top of page
  • Writer's pictureThe Big Magazine Staff

Legendary Rock Guitarist Eddie Van Halen Dead At Age 65

October 6, 2020

Iconic rock guitarist and songwriter, Eddie Van Halen, died Tuesday after a battle with cancer. He was 65. His death was announced by his son, Wolf Van Halen, on Twitter.

"I can't believe I'm having to write this," the statement said, "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."

He concluded the tribute with "I love you so much, Pop."

Hours after Wolfgang Van Halen broke the news on Twitter, ex-wife Valerie Bertinelli, 60, posted a statement of her own to social media. The couple were married in 1987 for more than 20 years before separating in 2001 and divorcing in 2007.

"40 years ago my life changed forever when I met you," the actress wrote, also sharing an old family photo. "You gave me the one true light in my life, our son, Wolfgang."

"Through all your challenging treatments for lung cancer, you kept your gorgeous spirit and that impish grin," Bertinelli continued. "I'm so grateful Wolfie and I were able to hold you in your last moments. I will see you in our next life my love."

Van Halen formed in suburban Pasadena in 1976, with members Edward Van Halen, Alex Van Halen, bassist Michael Anthony, and wild frontman David Lee Roth. A demo financed by Gene Simmons of KISS led to their band’s critically acclaimed debut album, Van Halen (1978), which eventually sold more than 10 million copies in the United States alone. Featuring the hits “Jump” and “Panama,” (1984) made megastars of the Los Angeles-based band.

Roth left Van Halen to pursue a solo career.

Rare vintage photo of Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth in front of Mc Donalds, Detroit 1978 -Author Unknown

With his replacement, Sammy Hagar, the band produced three chart-topping albums between 1986 and 1991, culminating in the Grammy Award-winning 'For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge' (1991). Hagar departed in 1996, and Roth returned briefly but was replaced by former Extreme lead singer Gary Cherone.

Van Halen released the greatest hits collection The Best of Both Worlds (2004) and recruited Hagar for a North American tour. In 2006 Anthony left the band and was replaced on bass by Eddie’s teenage son Wolfgang. The following year, with Roth once again filling in as lead singer, the group embarked on its most successful tour. A Different Kind of Truth, Van Halen’s first collection of new material in more than a decade, surfaced in 2012. The band’s second live album—and the first with Roth as frontman—was Tokyo Dome Live in Concert (2015).

Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth rock the Western Fair District with Van Halen in London, Ontario on Wednesday August 5, 2015. PHOTO BY CRAIG GLOVER /Postmedia Network

Throughout the band’s frequent lineup changes the Van Halen brothers remained the bands core. In 2007 Van Halen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Brothers and members of rock band Van Halen - Eddie Van Halen (L) and Alex Van Halen (R)

The world may have lost one of the greatest guitar players of all time. Our thoughts go out to Halen's family and friends. RIP Legend.

Follow us on Instagram @TheBigMagazine

bottom of page