Guitar Legend Eddie Van Halen Dies at 65

The Van Halen founding member died yesterday after a long bout with cancer.

It’s a sad moment for the music community as it loses one of their most revolutionary members. Eddie Van Halen, renowned lead guitarist and co-founder of Van Halen, passed away yesterday at the age of 65.

The news was broken by Van Halen’s son, Wolfgang Van Halen, on Twitter. In his post, Wolfgang details his father’s long battle with throat cancer over the past few years and remembers the times they’ve spent together. “My heart is broken and I don’t think I’ll ever fully recover from this loss,” he wrote.

The guitar legend’s ex-wife and Wolfgang’s mother, actress Valerie Bertinelli, also tweeted about her ex-husband’s demise, writing, “I’m so grateful Woflie and I were able to hold you in our last moments.” Van Halen and Bertinelli divorced in 2007, and he has since then married Janie Liszewski, who survives him. 

Van Halen suffered from several health problems throughout his life. He was diagnosed with tongue cancer in 2000, which led to the removal of a third of his tongue. While he was cleared of the cancer in 2002, problems with substance abuse and recurring bouts of illness continued to plague him. For the past five years, reports stemmed over Van Halen’s bout with throat cancer, which persisted till his death. 

Van Halen and his brother, Alex, were two of the core founding members of the legendary rock band. Along with Michael Anthony and David Lee Roth, they formed the group that went on to have several big hits like Runnin’ with the Devil, Hot for Teacher, Panama, and their only number one hit, Jump. While the group has seen many changes over the years, Eddie and Alex have remained, with Wolfgang joining  on bass in 2006.

Eddie himself received immense recognition for his guitar skills, with his solo in the Van Halen song Eruption, being named one of the greatest guitar solos of all time by Rolling Stone. His guitar solo on Michael Jackson’s Beat It is also fondly remembered. His specific technique of guitar “tapping” frequently got him ranked as one of music’s greatest guitarists. 

May he Rest in Peace.

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