Eddie Van Halen, Guitar God For A Rock Generation, Dies At 65

Photo Credit: National Museum of American History/Flickr

I guess I don’t know how to even find the words to type this, but I’m going to try. One of my favorite artists passed today. That would be the great Edward Van Halen.

The all-American guitar hero who, with his namesake hard-rock band Van Halen, redefined the sound and possibilities of the electric guitar in the 1970s and ’80s, died on Tuesday at age 65. The cause was throat cancer.

“I can’t believe I’m having to write this, but my father, Edward Lodewijk Van Halen, has lost his long and arduous battle with cancer this morning,” wrote his son, Wolfgang Van Halen via Twitter.

“He was the best father I could ever ask for. Every moment I’ve shared with him on and off stage was a gift… I love you so much, Pop.”

Van Halen delivered hard rock in Technicolor. The group’s sound and image were vivid reflections of its Southern California home, with a lead guitarist in bright colors and a welcoming, good-time grin. I may miss that the most.

“Ed’s a once- or twice-in-a-century kind of guy. There’s Hendrix and there’s Eddie Van Halen,” friend and guitarist Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains said during Grammy weekend in January 2019. “Those two guys tilted the world on its axis.”

RIP Eddie you will be missed.