Iconic Rock Guitarist Eddie Van Halen Dies at 65

Guitarist Eddie Van Halen performs during a private show in New York in 2012. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

Eddie Van Halen, legendary guitarist and founder of the eponymous rock group, died at age 65 on Tuesday of throat cancer.

Van Halen’s son Wolfgang announced the news in a Twitter post.

“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,” Wolfgang wrote. “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 widely regarded as one of the best guitar players of all time. In addition to his son, he is survived by his wife Janie.

Born in the Netherlands in 1955, Van Halen moved with his family to Pasadena, Calif., in 1962. Eddie and his brother Alex, a drummer, formed a band in 1972 and christened the group “Van Halen” two years later. The brothers were joined by Mark Stone on bass and singer David Lee Roth.

The band Van Halen achieved fame with their debut self-titled album in 1978, and went on to produce hits including “Runnin’ with the Devil,” “Hot for Teacher,” “Unchained,” “Panama” and “Eruption.”

Eddie Van Halen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, in 2007.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.


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