Van Halen opens up for the first time about his battle with alcoholism and who he blames for his drinking problem. 

It's no secret that Eddie Van Halen is an alcoholic, but where did it all start?

Eddie tells Esquire, "The whole alcoholism thing it wasn't really the partying. I don't mean to blame my dad, but when I started playing in front of people, I'd get so damn nervous. I asked him, 'Dad, how do you do it?' That's when he handed me a cigarette and a drink." He said it worked and it really worked for a long time and he didn't do it just to party. He says he ended up doing it to help him write music.

Now, I'm sure his father had no idea what was going to happen to young Eddie after he handed him that first drink. I don't really think anybody knows what's going to happen when they pick up that first drink. Do you think John Bonham knew he was going to die of alcohol induced asphyxia when he started drinking? Same goes for Jimi Hendrix. I know a recovering alcoholic that used to take sips from their Grandpa's beer glass when they were little and I don't think they blame Grandpa for their drinking problem. Sure Eddie's dad gave him the vodka and the cigarette, but I don't think that it's entirely Eddie's dad's fault that Eddie abused alcohol and drugs.

What he doesn't say is if his dad got him hooked on cigarettes, but he has also been a long time smoker and admits in the interview that he didn't even quit smoking after he was diagnosed with cancer of the tongue in 2000 because he claims that "smoking didn't cause it." He thought he had beaten cancer, but in this interview he also revealed that it came back twice last year.

Eddie is clean and sober now and says Van Halen's new album, A Different Kind of Truth was the first record he recorded sober but it caused his nerves to return.

You can see him shredding the axe May 19 at the Xcel Energy Center for free and go back stage with 103.7 The Loon by clicking here.