Eddie Van Halen Remembered by Angus Young, Jimmy Page (‘He Was the Real Deal’), John Mayer, Pete Townshend, Ozzy Osbourne & More


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Rock Cellar Magazine
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Tuesday’s sad news of the passing of guitar icon Eddie Van Halen hit the music community as hard as could be expected, given the legacy of EVH’s work, the massive influence he cast with his signature electric guitar style and status as one of the most revered musicians to ever pick up a six-string.

 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.

My heart is broken and I don’t think I’ll ever fully recover from this loss.

I love you so much, Pop.

Immediately after his son, Wolfgang Van Halen, shared the sad news of his father’s death after a “long and arduous” battle with cancer, the tributes began pouring in throughout social media overnight and into Wednesday.

Eddie’s ex-wife, actress Valerie Bertinelli, penned a heartfelt message:

40 years ago my life changed forever when I met you. 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. 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.”

David Lee Roth, who shared the stage with Eddie Van Halen for years, shared a photo from what looks like one of Van Halen’s more recent reunion tours:

Sammy Hagar, who also spent time singing for Van Halen, was left speechless by the news:

Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page posted on his Instagram page:

It is with great sadness that I heard the passing of Eddie Van Halen. ⁣

He was the real deal: he pioneered a dazzling technique on guitar with taste and panache that I felt always placed him above his imitators. ⁣

It was good to see him featured at the Met’s Play It Loud Exhibition.⁣

R. I. P. Eddie⁣

Pearl Jam‘s Mike McCready shared his thoughts on the official PJ social media channels:

“Can’t believe Eddie Van Halen died. I saw them on the VH2, Women and Children First, Fair Warning, and Diver Down tours. Also when they came back with [David Lee Roth]. I started playing guitar about a year after Van Halen I came out. It sounded like Eddie was from another planet and the energy from Van Halen was undeniable. Amazing songs too. ‘Romeo Delight,’ ‘On Fire,’ ‘Unchained,’ ‘Mean Street,’ ‘DOA,’ ‘Light Up the Sky,’ ‘Ain’t Talkin’ Bout Love,’ ‘Eruption,’ ‘Atomic Punk,’ ‘Everybody Wants Some,’ on and on I can go…”

“Tim Dijulio and I would skip school and wait in line all day for Van Halen back in the day. Eddie was like Mozart for guitar. Changed everything and he played with Soul. RIP EVH.”

Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys:

Metallica:

John Fogerty said he “stood in awe and complete wonderment” of Eddie’s talents:

Angus Young of AC/DC took time out from his band’s activities premiering a brand new song to share his condolences:

Ozzy Osbourne penned a response via Rolling Stone:

Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins:

“What a musician, what a legacy, what power and mastery. I don’t think it’s possible to sum up what his inspiration did for me as a musician. No man made his playing so effortless that I endeavored to make mine sound the same.”

“I am truly saddened by his loss; and isn’t it strange that a man who played an instrument spoke directly to so many in an unmatched way that rivals only a few: Coltrane, Hendrix, Parker, Miles, Django.”

Joe Walsh:

“Eddie was a one of a kind guitarist and human being. He was a master at his craft, a peer I was in awe of and a friend I loved. I am deeply saddened by this news and Marjorie and I send his family our deepest condolences. The world will be dimmer – and quieter – without him.”

Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath:

The Who‘s Pete Townshend issued a lengthy statement to Rolling Stone:

“I was once asked by Michael Jackson to play electric guitar on the Thriller album. I said I couldn’t do it but recommended Eddie who called and we chatted. He was utterly charming, happy about the connection, but told me how much he was enjoying playing keyboards. His smile was just classic. A man in his rightful place, so happy to be doing what he did.”

“It’s completely tragic that we have lost him,” he adds. “He was not just an innovative and stylish player with great taste, he was also a laidback virtuoso showman who just blew us all away every time. Every shredder today has lost their Master Teacher and Guide.”

“As he got older he became more generous and amusing and self-effacing about his enormous gifts. He shared so many tricks through guitar workshops, online and on TV shows. Immense talent. The Great American Guitar Player. I was hoping he might be President one day.”

John Mayer wrote on Instagram that Eddie was a guitar superhero. A true virtuoso. A stunningly good musician and composer. Looking up to him as a young kid was one of the driving forces in my needing to pick up a guitar. I was so blown away watching him exert such control and expression over his instrument. Learning to play the guitar taught me so many things, but still absolutely nothing about how to play like Eddie Van Halen. And for that reason, I never stopped watching him in adolescent awe and wonder, and I promise you I never will. So very sad to learn of his passing. My love to his family, his bandmates, his friends and his crew. EVH FOREVER”

Julian Lennon:

Heartbroken to hear about the passing of one of my all time favourite musical Heros…. Whom I met many moons ago, after…

Posted by Julian Lennon on Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Paul Stanley of KISS:

Gene Simmons also penned a reflection via Rolling Stone:

Tom Morello:

And so on. The tributes will continue pouring in as the days go by, some of music’s biggest names and most influential guitarists paying their respects to Eddie Van Halen — a peerless virtuoso who made fans of the sorts of musicians the rest of us consider “heroes” themselves.

Rest in peace, EVH.

In closing, here’s the final Van Halen concert, which took place in 2015 at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles:


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