Van Halen guitarist Eddie Van Halen died yesterday, after what his son Wolfgang called a "long and arduous battle with cancer." He was 65. Wolfie added, quote, "He was the best father I could 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 recover from this loss.I love you so much, Pop." Wolfgang was at the hospital when Eddie passed, along with his mother Valerie Bertinelli, Eddie's brother Alex, and Eddie's current wife Janie. Eddie and Valerie were married from 1981 to 2007. Eddie was first treated for tongue cancer in 2000.Although he was a longtime smoker, he blamed it on years of holding metal guitar picks in his mouth. Last year it was revealed that he had been battling throat cancer for several years, and flying to Germany for radiation treatment.According to TMZ, the cancer had spread to his brain and the rest of his organs, and he went downhill quickly over the last few days For a more comprehensive look back on Eddie's life and career, click here
Obviously, the music community was rocked by Eddie's passing yesterday. Here are some of the tributes:
David Lee Roth:"What a long great trip it's been."
Former Van Halen singer Sammy Hagar:"Heartbroken and speechless. My love to the family."
Former Van Halen bassistMichael Anthony:"No words . . . Heartbroken, my love to the family."
Valerie Bertinelli:"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."
Gene Simmons:"My heart is broken. Eddie was not only a Guitar God, but a genuinely beautiful soul. Rest in peace, Eddie!"(Gene was an early booster of Van Halen, and even helped them record a demo before they got signed.)
Nikki Sixx:"So [effing] crushed. RIP Eddie Van Halen. You changed our world. You were the Mozart of rock guitar."
Lenny Kravitz:"Heaven will be electric tonight."
Flea:"Oh man, bless his beautiful creative heart. I love you Eddie Van Halen, an LA boy, a true rocker."
Black Sabbath guitarist and cancer survivor Tony Iommi: "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."
Queen guitarist Brian May:"This wonderful man was way too young to be taken. What a talent, what a legacy, probably the most original and dazzling rock guitarist in History."
Metallica:"We considered him an inspiration, an idol, and after spending a summer together on the road in '88, a friend."
Billy Corgan:"Blessed to have known him just a little . . . sparks flew when he played."
Alice Cooper:"Feeling lost today . . ."
Nickelback:"The world lost an icon, innovator, showman, virtuoso, master songwriter and perhaps one of the biggest inspirations ever to learn how to play guitar."
Tom Morello:"One of the greatest, most inventive, truly visionary musicians of all time. An unparalleled titan in the annals of rock n roll. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for every spectacular note."
Patton Oswalt:"You just don't let up, do you 2020?"
Meanwhile, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is flying it's flag at half mast today and the Hall is playing Van Halen music all day long.