Tributes online pour in for fallen guitar icon Eddie Van Halen
Edward Van Halen, the guitar pioneer and icon who helmed the legendary rock band Van Halen, died Wednesday (7 October) from throat cancer. His son, Wolfgang Van Halen, confirmed the news in a statement over Twitter.
“I can’t believe I’m having to write this,” the statement read. “But my father, Edward Lodewijk Van Halen, has 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.”
— Wolf Van Halen (@WolfVanHalen) October 6, 2020
Tributes – from fellow artists in the rock community, as well as from the guitar icon’s Van Halen bandmates – have, and continue to pour in online. Here’s what some had to say…
Van Halen singer David Lee Roth took to Twitter to remember his fallen bandmate. “What a Long Great Trip It’s Been,” Roth wrote.
What a Long Great Trip It’s Been.. pic.twitter.com/M5pmkVi7hW
— David Lee Roth (@DavidLeeRoth) October 7, 2020
Vocalist Sammy Hagar – who fronted Van Halen from 1985 to 1996, as well as in a brief reunion from 2003 to 2005 – also Tweeted: “Heartbroken and speechless. My love to the family.”
Heartbroken and speechless. My love to the family. pic.twitter.com/MQMueMF2XO
— Sammy Hagar (@sammyhagar) October 6, 2020
Guitarist Tony Iommi, whose Black Sabbath toured with Van Halen in the late 70s, remembered the guitarist.
“I’m just devastated to hear the news of the passing of my dear friend Eddie Van Halen,” Iommi wrote. “He fought a long and hard battle with his cancer right to the very end. Eddie was one of a very special kind of person, a really great friend. Rest In Peace my dear friend till we meet again.”
I’m just devastated to hear the news of the passing of my dear friend Eddie Van Halen. He fought a long and hard battle with his cancer right to the very end. Eddie was one of a very special kind of person, a really great friend. Rest In Peace my dear friend till we meet again. pic.twitter.com/Qs8tsLPANJ
— Tony Iommi (@tonyiommi) October 6, 2020
Black Sabbath singer Ozzy Osbourne also remembered Van Halen, writing that he was “one of the nicest guys I ever worked with.”
“His influence on music and especially the guitar has been immeasurable,” Osbourne added. “He was an absolute legend. Eddie, I’ll see you on the other side, my friend.”
. @EddieVanHalen was one of the nicest guys I ever worked with and we shared so many laughs together. His influence on music and especially the guitar has been immeasurable. He was an absolute legend. Eddie, I’ll see you on the other side, my friend. Love, Ozzy.
— Ozzy Osbourne (@OzzyOsbourne) October 6, 2020
Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott and Vivian Campbell paid tribute to Van Halen, each penning a statement in praise of Van Halen’s guitar mastery.
“I saw Van Halen destroy Sabbath at the Sheffield City hall in 1977,” Elliott wrote. “Eddie was a big part of that, having essentially reinvented guitar playing just like Jimi Hendrix had done a generation earlier.”
Campbell recalled first hearing Van Halen’s music when a guitarist friend brought over the band’s first LP to his house.
“It was a moment that redefined everything that I thought was possible about playing the guitar,” Campbell Tweeted. “The goalposts had just been moved. I stayed up all that night trying to learn from Eddie. Many decades later, and I’m still learning from Eddie.”
Very sad to hear about the passing of the legendary @eddievanhalen. You will be missed. #RIPEddieVanHalen
: @markweissguy #EddieVanHalen @VanHalen pic.twitter.com/x4J6nfxOqY
— Def Leppard (@DefLeppard) October 6, 2020
Red Hot Chilli Peppers bassist Flea, a fellow Los Angeles musician, mourned the fallen guitar icon in a message shared to Twitter.
“Oh man, bless his beautiful creative heart,” Flea Tweeted. “I love you Eddie Van Halen, an LA boy, a true rocker. I hope you jam with Jimi tonight. Break through to the other side my brother.”
Oh man, bless his beautiful creative heart. I love you Eddie Van Halen, an LA boy, a true rocker. I hope you jam with Jimi tonight. Break through to the other side my brother. https://t.co/XpcTlPJq9A
— Flea (@flea333) October 6, 2020
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