Eddie Van Halen, the famous lead guitarist of renowned rock group Van Halen, has passed away, according to a social media post by his son. He was 65.
Eddie Van Halen, whose full name was Edward Lodewijk Van Halen, and his brother Alex Van Halen began performing together as teens, however formed the core of what would later on become Van Halen after meeting David Lee Roth.
Van Halen’s guitar magic anchored the band through four turbulent decades of platinum albums, sold-out tours and also a revolving door of lead singers, from Roth to Sammy Hagar to Gary Cherone and back to Hagar and Roth again.
Van Halen was most widely revered by his peers for refining the technique of two-handed tapping on the guitar neck. That approach helped him to add new textures, and percussive opportunities, to his musical instrument, while also making its six strings audio as expressive as a piano’s 88 keys or as changeable as a synthesizer. He received patents for three guitar devices he had developed. In 2012, Guitar World Magazine placed him No. 1 on its selection of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.”
Van Halen also famously lent his guitar chops to Michael Jackson for “Beat It,” the smash 1983 hit from the landmark “Thriller” album that melded Jackson’s silky pop with a tougher rock edge.
As news of Van Halen’s death broke, his friends and fellow musicians paid tribute to the one-of-a-kind talent.