On October 6th, 2020 the rock world mourned the death of Eddie Van Halen, the cofounder and lead guitarist of the 80s rock band Van Halen.
That Tuesday morning at Saint John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, California, Alex Van Halen, his older brother, Janie Van Halen, his wife, Wolfgang Van Halen, his son, and Valerie Bertinelli, his ex-wife, were by his side as he passed away from throat cancer.
Eddie Van Halen initially was diagnosed with tongue cancer back in 2000. He would have one third of his tongue removed, but the cancer had already spread to his esophagus. To commemorate the loss of Eddie Van Halen Noah Gallardo (widely known as Bob), is a Senior at Alta Loma High School, said “the day he died I listened to all the Roth era albums and I’ll continue listening to Van Halen, because they kick [butt]”.
Before Eddie and his brother Alex co founded their band together they were born in Amsterdam, Netherlands, but grew up in Pasadena, California. They both started off their musical journey with the piano until they were introduced to the rock world. Eddie started to play the guitar and Alex started to play the drums.
Eddie always played with a smile on his face as his lightning fast fingers glided across the fretboard effortlessly. Eddie Van Halen revolutionized the rock world with his legendary guitar solos and popularization of the guitar technique, finger tapping.
Finn McBride, a Senior at Alta Loma High School, said “My dad listened to Van Halen all the time, and it was a prime influence on my music taste and goals as a musician. I don’t even play guitar, but his mastership as a technical innovator across all genres was just insane”. 1978’s “Eruption” is his most notable use of finger tapping and was originally just a warmup, but was eventually included as the lead into “You Really Got Me”.
Other popular songs include “Jump”, “Runnin’ With the Devil”, and “Unchained”. Eddie would also ] record the solo for Micheal Jackson’s “Beat It” and would work with LL Cool J on “We’re the Greatest”.
Eddie and his band were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame back in 2007. Van Halen would release 12 studio albums, 2 live albums, 2 compilation albums, 3 video albums, and 56 singles. Finn McBride concluded that “EVH was a god among guitarists, musicians, and men. I’m thankful I got to see him and the rest of the Van Halen a few years ago. Long live EVH.”
From great songs, the greatest inspiration lives on. Eddie, hope you’re taking care.