The co-founder and renowned guitarist of the band Van Halen passed away On October 6, 2020, after a long battle against cancer. His death was confirmed by his son, Wolfgang, 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,” Wolf wrote. “He was the best father I could ever ask for. Every moment I’ve shared with him on and off stage was a gift.”
His son Wolf, wife Janie Liszewski, and ex-wife Valerie Bertinelli were present at the hospital alongside Van Halen moments before passing.
Van Halen had had throat cancer for over a decade and formerly defeated tongue cancer after a two-year battle. A close source to the Van Halen family told People magazine that Van Halen’s health was quickly deteriorating the week before he passed, mentioning that his cancer spread to ¨all his organs.¨
Van Halen’s rising drug and alcohol abuse played a detrimental role in his life, provoking his divorce from actress Valerie Bertinelli, the mother of his child. Van Halen mentioned in an interview with Chuck Klosterman: ¨I was an alcoholic, and I needed alcohol to function. I didn’t drink to party. Alcohol and cocaine were private things to me.¨ He was admitted into a rehab center in 2007 and was said to be completely sober in 2008.
Eddie Van Halen and his brother Alex Van Halen began creating music together as teenagers. However, before they formed the iconic band, Van Halen, they met David Lee Roth, the hard rock band’s lead singer. For over forty years, Van Halen built a legacy releasing several albums, performing at sold-out tours, and working with many different artists.
In an interview in 2017 with CNN, Eddie Van Halen directly made a considerable donation to raise money for music programs in schools, mentioning the impact music had played a role in his life story. “My whole life has been music,” he said. “I could not imagine anything else.”
After news of Van Halen’s passing, friends and other well-known musicians paid tribute to his unique and admirable talent.
Bassist and co-lead singer of Kiss, Gene Simmons, took to Twitter to say: ¨My heart is broken. Eddie was not only a Guitar God but a genuinely beautiful soul. Rest in peace, Eddie!¨ Joe Elliott of Def Leppard mentioned how Van Halen ¨reinvented guitar playing just like Jimi Hendrix had done a generation earlier.¨
Eddie was only 65 when he passed just last week. He survives through his son, Wolf, and wife, Janie Liszewski.