It looked as though October was providing the ultimate course correction for this mess of a year but, alas, this morning we’ve been provided with a stern kick in the gut, as news breaks that guitar god, and founder of Van Halen, Eddie Van Halen has died aged 65.
The news first hit our feeds through Wolfgang Van Halen who took to twitter to announce the heartbreaking end to his father’s “long and arduous battle with cancer.”
For more than a decade, Van Halen had been battling throat cancer, however according to TMZ, over the past 72 hours his condition deterioriated, with doctors discovering that the cancer had spread to other organs. Unfortunately, as a direct result, Van Halen passed away at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica on Tuesday in American time.
By his side was wife Janie, son Wolfgang and brother/Van Halen drummer Alex.
Van Halen’s battle with throat cancer was well documented. A heavy smoker throughout his life, the rock icon was adamant that the condition stemmed from holding a metal pick in his mouth over two decades of his career. TMZ had previously reported on his strenuous treatment regime which included traveling between US and Germany for radiation treatment.
Even still, nothing could stop him from attending concerts and routinely jamming with his family.
As you all know, Van Halen first shot to public attention in 1972 after forming the eponymous band alongside brother Alex, bassist Michael Anthony and vocalist David Lee Roth. The group would go on to change the face of modern rock with their 1978 self-titled debut.
Of course, Eddie himself would go on to outgrow the shackles of ‘just another guitarist’ in 1983, becoming a household name thanks to his world-changing solo in Michael Jackon’s ‘Beat It’.
You know the drill – pour some out for Eddie today. And hug your loved ones.