Rock legend Eddie Van Halen dies – rock world pays tribute

"He was the best father I could ever ask for"

Eddie Van Halen, guitarist in Van Halen, has died after battling throat cancer.

The 65-year-old passed away this morning (October 6) according to his son, Wolfgang.

In a statement, Wolfgang, who plays bass in the band, wrote on Twitter: “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.

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“He was the best father I could ever ask for. Every moment I’ve shared with him on and off stage was a gift. My heart is broken and I don’t think I’ll ever fully recover from this loss. I love you so much, Pop.”

Mötley Crüe’s Nikki Sixx was one of the first to pay their respects to the guitar legend. “Crushed. So fucking crushed. RIP Eddie Van Halen. You changed our world. You were the Mozart of rock guitar. Travel safe rockstar,” he wrote on Twitter.

Billy Idol also paid his respects. “Rest in peace guitar legend Eddie Van Halen. Broken heart We will miss you,” he wrote.

Former Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach added: “Eddie Van Halen and Neil Peart were just too good for 2020. We all are. My heart is broken.”

Metallica added: “We are enormously saddened to hear about the untimely passing of Eddie Van Halen. We considered him an inspiration, an idol, and after spending a summer together on the road in ’88, a friend.”

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We are enormously saddened to hear about the untimely passing of Eddie Van Halen. We considered him an inspiration, an…

Posted by Metallica on Tuesday, October 6, 2020

The likes of Muse, Pearl Jam‘s Mike McCready, Red Hot Chili Peppers‘ Flea, Gene Simmons of KISS, AC/DC’s Angus Young and Lenny Kravitz have also shared messages of tribute on social media this evening.

“Oh man, bless his beautiful creative heart,” Flea wrote. “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.”

Angus Young said: “Eddie was a guitar wonder, his playing pure wizardry. To the world of music he was a special gift. To those of us fortunate enough to have met him, a special person. He leaves a big hole in a lot of hearts. To the van Halen family my heartfelt sympathies.”

Kravitz, meanwhile, hailed Van Halen as a “legendary guitar and musical innovator” alongside a black-and-white image of the musician. “Heaven will be electric tonight,” he added.

Elsewhere, McCready said that Van Halen “was like Mozart for guitar”. You can see those posts and more below.

As the news continues to spread of Van Halen’s tragic passing, former Van Halen members David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar paid tribute.

Also paying tribute were AC/DC’s Angus Young, Aerosmith‘s Steven Tyler, country artist Kenny Chesney, Garbage and Nickelback. See their messages below.

Van Halen had been battling the disease after being first being diagnosed with tongue cancer in 2000. He blamed his illness on metal guitar picks that he used to hold in the same spot in his mouth.

His death comes just months after Wolfgang offered hope that his dad may one day tour again with the band.

That came after frontman David Lee Roth claimed Eddie Van Halen was “not doing well” earlier this year.

Van Halen formed the band of the same name in California in 1972, with Lee Roth on vocals, his brother on drums, and Michael Anthony on bass.

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