Rock stars pay tribute to 'Guitar God' Eddie Van Halen

The Van Halen legend died today (6th October)

Eddie Van Halen RIP
Author: Scott ColothanPublished 6th Oct 2020
Last updated 7th Oct 2020

Stars from across the rock world have been paying tribute to Van Halen legend Eddie Van Halen, who died this morning (6th October) aged 65.

Truly one of the greatest guitarists of all time, Eddie Van Halen passed away at Santa Monica Hospital in California surrounded by his son Wolfgang, brother Alex, wife Janie and ex-wife Valerie.

Eddie Van Halen’s son and band mate, Wolfgang, initially broke the devastating news, confirming his dad had lost his “lost his long and arduous battle with cancer.”

Wolfgang added: "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."

Eddie Van Halen's ex-wife Valerie Bertinelli later confirmed he had been battling lung cancer.

Testament to Eddie Van Halen’s god-like status, since the news broke this evening countless stars from across the rock world have paid tribute to him.

Eddie Van Halen’s former band mate Sammy Hagar said: “Heartbroken and speechless. My love to the family.”

Van Halen vocalist David Lee Roth shared a photo of himself with Eddie Van Halen, and simply wrote: “What a Long Great Trip It’s Been..”

Metallica posted a photo of themselves backstage with Eddie Van Halen and called the late guitarist an “inspiration”. They wrote: “We are enormously saddened to hear about the untimely passing of Eddie Van Halen. We considered him an inspiration, an idol, and after spending a summer together on the road in '88, a friend. Sending love to Alex, Wolf Van Halen, and everyone in the greater VH family. #LightUpTheSky”

AC/DC guitarist Angus Young said: "Eddie was a guitar wonder, his playing pure wizardry. To the world of music he was a special gift. To those of us fortunate enough to have met him, a special person. He lives a big hole in a lot of hearts. To the Van Halen family my heartfelt sympathies."

Black Sabbath’s Geezer Butler said: “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. A true gent and true genius. RIP. So sad.Thoughts go out to his brother Alex, and his family.”

Also posting a photo of himself with Eddie Van Halen, Tony Iommi said: I’m just devastated to hear the news of the passing of my dear friend Eddie Van Halen. He fought a long and hard battle with his cancer right to the very end. Eddie was one of a very special kind of person, a really great friend. Rest In Peace my dear friend till we meet again.

Ozzy Osbourne wrote: "Eddie Van Halen was one of the nicest guys I ever worked with and we shared so many laughs together. His influence on music and especially the guitar has been immeasurable. He was an absolute legend. Eddie, I’ll see you on the other side, my friend. Love, Ozzy."

KISS’s Gene Simmons wrote: “My heart is broken. Eddie was not only a Guitar God, but a genuinely beautiful soul. Rest in peace, Eddie!”

Paul Stanley commented: “Oh NO! Speechless. A trailblazer and someone who always gave everything to his music. A good soul. I remember first seeing him playing at the Starwood in 1976 and he WAS Eddie Van Halen. So shocked and sad. My condolences to Wolfie and the family.”

Lenny Kravitz said: “Legendary guitar and musical innovator Edward Van Halen. 1955-2020. Heaven will be electric tonight.”

Nikki Sixx commented: “Crushed. So crushed. RIP Eddie Van Halen. You changed our world. You were the Mozart of rock guitar. Travel safe rockstar.”

Nickelback wrote: “The world lost an icon, innovator, showman, virtuoso, master songwriter and perhaps one of the biggest inspirations ever to learn how to play guitar. Heartbroken to hear of Eddie Van Halen’s passing. Our love, condolences and best wishes to his his family, friends and fans. #RIP”

Sharing four photos of Eddie Van Halen, Billy Idol said: “Rest in peace guitar legend Eddie Van Halen. Broken heart We will miss you.”

Sebastian Bach commented: “Eddie Van Halen and Neil Peart were just too good for 2020. My heart is broken.”

Muse said: “One of the greatest guitarists of all time! Rest in peace Eddie Van Halen.”

Whitesnake’s David Coverdale commented: “Omg...RIP, Edward...Our Thoughts Are Prayers Are With Your Family, Friends & Fans...What An Incredible Loss...Truly An Astonishing Musician. Edward...Thank You For Your Extraordinary Gifts You Chose To Share With Us...XXX”

Pantera said: "RIP Eddie Van Halen. Van Halen were a tremendous influence on both Vinnie & Dime & Pantera. Hopefully they are all rocking out together now!”

