Eddie Van Halen, the innovative guitar god whose playing inspired a generation has died at the age of 65 after a long battle with throat cancer.
The guitarist’s son, Wolfgang Van Halen, announced the news on Twitter on Wednesday, October 7th, writing: “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.
“He was the best father I could ever ask for. Every moment I’ve shared with him on and off stage was a gift.”
“My heart is broken and I don’t think I’ll ever fully recover from this loss.”
“I love you so much, Pop.”
— Wolf Van Halen (@WolfVanHalen) October 6, 2020
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Eddie Van Halen’s throat cancer battle has been well documented over the past decade and it was reported in 2019 that the guitarist had undergone surgery due to another bout of the disease.
Concerns for Van Halen escalated when David Lee Roth stated that the guitarist was “not doing well” at the start of 2020, prompting questions over the guitarist’s health and the band’s future.
Born in 1955, Eddie formed a band called Genesis in 1972 with himself as lead vocalist and guitarist, his older brother, Alex, on drums, and Mark Stone on bass.
After David Lee Roth joined the band and Michael Anthony replaced stone as the bassist, they changed the name from Genesis to Mammoth before settling on Van Halen, a name that would form a cornerstone of hard rock for decades to come.
While Van Halen would go through its own internal dramas involving several band members over the years, the band’s influence was almost immediately evident as Eddie formulated a guitar playing style that straddled the line between hard rock and metal.
This was most apparent when Van Halen released its 1978 self-titled debut album which featured ‘Eruption’, a one minute 42 second instrumental showcase that demonstrated just what Eddie could do with a guitar.
Van Halen would go on to become one of the best-selling artists in the world with over 80 million albums sold worldwide.
Our deepest condolences to Eddie Van Halen’s family and friends during this difficult time.