In early October, the world was shocked and saddened to learn that Eddie Van Halen, guitar revolutionary and driving force behind legendary party rockers Van Halen, had died. Now, with his ashes being placed in the custody of his son Wolfgang, Eddie’s cause of death has been revealed.
According to a death certificate obtained by TMZ, Eddie Van Halen’s death was caused by many different ailments the guitarist was suffering, but the most deadly was a cerebrovascular accident — which is the medical term for a stroke. Also among the outlying causes of his death were pneumonia, which he’d been suffering for a month; myelodysplastic syndrome, which is a bone marrow disorder he’d been dealing with for five months; and lung cancer, which Eddie had been publicly battle for three years.
On top of that, Eddie Van Halen had squamous cell carcinoma, meaning skin cancer, on his head and neck, as well as an atrial fibrillation, meaning an irregular heart rate.
Having been cremated, it was apparently Eddie’s request to have his ashes scattered in the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Malibu.
Everyone at The Pit sends their heart out to Eddie’s family, friends, collaborators, and fans during this difficult time.
In his death, it appears that Eddie’s legend has somehow soared only higher. Earlier this month, three of Eddie’s guitars — including one that was simply music video prop — were sold at auction for $422,000.
Most coveted among the guitars in this event were the variations on Eddie’s signature Frankenstrat. The customized Kramer electric guitar that Eddie Van Halen built with his guitar tech Matt Bruck at his home studio went for an unbelievable for $231,250. Meanwhile, Eddie’s 2004 EVH Charvel Art Series electric guitar was finally sold for $140,800. By comparison, the non-playing prop guitar used by child actor Bryan Hitchcock, who played a Lil’ Eddie Van Halen in the “Hot for Teacher” video, went for a paltry $50,000.
Words by Chris Krovatin