Eddie Van Halen Dead At 65

Photo by Carl Lander, via Wikipedia
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Eddie Van Halen, the guitarist of party-rockers Van Halen whose tapping method revolutionized how his instrument was played, has died of cancer. He was 65 years old.

News of Eddie’s death was revealed over social media by his son Wolfgang, who 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.

“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.”

Born in Amsterdam in 1955, Eddie started Van Halen with his brother Alex in 1972. With albums like their 1978 debut, 1979’s Van Halen II, 1980’s Women and Children First, and 1984’s 1984, the band became the biggest rock and roll act in the world, their mixture of upbeat but steely guitar riffs and lyrics about having the best time in the world enamoring millions of fans throughout the globe.

To say that there would be no heavy metal without Van Halen, and specifically without Eddie’s playing, is a gross understatement. His style of playing, specifically the use of his ‘tapping’ guitar method that was coined on the band’s track “Eruption,” were second only to the riffs of Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi in how much they helped define the style and approach of heavy metal guitar. Guitarists like Pantera’s Dimebag Darrell were massive fans of Van Halen’s virtuosic playing; in fact, immediately before his own murder, Dimebag and his brother Vinnie Paul said, “Van Halen” to one another, a mantra that had come to represent music for them.

Everyone at The Pit sends their heart out to all of Eddie’s friends, family, fans and collaborators during this difficult time.


Words by Chris Krovatin