Legendary Guitarist Eddie Van Halen Has Passed Away at Age 65
Eddie Van Halen, co-founder of the the 70’s-90’s rock band Van Halen, has died after a long battle with cancer at age 65.
He passed away at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica earlier today (Tuesday). He was surrounded by his wife, Janie, his son Wolfgang, his ex-wife Valerie Bertinelli, and Alex, Eddie's brother and drummer of Van Halen.
Eddie had been battling cancer for well over a decade. Eddie was a heavy smoker for years, and believes he developed throat cancer not from smoking, but from a metal guitar pick he used to frequently hold in his mouth more than 20 years ago.
Eddie was not doubt, one was considered one of the best and most influential guitarists of all time. Whose company includes Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, BB King, and Stevie Ray Vaughn just to name a few. It’s rarified air - and Eddie owned it.
Eddie first made a name for himself with his solo on Van Halen's "Eruption." It was mind blowing to listen to. Eddie’s guitar sound was like no other. Blisteringly quick finger work with a ton of feel, married with amazing technique. He perfected the “finger tap” style and was the featured guitarist on Michael Jackson’s monster hit, ‘Beat It’ which Eddie did in one take. Rare. Very rare.
Fast forward to 3:10 to hear this iconic one take solo
Van Halen cranked out a string of hits in their career including "Runnin' with the Devil," "Unchained," "Hot for Teacher," "Panama" and "Jump", and continued their success with Sammy Hagar on lead vocals after the departure of flamboyant lead singer, David Lee Roth in 1985. More hits followed with Sammy Hager as lead singer in the 90's.
Van Halen was part of the soundtrack that was my life. I owned all of Van Halen’s albums. They were one of my favorite bands. We would spend summers outdoors in the evenings blasting Van Halen in our cars and do the air guitar thing on the reg. Good times. I never had a chance to see Van Halen live and is one of my biggest concert “regrets”.
Van Halen was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2007, and Eddie is widely considered one of the greatest guitar players of all time.
Eddie at the Hollywood Bowl in 2015
Eddie left his mark on music and he will be missed.
Rest In Peace Legend,