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Guitar rock legend Eddie Van Halen dies of cancer at 65

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By MARK KENNEDY and MESFIN FEKADU

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RIP legend, you will be missed. I grew up listening to Van Halen and other old-school rock bands and still do to this day. The drummer may be the heart and the vocalist the face of the band, but the guitarist is like the personality of it.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Best guitarist ever... I also grew up listening to Van Halen... May he rest in peace and forever in our hearts...

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I can spin VH I & II anytime. When they came out back in 77 it just blew the rock fans minds. By 81, it was over. 1984 and the addition of Hagar, well we just called it “chic rock” instead of “jock rock” by then.

Atomic Punk and Beat it-thanks for the sounds Eddie!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Loved his music. RIP

6 ( +7 / -1 )

This year sucks...

to quote Nikki Sixx, “you changed our world.”

RIP Eddie

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Fizzbit, gotta say you’re the first person I’ve ever heard call Fair Warning (April 1981 and my first VH album courtesy of the Columbia Record Club) “chick rock” lol! Nothing quite screams TayTay like Unchained and Mean Streets!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Another legend gone (fairly young) in 2020. RIP.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@kurumazaka Unchianed by far the best VH track. In all fairness though the hard core metal bands like ACDC and Judas Priest did consider Van Halen chick rock

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Karumazaka, the chic rock label didn’t start until after 1984 peaking with Hagar coming in. “Why can’t this be love”? PAleeeease.

Fair Warning was good, but not better than I or II.

@Gango bong, to be fair, AC/DC should not be considered a metal band, just too many blues roots in High Voltage. Maybe after a Bon Scott, but who wants to listen to an over sized Mosquito screaming in their ear?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

RIP, taken too young.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

In all fairness though the hard core metal bands like ACDC and Judas Priest did consider Van Halen chick rock

Judas Priest became "chick rock" too in '86 when they released Turbo.

With VH it was more David Lee Roth that was pushing the glam thing, IMO.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Sad to hear this. Never a fan of the band - too much drama - but EVH had incredible chops and inspired generations of guitarists to reach higher.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Thanks for the memories.

RIP

3 ( +3 / -0 )

A Dutch immigrant, but I learnt today that his mother was Indonesian.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Not my kind of music, but anybody who is NOT a Christian and can bring people of different backgrounds to come together and through music, celebrate the joy and happiness of just enjoying life. A real hero.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Not my kind of music at all, but he was clearly talented at what he did and 65 is too young. RIP

4 ( +4 / -0 )

RIP Eddie! He influenced COUNTLESS guitarists and non-guitarists as well. The first time I heard Eruption totally blew my mind, similarly to BOSTON's More Than A Feeling. Awesome music!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

can still remember the first time i heard eruption. it gave me the goosebumps...and it still does so today.

and i love the kravitz quote.

btw, the article implies that autodidactism is somehow similar to being a genius, but the term simply means self-taught/self-educated. furthermore, this contradicts the line about him being a classically trained pianist, why means he received training.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Oh man. The guy had it all and Valerie Bertinelli.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

RIP guitar genius and great rock dude. You will not be forgotten.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Just an absolute legend and one of the main reasons I started studying guitar at a very young age....but eventually found that bass was just a better instrument, but having said that, the man was a genius and not just as a musician, but also his knowledge about PA and Sound engineering as well as constant experimentation on mastering his own personal sound pickups. He definitely was a character, I was lucky to meet Eddie at the NAMM in LA back in 1997, he was nice, but notorious for having a bad temper and to work with, but he seemed rather friendly, but his musical approach was just remarkable and was definitely a music first kind of guy and not a money guy.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

kurumazakaToday  08:30 am JST

Fizzbit, gotta say you’re the first person I’ve ever heard call Fair Warning (April 1981 and my first VH album courtesy of the Columbia Record Club) “chick rock” lol! Nothing quite screams TayTay like Unchained and Mean Streets!

I thought the term 'chick rock' applied to women rockers like Heart, joan Jett, Bangles, L7, etc.

I saw VH in October 1986, it was my 3rd concert ever. It was so electrifying! Outdoors before we could get inside we could hear Wailin' Halen doing a soundcheck and he was sizzling!

And what's so wrong with Hagar? He could scream-sing his vocal chords like nobody's business and he was utterly WILD!

FizzBitToday  09:01 am JST

Karumazaka, the chic rock label didn’t start until after 1984 peaking with Hagar coming in. “Why can’t this be love”? PAleeeease.

Have you heard 'Good Enough' and 'Summer Nights' from 5150? And 'Get Up' is a wicked speed metal song that would've made Black Flag (and maybe Motorhead too) give some pause back then!

The only guitarist since then who comes close in terms in innovation is Tom Morello whom I saw at a Springsteen show in 2014. He's inventive and crazy!

EVH was one of the greatest guitar heros of all time. He ranks with Chuck Berry, Keith Richards (seen him too), Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and others.

RIP Edward Lodewijk Van Halen 1955 - 2020

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Eddies last jump is over.

RIP Ediie.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I was shocked this morning when I found out that this music legend has left us so soon. Sad day it is.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Sept 1982. Diver Down Tour (called the Hide Your Sheep Tour). L.A. Forum (Inglewood to be specific). EVH tore it up!!! R.I.P.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

All my heroes are dying. The album Van Halen I changed my life forever. That guitar!! My JHS days were punctuated with VH blasting from my stereo. Fair Warning '81 was one of the first rock shows for me too. RIP, Eddie and thanks for the ride.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Thank God we, as the human race, had Eddie twice as long as we had Mozart. Unfortunately, the brightest lights are often snuffed out too early. Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Randy Rhodes....

