- READ MORE: Eddie Van Halen, 1955 – 2020: a fire-fingered colossus who turned guitar solos into a firework display
His passing was confirmed yesterday (October 6) by his son, Wolfgang, who revealed that the 65-year-old had lost his long battle with 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,” he said in a statement on 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. My heart is broken and I don’t think I’ll ever fully recover from this loss. I love you so much, Pop.”
In addition to the thousands of messages, memories and photographs of the guitarist that have been shared, people have also been sharing videos of Eddie performing live, including his final performance with the band.
Van Halen last toured in the summer of 2015. It was the band’s third time hitting the road since David Lee Roth rejoined the group in 2007. Ending the tour at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on October 4, 2015, you can watch the band play the final encore of ‘Jump’ below.
Midway through the concert, Roth addressed Eddie, saying: “The best years of my life; the high points of all my life – onstage with you, homeboy.”
He added: “I will always do the half-Jesus towards you, Eddie Van Halen.”
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.
The guitarist’s death comes just months after Wolfgang offered hope that his dad may one day tour again with the band.
Van Halen formed the band of the same name in California in 1972, with Lee Roth on vocals, his brother Alex Van Halen on drums, and Michael Anthony on bass.