SANTA MONICA—Eddie Van Halen, guitarist and co-founder of Van Halen, died on Tuesday, October 6, from complications of throat cancer. He was 65.
According to reports, he died at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica.
“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,” said his son Wolfgang Van Halen via Twitter.
He 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.”
Van Halen was born on January 26, 1955, in the Netherlands. His father, Jan van Halen, was a Dutch clarinetist, saxophonist and pianist. The Van Halen family moved to the United States in 1962 and settled in Pasadena.
His 1978 instrumental solo “Eruption” popularized the tapping technique that was invented and used infrequently by some guitarists before then.
Van Halen co-founded the rock band Van Halen with his brother, drummer Alex Van Halen, bassist Mark Stone, and singer David Lee Roth in 1972.
They released 12 studio albums during their career and were nominated for Grammy Awards, including the 1983’s lead single “Jump” and “The Seventh Seal” released in 1995.
They also won the 1992 Grammy Awards for Best Hard Rock Performance with Vocals for the album “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge.” In 2012, he was voted No. 1 for “The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” in a Guitar World magazine reader’s poll.