Mike Portnoy commented: “I am in complete and utter shock over the news of Edward Van Halen’s passing...Very few musicians ever come along that change the entire landscape of their instrument and King Edward was one of those few. One of the G.O.A.T! #RIPEVH #RIPEdwardVanHalen”

Red Hot Chili Peppers' Flea said: "Oh man. Damn. I love you Eddie Van Halen. A true rocker, a deep musician, a HUGE heart, and an LA boy through and through. A bold innovator and the undisputed king of all wheedlers. What a sound!!! I hope you jam with Jimi tonight and soar freely through the cosmos. A vibrant part of music has left this earth. Broken through to the other side. What a sweetheart, my brother. All love and condolences to your family."

Judas Priest's Rob Halford simply wrote: "God Bless EVH"

Aerosmith said: "Rest In Peace Eddie Van Halen. You will be missed. #Legend"

Def Leppard's Elliott said in a statement: "I saw VAN HALEN destroy BLACK SABBATH at the Sheffield City Hall in 1977... Eddie was a big part of that, having essentially reinvented guitar playing just like Jimi Hendrix had done a generation earlier....l had the pleasure of being on the same bill as VAN HALEN 7 years ago when KINGS OF CHAOS were on the same bill at the Stone Music Festival in Australia. I'm happy to say that his playing that night was as good as it's ever been, he certainly shook things up when he came on the scene.... Rest In Peace Eddie.."

Vivian Campbell added: "I distinctly remember the first moment I heard Eddie play. A good friend, also a guitarist, had just bought the first VAN HALEN album and came by my house and told me that I urgently needed to hear this. He wasn't wrong; it was a moment that redefined everything that I thought was possible about playing the guitar. The goalposts had just been moved. I stayed up all that night trying to learn from Eddie. Many, many decades later, and I'm still learning from Eddie."

Megadeth's David Ellefson commented: "May you Rest In Peace @eddievanhalen ! You changed my life with your music, your band and your life's journey. Condolences to your family.... #ripeddievanhalen"

Poignantly, Judas Priest's Richie Faulkner simply posted this photo of Eddie Van Halen's guitar:

Alice Cooper guitarist Nita Strauss said: "The word “innovator” gets thrown around a lot in this industry. In my humble opinion, there is no one it applies to more than the great @eddievanhalen.Thank you for being THE innovator of these six strings and blazing a trail for so many of us to attempt to follow. ?? RIP"

Eddie Van Halen - the legend in photos:

Eddie Van Halen RIP

Eddie Van Halen in 1978

Eddie Van Halen RIP

Eddie Van Halen, David Lee Roth, Michael Anthony, and Alex Van Halen in 1978

Eddie Van Halen RIP

Eddie Van Halen striking a pose at the Kouseinennkinn-kaikan, Tokyo, June 1978

Eddie Van Halen RIP

Eddie Van Halen performs onstage at the Aragon Ballroom, Chicago, Illinois, April 6, 1979.

Eddie Van Halen RIP

Eddie Van Halen doing a trademark jump on stage in 1980

Eddie Van Halen RIP

Michael Anthony, Eddie Van Halen, David Lee Roth and Alex Van Halen in 1981

Eddie Van Halen RIP

Eddie Van Halen on stage in 1982

Eddie Van Halen RIP

Eddie Van Halen in his live element in 1984.

Eddie Van Halen RIP

Eddie Van Halen in the mid-1980s

Eddie Van Halen RIP

Eddie Van Halen and Sammy Hagar in 1986

Eddie Van Halen RIP

Eddie Van Halen in 1991

Eddie Van Halen RIP

Eddie Van Halen during Van Halen III Live in Chicago at Rosemont Horizon in Rosemont, 1998

Eddie Van Halen RIP

Eddie Van Halen in 2012

Eddie Van Halen RIP

Eddie Van Halen with his son Wolfgang Van Halen in 2012

Eddie Van Halen RIP

Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth in 2015

Everyone at Absolute Radio's thoughts are with Eddie Van Halen's family. RIP to a true legend.

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