By Alex Johnson
Eddie Van Halen, guitarist and co-founder of the 70s rock band Van Halen, passed away on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020 at the age of 65.
In an Instagram post, Wolfgang Van Halen, Eddie Van Halen’s son, wrote, “I can’t believe I’m having to write this, but my father, Edward Lodewijk Van Halen, has lost his long and arduous battle with cancer this morning.”
Mr. Van Halen had a history of both health and substance abuse issues. His cancer treatment initially started in 2000.
Eddie Van Halen’s influence stretched generations; the band Van Halen performed, off and on, from 1972 to 2015 with three different lead vocalists. It is often argued, however, that Eddie Van Halen’s guitar was the true lead performer. The style and flash Mr. Van Halen played with inspired guitarists from the band’s initial rise in popularity through to today.
Despite his well-known skill on the guitar and his influence on players both amateur and professional, Van Halen did not read music. “I don’t know shit about scales or music theory,” Eddie once told Rolling Stone, “[…] I just want my guitar playing to make people feel something: happy, sad, even horny.”
Van Halen, the band, is well known for fast, loud music and big, flashy stage shows. They are also well known for drama. Despite a long and sometimes rocky history, the community has been supportive of the family, band and Mr. Van Halen.
In the evening after the announcement, former and original lead singer for Van Halen, David Lee Roth, Tweeted only this…
“What a Long Great Trip It’s Been.”