The music world mourns the death of an “astonishing,” “innovator” and beautiful soul” guitarist of all time.
Eddie Van Halen—the guitar maestro who was widely known for his speed, control, and innovation that made his band one of hard rock’s biggest groups and later gained the status of rock god—has died at the age of 65.
A source close to guitar rock legend Edden Van Halen’s family confirmed that the rocker passed away from cancer on Tuesday.
“He was the best father I could ask for,” Van Halen’s son, Wolfgang wrote in a social media post. “Every moment I’ve shared with him on and off stage was a gift.”
With his unique solos, Eddie Van Halen elevated the ultimate California party band and kicked out disco off the charts starting in the late 1970s with the launch of his band’s self-titled debut album and then with the blockbuster record “1984,” which has the iconic numbers including “Jump,” “Panama” and “Hot for Teacher.”
The legend is among the top 20 best-selling artists of all time and the band was included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. Rolling Stone magazine named Eddie Van Hallen at no. 8 in its list of the world’s 100 greatest guitarists.
Van Halen was also the guitarist in one of the biggest hit singles of the 1980s: Jackson’s “Beat It.”
His music was also used in a variety of movies such as “Superbad,” “Minions,” and “Sing” including TV shows like “Glee” and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” Also, video games such as “Gran Turismo 4” and “Guitar Hero” have also used his riffs.
He liked to write and experiment with sounds while being drunk or high. He once said that he loved to stay in his hotel room, drinking vodka and snorting cocaine while playing into a tape recorder. He said, “Alcohol and cocaine were private things to me.”
However, Van Halen remained sober since 2009, though he lost part of his tongue to cancer that eventually spread into his oesophagus. He also underwent hip replacement surgery in 1999.
After the news of his death, many music legends honored him and shared kind words about him.
“You changed our world. You were the Mozart of rock guitar. Travel safe, rockstar,” Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx wrote on Twitter. Lenny Kravitz also tweeted, “Heaven will be electric tonight.”
Let's remember Eddie in our heart and cherish his music forever! R.I.P!