Eddie Van Halen, recognized the world over as one of the greatest guitarists of all time, has died at the age of 65. Eddie’s son Wolfgang Van Halen confirmed the news, 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.”
Eddie came to prominence in an era of talented metal guitarists, but he stood head and shoulders above the sea of nondescript big haired lead guitartsts of the 80s. In Van Halen’s music there was clear homage paid to classic rock as well as classical. Edward Van Halen didn’t just have a great composer name, he is the link between metal and classical composition. Eddie had such a singular style, that his guitar work had eclipsed the lead singer in terms of the “hook” that always brought the fans back for more. The greatest proof of that is the fact that VH was so successful after losing their iconic vocalist David Lee Roth. Sammy Hagar came on & the band didn’t miss a beat, in fact, the “Van Hagar” years were the most commercially successful of the band’s career.
Eddie had fought cancer for years, frequently traveling all over the world for treatment. He continued to tour, adding his son to the band after firing original bassist Mark Anthony. Once Eddie stopped touring it was speculated that his health had taken a turn for the worse. Eddie leaves behind a deep, rich catalog as well as leaving an indelible mark on culture as one of the greatest musical minds in modern history.