Legendary guitarist of Van Halen, Eddie Van Halen has died after a long fight against throat cancer. Sources close to Halen have reported that he died at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica with his wife Janie, his sons Wolfgang and Alex, and his brother at his side.
As reported by TMX:
We’re told in the last 72 hours Eddie’s ongoing health battle went massively downhill — doctors discovered his throat cancer had moved to his brain as well as other organs.
As you know, Eddie has been battling cancer for well over a decade. Our sources say he’s been in and out of the hospital over the past year — including last November for intestinal issues — and recently underwent a round of chemo.
Last year we reported … Eddie was flying between the US and Germany for 5 years to get radiation treatment. Though he was a heavy smoker for years, he believes he developed throat cancer from a metal guitar pick he used to frequently hold in his mouth more than 20 years ago.
Nevertheless, he continued to attend concerts and rehearse music with his son, Wolfgang, who — if ya don’t know — became Van Halen’s bassist in 2006
Eddie will be remembered as one of the greatest and influential guitarists in the history of time. He broke into the world of popularity making a name for himself with his solo on Van Halen’s “Eruption” record. Van Halen the classic rock group was formed by Eddie in Pasadena back in 1972 with his brother on drums, Michael Anthony on bass and David Lee Roth as frontman of the group. Eddie himself took pride in being the main songwriter in the group. Songwriting was one of his greatest passions and where he felt the most inspiration other then when he held his guitar in his hands on the stage playing for thousands of screaming fans. The group launched itself into rock superstardom in the 80’s, but their music has made it’s way into being timeless.
They went on to pump out hit after hit, including “Runnin’ with the Devil,” “Unchained,” “Hot for Teacher,” “Panama” and “Jump” … and continued their success with Sammy Hagar on lead vocals after the departure of Roth in 1985.
While the band had already achieved hard rock superstardom, Eddie became a pop culture icon with the 1983 release of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” … which featured Eddie’s iconic guitar solo.
Though some members of Van Halen have changed, Eddie and Alex were the constants in the band … with Eddie’s acclaimed guitar work being the focal point of their legacy.
Van Halen was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2007, and Eddie is widely considered one the greatest guitar players of all time.
Here’s an oldie but goodie!