Rock world pays tribute to Eddie Van Halen

The guitarist has died of cancer, aged 65

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Eddie Van Halen, totemic rock guitarist and leader of the band Van Halen, has died aged 65.

His son Wolfgang, who has also played bass for Van Halen since 2006, revealed the news yesterday on Twitter: “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.

“He was the best father I could ever ask for. Every moment I’ve shared with him on and off stage was a gift.”

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Some of rock’s biggest names lined up to pay tribute. “I’m just devastated to hear the news of the passing of my dear friend Eddie Van Halen,” wrote Tony Iommi. “Eddie was one of a very special kind of person, a really great friend.”

“Just when I thought 2020 couldn’t get any worse, I hear Eddie Van Halen has passed,” added Iommi’s Black Sabbath bandmate Geezer Butler. “So shocking – one of the nicest, down to Earth men I have ever met and toured with. A true gent and true genius.”

Muse hailed Van Halen as “one of the greatest guitarists of all time” while Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready called him “Mozart for guitar”.

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Meanwhile on BBC Breakfast news this morning, an emotional Gene Simmons urged young people to stop texting and tweeting for a moment and listen to “the wonder of Eddie Van Halen”:

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