Eddie Van Halen, legendary rock guitarist, died at 65

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One of rock and roll’s most talented and unique guitarists, Eddie Van Halen, has passed away. He was 65 years old.

Van Halen’s son Wolf confirmed the news on Tuesday.

“I can’t believe I have to write this, but my father, Edward Lodewijk Van Halen, lost his long and arduous battle with cancer this morning,” he wrote on Twitter.

“He was the best father I could ever ask for. Every moment I shared with him on and off stage was a gift, ”continued Wolf. “My heart is broken and I don’t think I will ever fully recover from this loss. ”

Former Van Halen manager tells it all in new memory

“I love you so much, Pop,” he concludes.

(Left to right) The Van Halen Group: Eddie Van Halen, Michael Anthony, Alex Van Halen and David Lee Roth.
(Lynn Goldsmith / Corbis / VCG via Getty Images)

Eddie Van Halen’s ex-wife, actress Valerie Bertinelli, shared their son’s post on her own with heartbroken emojis. The couple had been married for 20 years.

According to TMZ, citing sources, Van Halen died in a Santa Monica hospital on Tuesday. Wolf, his brother Alex and his wife Janie were by his side.

Van Halen told Billboard magazine in 2015 that he had a third of his tongue removed due to cancer that had also spread to his esophagus.

“I used metal picks – they’re brass and copper – which I always held in my mouth, exactly where I got the cancer of the tongue,” he told the ‘time. “Also, I mostly live in a recording studio filled with electromagnetic energy. So that’s a theory. I mean, I smoked and took a lot of drugs and a lot of everything. But at the same time, my lungs are totally clear. It’s just my own theory, but the doctors say it’s possible.

FILE – In this file photo from August 5, 2004, Van Halen guitarist Eddie Van Halen performs in Phoenix. (AP Photo / Tom Hood, file)

Van Halen was a guitar virtuoso, whose blinding speed, control and innovation propelled his band Van Halen into one of the greatest hard rock bands, fueled the incomparable fiery solo of the hit hit “Beat It” of Michael Jackson and became a rock god.

With his distinct solos, Eddie Van Halen was the driving force behind California’s ultimate party band and helped knock disco off the charts starting in the late 1970s with his band’s self-titled debut album and then with the record. hit “1984”, which contains the classics “Jump”, “Panama” and “Hot for Teacher”.

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Van Halen is among the 20 best-selling artists of all time and the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. Rolling Stone magazine ranked Eddie Van Halen 8th on its list of the 100 greatest guitarists.

Van Halen started his eponymous band in 1974 with his brother Alex on drums, bassist Michael Anthony and flamboyant singer David Lee Roth.

Van Halen guitarist Eddie Van Halen, pictured here in September 2015, has died after a battle with cancer, his son Wolf confirmed on Tuesday.

Van Halen guitarist Eddie Van Halen, pictured here in September 2015, has died after a battle with cancer, his son Wolf confirmed on Tuesday.
(Photo par Daniel Knighton / Getty Images)

They were members of rival high school groups and then attended Pasadena City College together. They banded together to form the Mammoth group, but then changed to Van Halen after finding out that there was another group called Mammoth.

Their 1978 release “Van Halen” kicked off with a mind-boggling “Runnin ‘With the Devil,” then Eddie Van Halen showed off his amazing skills in the next song, “Eruption,” a furious 1:42 minute guitar solo that stings and rises like a disturbed bird. The album also featured a cover of “You Really Got Me” and “Ain’t Talkin ‘Bout Love” by The Kinks.

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Van Halen has released albums on an annual schedule -

Van Halen releases albums on an annual schedule – “Van Halen II” (1979), “Women and Children First” (1980), “Fair Warning” (1981) and “Diver Down” (1982) – up to the monumental ” 1984, “Which reached number two on the Billboard 200 Albums chart. (Photo by Lynn Goldsmith / Corbis / VCG via Getty Images)

Mike McCready of Pearl Jam told Rolling Stone magazine that listening to Van Halen’s “Eruption” was like hearing Mozart for the first time. “He gets sounds that aren’t necessarily guitar sounds – a lot of harmonics, textures that happen just because of how he chooses.”

Van Halen has released albums on an annual schedule – “Van Halen II” (1979), “Women and Children First” (1980), “Fair Warning” (1981) and “Diver Down” (1982) – up to the monumental “1984,” which reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart (only behind Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”). Rolling Stone ranked “1984” at No. 81 on its list of the 100 Greatest Albums of the 1980s.

Shortly after the end of the “1984” tour, tensions between Roth and the band erupted and Roth left. The band then recruited Sammy Hagar as their lead singer – some critics called the new wording “Van Hagar” – and the band went on to score their debut album No.1 with “5150”. Other studio albums followed, including “OU812”, “For Illegal Carnal Knowledge” and “Balance”. The hit singles included “Why Can’t This Be Love” and “When It’s Love”.

Hagar was ousted in 1996 and former Extreme vocalist Gary Cherone stepped in for the album “Van Halen III”, a stumble that didn’t lead to another album and Cherone’s quick departure. Roth would eventually return in 2007 and team up with brothers Van Halen and Wolfgang Van Halen, son of Eddie, on bass for a tour, the album “A Different Kind of Truth” and the 2015 album “Tokyo Dome Live. in Concert ”.

In a February 2020 interview with the Minneapolis Star Tribune, lead singer Roth did not make a commitment about Eddie Van Halen’s condition. “You know what I know,” he told the newspaper. “Ed, God bless him, may have plenty of time ahead of him, but hitting the road is a ruthless task. It kills people.

Recalling the start of the band, Roth said, “I remember the days we would stand up and say, ‘Let’s go have a cigarette’. And that’s what we did: four guys with a cigarette. I remember those days. They go by fast, so enjoy them while you’re at it.

Eddie Van Halen performs in Minneapolis, Minnesota on April 2, 1992 (Photo by Jim Steinfeldt / Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images)

Eddie Van Halen performs in Minneapolis, Minnesota on April 2, 1992 (Photo by Jim Steinfeldt / Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images)

Eddie Van Halen was born in Amsterdam and his family immigrated to California in 1962 at the age of 7. His father was a big band clarinetist who rarely found work after arriving in the United States, and their mother was a maid who dreamed of her sons being classical pianists.

“We came here with the equivalent of $ 50 and a piano,” Van Halen told The Associated Press in 2015. “We came halfway around the world with no money, no permanent job, no place to go. live and couldn’t even speak. Language. ”

At one point, Eddie got a drum set, which his older brother coveted. “I never wanted to play guitar,” he confessed at a talk at Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in 2015. But his brother was good at drums, so Eddie gave in to the wishes of his brother: “I said: take my battery. I’ll play your fucking guitar. ‘

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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