Eddie Van Halen, January 26, 1955 – October 6, 2020

One of the Greatest To Ever Do It

The music world is mourning the loss of one of the greatest musicians to ever perform, Eddie Van Halen. Eddie died at the age of 65 on October 6th, 2020, after a long battle with throat cancer. 

Eddie along with his brother Alex Van Halen were the founding members of the great rock band Van Halen. Van Halen was one of the biggest bands throughout the 1980’s and is considered one the greatest bands to ever perform. Eddie was a virtuoso; many called him the “Mozart of guitar.” Both the uniqueness of his playing as well as his technical proficiency were simply unparalleled. Eddie Van Halen was famous for his finger tapping style and use of harmonics in his electrifying solos. His playing was graceful and seamless as his fingers glided across the fretboard of his guitar. He was one of the greatest songwriters and guitar players of all time. His music helped to define 1980’s rock and roll.

Van Halen’s eponymously titled debut album Van Halen was released in 1978 and featured hit songs such as “Runnin’ with the Devil,” a cover of “You Really Got Me,” and “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love.” Also included was Eddie’s legendary guitar solo “Eruption,” which is eclipsed, perhaps, only by Jimmy Page’s solo on “Stairway to Heaven” as the most iconic guitar solo in Rock. Their most famous work was probably their 1984 album which became one of the greatest albums ever recorded. It featured songs such as “Hot For Teacher,” “Panama” and “Jump.” All of which became iconic 80’s anthems for years to come.

Their stage presence, too, was undeniable. With Diamond David Lee Roth’s incredible swagger and amazing vocals, Michael Anthony’s fantastic bass guitar playing, Alex Van Halen’s genius drumming and of course Eddie’s face melting, gut busting, soul touching guitar riffs and solos. Eddie’s guitar playing was so elegant and fast paced, it seemed humanly impossible. When the band first started playing “Eruption” live, he would turn his back to the stage so that people couldn’t copy his technique of finger tapping to play so many notes so quickly. It was truly genius and really made him stand out as a guitarist and Van Halen as a band. 

Van Halen would release twelve studio albums between 1978 and 2015 selling more than 56 million records in the U.S.. Eleven of the band’s albums reached the Top Five on Billboard’s Top 200 and four reached the number one spot.

Eddie Van Halen was one of the most gifted musicians, songwriters and guitarists to ever perform. His music reinvented rock and roll and his playing reinvented an entire instrument. We will never see another quite like Eddie Van Halen, but his music and legacy will live on in the hearts of all that listened. The world of music will mourn this loss of a global icon but will also be brought closer together as we share in the love we had for the great Eddie Van Halen.

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