Eddie Van Halen, the innovative and blistering virtuoso guitarist who helped promote the band named after him to become one of the biggest rock performances in the 1980s. He has died of cancer. He was 65.
Kiss singer Gene Simmons remembers him as the “god of guitar”, while other stars compare him to modern Mozart.
Van Halen’s longtime band host, David Lee Roth, posted a photo of himself next to his former band member and wrote: “What a long, great trip it’s been.”
What a Long Great Trip It’s Been.. pic.twitter.com/M5pmkVi7hW
— David Lee Roth (@DavidLeeRoth) October 7, 2020
The Dutch-American musician has been receiving treatment for throat cancer.
His band is famous for their song “Jump”, which reached the top of the US charts in 1984.
Van Halen’s son Wolfgang became the band’s bassist after being reunited in 2007. He announced the news on Twitter on Tuesday.
— Wolf Van Halen (@WolfVanHalen) October 6, 2020
Who has paid tribute?
“My heart is broken.” Simmons tweeted. “Eddie was not only a Guitar God, but a genuinely beautiful soul. Rest in peace, Eddie!”
Also on Twitter, Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea wrote that Van Halen has “beautiful creative heart”.
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
Sammy Hagar was separated from the orchestra in 1984 and replaced Ross as the host of Van Halen.
He and Van Halen shared a photo of himself. The title is: “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
The founding member of the Black Sabbath, Geezer Butler, described Van Halen as “true gent and true genius”.
He wrote: “Just when I thought 2020 couldn’t get any worse, I hear Eddie Van Halen has passed. So shocking – one of the nicest, down to Earth men I have ever met and toured with.”
The rock band Pantera said in a Twitter tweet that Van Halen had a “tremendous influence” on their music.
Their post said: “RIP Eddie Van Halen. Van Halen were a tremendous influence on both Vinnie & Dime & Pantera. Hopefully they are all rocking out together now!”
The songwriter Lenny Kravitz recalled that Van Halen was a “legendary guitar and musical innovator”. He said, “Heaven will be electric tonight.”
Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx and Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready both compared him to Mozart, and the latter said that he “changed everything and played with soul“.