Legendary Guitarist Eddie Van Halen Passes at 65

The legendary riff master Eddie Van Halen, who gave the world a band with his name, Van Halen, has passed today at the age of 65. His cause of death was the result of an ongoing battle with throat cancer.

TMZ broke the news first.

His son, Wolfgang Van Halen wrote via 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. 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.”

Eddie Van Halen was an immigrant kid who emerged from Pasadena with an ear for hard-rock hooks and wild guitar flash in the Jimi Hendrix tradition. His speed and innovations along the fretboard inspired a generation of imitators, as the band bearing his name rose to MTV stardom and multiplatinum sales over 10 consecutive albums.

In contrast to the shadowy gothic blues of Black Sabbath, or the pagan thunder of Led Zeppelin, the band Van Halen delivered muscular 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 grin.

My deepest condolences to his family, friends, and fans. Rock In Peace Eddie Van Halen.