Iconic rock guitarist Eddie Van Halen passes away at 65

Iconic rock guitarist Eddie Van Halen passes away at 65
Eddie Van Halen in 2015. Wikipedia: By Laurence Faure (Blogueuse) - http://www.hardforce.fr/actu/12563/eddie-van-halen-tire-dans-le-tas-, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=52419137

[Ed. – Who of my generation is not taken back instantly to a different time by hearing either Eddie Van Halen’s name, or a tune from a Van Halen album?  He was one of the greats of whom it’s not syrupy or overly pious to say he was unique, crushing a steel guitar in a way no one had before, and many have only tried to copy since. Joe Satriani, a superb guitarist who toured with Jagger and Deep Purple, among others, has a great tribute at Billboard. Eddie’s son Wolfgang posted the definitive tribute on social media earlier today.  Eddie Van Halen died after an extended battle with cancer.  R.I.P.]

The first time I heard Eddie’s guitar playing, it was coming through the radio in my little studio apartment and I actually had my guitar on. I was practicing and listening to the radio and all of a sudden, “Eruption” [from Van Halen’s 1978 self-titled debut album] comes on and fills my apartment and not only was my breath taken away and my heart pumping out of control, but I was so happy that someone had arrived who was going to really do it. …

My faith in music was renewed once again just from hearing him play. Every time I hear his guitar playing, I feel the same way. It always takes my breath away.

We never shared a stage. I got to see him play here in Northern California. I think it was the Cow Palace. …

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As a songwriter, he wrote really catchy, solid, melodic songs that made sense. They were more intricate than meets the ear. He had that gift where he would put in complicated and unusual rhythmic structures but they somehow came off sounding so natural and inviting to listen to. It was really a gift and a testament to his compositional abilities.

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