Rock N’ Roll music fans were shocked after it was revealed that Eddie Van Halen lost the battle with cancer.
Namely, his son, Wolfgang Van Halen, confirmed the sad news on Twitter that his father passed away at the age of 65.
“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.”
Van Halen initially underwent treatment for throat cancer in 2000, before being declared cancer-free in 2020. Reports suggested cancer had returned late last year.
Eddie Van Halen was born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands on January 26, 1955. He emigrated to Pasadena, California with his older brother, Alex Van Halen, in February 1962.
Van Halen’s musical career started out on piano, where his inability to read music would often lead to him improvising his way around pieces from Bach or Mozart.
The brothers formed an early band at elementary school in Pasadena, at which time Eddie was still in fourth grade, which inspired him to focus on developing a career in music.
The roots of Van Halen were established in 1972 when Alex and Eddie founded Genesis, later Mammoth, eventually changing the name to Van Halen in 1974.
His idols were Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix. Once in 1978, he said, “We played everywhere and anywhere, from backyard parties to places the size of your bathroom.”
Eddie’s status as one of a new breed of guitar gods was cemented when Michael Jackson tapped him up to perform the iconic solo on global smash Beat It.
Van Halen’s legacy is impossible to overestimate. From rock to blues, his seismic rhythm playing, virtuosic leads, and gear innovations have impacted every electric guitar player.