It’s tough when our heroes pass away. This one really hurts. Eddie Van Halen died today at the age of 65 years old due to his long ten year battle with throat cancer. So many of us grew up with Van Halen during our teen years. Eddie was one of our greatest heroes. It seemed like eventually there would be a new Van Halen album and a new tour and we all would be rocking together watching Eddie play on stage again with Roth or Sammy eventually. Now, that’s all gone and for lack of a better word, that sucks……
The news of Eddie Van Halen’s passing was announced today by his son Wolfgang who said…….
“I can’t believe I’m having to write this, but my father, Edward Lodewijk Van Halen, 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.”
Eddie Van Halen was born in 1955 in the city of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. In the 1970s he formed a band with his brother Alex Van Halen, lead singer David Lee Roth and bass player Michael Anthony in what would become one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time called Van Halen. The group started out in in Los Angeles playing clubs like The Whisky a Go-Go in the 1970s. The band released their first album in 1978 simply titled Van Halen. While it was a stunning album of rock and roll music that blew rock and roll fans away instantly, the real shocker was the incredible technique of Eddie Van Halen. The music world had not seen such an innovative guitarist since Jimi Hendrix. Eddie Van Halen’s playing blew us all away. We had never heard anything like it. It’s one thing to break out into the scene with a great stunning debut album, it’s far more rare to arrive on the scene showcasing an entirely new way to play guitar. Eddie Van Halen’s style would inspire millions of musicians over the course of the next 40 plus years.
Eddie Van Halen and his brother Alex along with David Lee Roth and Michael Anthony became one of the greatest bands in rock history over the next six years after theoir 1978 debut album.. Eventually, the band parted ways with lead singer David Lee Roth in 1985. Van Halen hired Sammy Hagar to replace David Lee Roth and continue their next chapter releasing four albums with Sammy Hagar as their lead vocalist. After a while, once again there was a fallout between Eddie Van Halen and the band’s lead singer. Sammy Hagar was fired from the band after the group’s fourth album.
The group recorded a new album entitled Van Halen III with a new lead singer. Gary Cheorne of Extreme sang lead vocals on that album. It was the only Van Halen album Gary Cherone sang on. The album was released in 1998. It would be 14 more years until a new Van Halen album would be released when original lead singer David Lee Roth rejoined the band. 2012’s A Different Kind of Truth would serve as the last Van Halen studio album ever released.
As rock and roll fans we have dealt with many monumental losses in our lifetimes. From the losses we experienced as youngsters such as Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Jim Croce etc… through our middle years when we lost John Lennon, Harry Chapin, half of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Stevie Ray Vaughan, to recently when David Bowie passed away. It seems to hurt more as we get older. The loss of Eddie Van Halen is shocking. How could we lose Eddie Van Halen. It feels like there was so much more music for him to play, more albums to release, more tours to perform. More feuds with Sammy and Roth.
Our condolences go out to his family who are experiencing this loss far more worse than his fans Its tough losing a loved one, a father, a brother, or any family member. Its hard…too hard