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Smoking or constant exposure to second-hand smoke, a hazard of the rocker's world, on top of the booze and coke? Ouch.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

was considered one of the greatest American guitarists of his generation.

I totally agree! I’m not a huge fan of the band, but his guitar skills are legendary.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

He and his band were legends. Ahhh the memories from my elementary school days. Might as well JUMP! Most of my classmates had great joys in doodling their "VH" logo. I thought it was the coolest logo. Great memories, especially growing up in the San Gabriel Valley, where they came from. Thanks Man!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Aside from “Jump” when I was way younger, I was never a huge fan, but you cannot sent the legend. RIP.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Cannot “deny” the legend, sorry.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I carded Eddie and Alex Van Halen in a beer line at the old Inglewood Forum one night right after that very first album. I used to work as a bouncer at rock concerts and they were there to see some other bands play. I almost didn't realize who they were at first. I looked at their drivers licenses to see the birth date and noticed they were brothers, then the name hit me. Holy moly..... VAAAAAAAN HALEN! It was a wild job with endless fights and you saw lots of famous people in the beer lines.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Van Halen released albums on a yearly timetable — “Van Halen II” (1979), “Women and Children First” (1980), “Fair Warning” (1981) and “Diver Down” (1982) — until the monumental “1984,” which hit No. 2 on the Billboard 200 album charts (only behind Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”). Rolling Stone ranked “1984” No. 81 on its list of the 100 Greatest Albums of the 1980s.

All good memories. Good times.

One thing thsa always stood out about Eddie Van Halen wad his everlasting smile.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

 until the monumental “1984,” which hit No. 2 on the Billboard 200 album charts (only behind Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”). 

And Eddie is on 'Thriller' too. He guests on guitar on MJ's 'Beat It'.

All those nerds in HS who thought they were 'too good' for heavy metal loved that song, strangely. And I knew a racist idiot in the Navy who took a tape recording of that song and used skotch tape on the end to 'rewrite' the 'n*****' elements of the song to keep Eddie's part intact. What a zero.

Rock'n'roll music is rock'n'roll music which comes in so many ways and we have lost a GIANT today.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I remember when I was a kid in San Dimas the next city West was Glendora and there was a Japanese restaurant (authentic and this was around the early 90's) where my gf at the time worked part time and quite often the bass player Michael Anthony would visit and grub with his wife, absolutely fantastic guy, totally down to earth and he would just kick it with people, the restaurant was not that big, quite intimate, but those were some serious great times hanging out eating great food and seeing the bass player from VH. Feel blessed to come from a district where VH, Motley Crue and Sammy Hagar hail from.

And I was always in the middle as far as which singer I liked best: Roth or Hagar and I personally liked both, they both were good for different times, as a kid Roth and Eddie pumped out some amazing songs back in the day and when I was in college it was the Hagar years and those songs brought in a different set of memories that are so dear to me, I never compare the two because they are so different in every way from style, attitude, voice and they both were great IMHO.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

bass4funk And I was always in the middle as far as which singer I liked best: Roth or Hagar and I personally liked both, they both were good for different times, as a kid Roth and Eddie pumped out some amazing songs back in the day and when I was in college it was the Hagar years and those songs brought in a different set of memories that are so dear to me, I never compare the two because they are so different in every way from style, attitude, voice and they both were great IMHO.

And as for Gary Cherone, let's just chuck that to being a BIG mistake.

I agree. Roth and Hagar had their moments, I saw Van Hagar in 1986. It was Eddie himself who was the locus of the band, no matter who was the frontman. His guitar mastery was what counted more than anything else. Now that Eddie's dead, no more Van Halen.

It's the same way when singer/bassist/writer Lemmy Kilmeister died. That very night Motorhead split up immediately. It's over. And it's over for VH.

It's a sad day for rock'n'roll but I got my memories. And the same goes for RUSH.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I used to work as a bouncer at rock concerts and they were there to see some other bands play. I almost didn't realize who they were at first. I looked at their drivers licenses to see the birth date and noticed they were brothers, then the name hit me. Holy moly..... VAAAAAAAN HALEN! It was a wild job with endless fights and you saw lots of famous people in the beer lines.

I used to work as a bouncer at rock concerts and football games when I was in college too. However the notorious people I carded and tended to were from the central Ohio area, not big time celebs like you met. I met our lateRep. Chalmbers P. Wylie, then-Gov. Richard Celeste, TV reporters, Ohio State megafan the 'Neutron Man' and more.

It's good work if you can get it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Do the hustleOct. 7  04:10 pm JST

was considered one of the greatest American guitarists of his generation.

I totally agree! 

Absolutely. I remember Kasey Kasem on the radio say that EVH was the most influential/greatest guitarist since Jimi Hendrix. That was in 1983.

May I mention that there's another 'guitar god' in our midsts today? I saw Tom Morello sub in for Little Steven at a Bruce show in 2014. That guy is totally innovative and crazy! He can make that thing sound like everything from a metal whistle, a vacuum cleaner, a car engine, turntable scratching, even R2-D2! You can hear some of that on those CDs by RATM, Audioslave and other acts he's been in and worked with.

Eddie Van Halen once said, 'I'm geekier than all the young kids who want to BE me!'. He's left a big legacy and those 'guitar geek' disciples he inspired, incl. Morello are probably crying today. And he certainly is an icon of my Generation X and I was saddened when the radio stations were playing VH exclusively because it deja vu of when Prince died a few years ago, and that was a bad day too.

Grim Reaper, you've taken your fill of my generation's icons this year. 2020 has been a rotten year anyway so lay off, will ya?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

His joy while playing his guitar was truly infectious. RIP EVH!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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