For decades he had been considered as one of the most exceptional guitarists and had a decisive influence on the sound of the 1980s. We’re talking about Eddie Van Halen. The musician, who rose to superstar with his band Van Halen, passed away from cancer earlier this week. His son announced that on Twitter. Van Halen founded the band named after them together with his brother Alex. That celebrated its biggest hit in 1984 with the song Jump. Eddie Van Halen himself went down in music history with a single guitar solo.
The musician had been fighting cancer for years and finally lost this long and tough battle. Wolfgang Van Halen informed the public of the sad news. He had played bass for Van Halen for the past few years, replacing longtime bassist Michael Anthony. The band had grown into a family business. Only original singer David Lee Roth completed the line-up. In one of his rare interviews, Eddie Van Halen revealed himself to be a happy person. He enjoyed making music with his son and brother and stated that nobody in his life was luckier than himself. After all, there were always problems with band members who did not come from the Van Halen family. That started after founding member David Lee Roth left and ended with the kicking out of longtime bassist Michael Anthony. But in the end, all sides seemed to have reconciled.
A Family Matter
The two Van Halen brothers Eddie and Alex were initially born in the Netherlands. As children, they emigrated to California with their parents. Her father was a jazz musician; the sons began to be interested in rock music. They founded the band, Van Halen, at school. The debut album was already a great success in the USA, but Jump made the band world-famous. Numerous hits followed before a singer change to Sammy Hagar heralded a new beginning.
Guitarist Eddie Van Halen revolutionized the way rock guitarists play. The master of demanding solos had already demonstrated in 1982 what is possible on the guitar. Nobody less than Michael Jackson got him for a solo on his super hit Beat It. This work should go down in music history. To this day, Van Halen’s contribution to the song is considered the best guitar solo in history. The virtuoso set the standard for every successor to come. Almost all of them failed at his target. “Fast Eddie”, as fans also called him, played his solos at breathtaking speed and was always unmistakable.
No wonder, then, that the music world bowed publicly to him again. Numerous stars honour the achievements of Eddie Van Halen in short obituaries, who was considered not only an exceptional guitarist but also a perfect soul. Lenny Kravitz, for example, praised Van Halen’s achievements as something no one else could do on the guitar. John Mayer called him a superhero, Gene Simmons of Kiss called him a guitar god. His fans will always remember him.