A Tribute to One of Rock’s Greatest Guitar Legends


Michael Ochs Archives

UNSPECIFIED – CIRCA 1970: Photo of Van Halen Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Madison Fouty, Staff Writer

Eddie Van Halen was a part of one of America’s most known rock groups, Van Halen, where he earned the title of a guitar legend. He co-founded the band with his brother, Alex Van Halen, in 1972. Alex is also a part of the band and plays the drums. Eddie is one of the world’s most known and loved guitar players… and he deserves it. 

The rock legend was born in Amsterdam in 1955. He and his brother learned to play the piano at only 6 years old. Eddie has said he actually didn’t know how to read music and just learned from listening to music and watching people play. He then later moved onto playing guitar which would lead him to live the greatest life he could ask for. 

The band Van Halen formed in 1972 in Pasadena, California. Eddie and Alex started in a band called Mammoth that played around Pasadena, when they met David Lee Roth. Roth joining the band led to the discovery of their bassist. Michael Anthony was singing with Snake when he left to join the Halen brothers and Roth. After this, the band found out that the name Mammoth had already had the rights taken to. This led to them naming themselves what we know now to be one of the most renowned rock bands, Van Halen. The band ultimately changed music as a whole. Eddie had some of the most distinct guitar solos, which made them rise in fame. From the heaviest of metal to soft pop, you could hear some of Van Halen’s instrumental techniques. It has been said by many journalists that the band, “… rewrote the rules of rock guitar and hard rock in general.”

Eddie Van Halen rose throughout his years in Van Halen and got to the status of a rock god. He passed away on October 6, 2020, at the age of 65. A close friend to Van Halen’s family confirmed that he passed away from cancer. The person also came out and said they were not authorized to release any details before an official announcement was made. Along with this statement, Eddie’s son, Wolfgang, reached out on social media. He wrote, “He was the best father I could ask for. Every moment I’ve shared with him on and off stage was a gift.”  Many statements were made from the music community from every genre. Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx posted on twitter, “You changed our world. You were the Mozart of rock guitar. Travel safe, rockstar.” Lenny Kravitz then replied, “Heaven will be electric tonight.” Many souls were crushed with the devastating news of Eddie Van Halen passing. 

Van Halen will forever be remembered. He was a rock god who changed the world of music.