Eddie Van Halen dies at 65 after cancer battle

Eddie Van Halen, the renowned lead guitarist of iconic rock group Van Halen, has died, according to a social media post by his son. He was 65."He was...

Posted: Oct 6, 2020 5:04 PM
Updated: Oct 7, 2020 3:15 AM

Eddie Van Halen, the renowned lead guitarist of iconic rock group Van Halen, has died, according to a social media post by his son. He was 65.

'He was the best father I could ever ask for,' his son, Wolf Van Halen, wrote in a note posted to Twitter. 'Every moment I've shared with him on and off stage was a gift.'

Wolf Van Halen, Eddie and Valerie Bertinelli's son, said his father died after a 'long and arduous battle with cancer' on Tuesday morning. Van Halen went on to marry actress Janie Liszewski in 2009.

'My heart is broken and I don't think I'll ever fully recover from this loss,' he added.

Bertinelli wrote on Twitter that her life changed 40 years ago when she met the guitarist.

'You gave me the one true light in my life, our son, Wolfgang,' the actress wrote. 'Through all your challenging treatments for lung cancer, you kept your gorgeous spirit and that impish grin.

'I'm so grateful Wolfie and I were able to hold you in your last moments. I will see you in our next life my love.'

Eddie Van Halen, whose full name was Edward Lodewijk Van Halen, and his brother Alex Van Halen began performing together as teens, but formed the core of what would later become Van Halen after meeting David Lee Roth.

Over four decades, Van Halen released more than a dozen albums together.

Van Halen's guitar wizardry anchored the band through four turbulent decades of platinum albums, sold-out tours and a revolving door of lead singers, from Roth to Sammy Hagar to Gary Cherone and back to Hagar and Roth again.

His solos crackled like lightning and powered all the band's signature songs: 'Runnin' With the Devil,' 'Panama,' 'Hot For Teacher,' 'Why Can't This Be Love?' and of course 'Jump' -- their only No. 1 hit -- which topped the pop singles charts in 1984.

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 harder rock edge.

Speaking to CNN in 2017 after making a charitable contribution to help raise money for school music programs, the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer noted the role music has played in his story.

'My whole life has been music,' he told CNN's John Vause. 'I could not imagine anything else.'

In a tribute for Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Guitarists, Van Halen, who was No. 8, wrote that Eric Clapton (No. 2) was 'basically the only guitar player who influenced me -- even though I don't sound like him.'

He added: '... what inspired me, what made me pick up a guitar, was his early stuff. I could play some of those solos now -- they're permanently imprinted in my brain. That blues-based sound is still the core of modern rock guitar.'

As news of Van Halen's death broke, his friends and fellow musicians paid tribute to the one-of-a-kind talent. Hagar wrote on Twitter that he was left 'heartbroken and speechless.'

Gene Simmons of KISS wrote on Twitter: 'Eddie was not only a Guitar God, but a genuinely beautiful soul.'

Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott said he saw Van Halen band perform in 1977 and that Eddie Van Halen 'reinvented guitar playing just like Jimi Hendrix had done a generation earlier.'

Geezer Butler of Black Sabbath called Van Halen 'one of the nicest, down to Earth men I have ever met and toured with.'

'A true gent and true genius,' he wrote on Twitter.

On Facebook, Ted Nugent said: 'Thank you Eddie for vitalizing enriching and stimulating our lives with your brilliance gifts and vision. Jam on my friend. Jam on.'

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 312521

Reported Deaths: 5498
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion42641849
Lake27152455
Allen18010298
Elkhart17177221
St. Joseph16799229
Hamilton13011167
Vanderburgh9751120
Tippecanoe858727
Porter827986
Johnson6389165
Hendricks6098157
Vigo608384
Monroe536750
Clark515077
Madison5060122
Delaware4905103
LaPorte465595
Kosciusko462339
Howard344277
Warrick325672
Bartholomew316863
Floyd316277
Wayne307770
Cass299931
Marshall299144
Grant272550
Noble255046
Hancock253852
Henry247537
Boone244554
Dubois237931
Dearborn219030
Jackson215534
Morgan210843
Knox187819
Gibson186925
Shelby182155
Clinton180321
DeKalb177831
Lawrence177648
Adams168222
Miami162614
Wabash162521
Daviess156443
Fayette149234
Steuben147113
Jasper144412
Harrison142924
LaGrange142630
Montgomery142127
Whitley137114
Ripley132115
Huntington127410
Decatur126143
Putnam124627
Randolph124519
Wells124429
White123222
Clay122523
Posey122116
Jefferson118816
Scott109020
Greene102653
Jay99013
Sullivan96416
Starke92021
Jennings85314
Fulton84518
Spencer8378
Perry82521
Fountain7798
Washington7527
Franklin69927
Carroll68613
Orange67328
Vermillion6243
Owen6087
Tipton57627
Parke5706
Newton56312
Rush5438
Blackford53412
Pike50919
Pulaski39515
Martin3585
Brown3424
Benton3402
Crawford2941
Union2702
Switzerland2575
Warren2382
Ohio2317
Unassigned0266

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 382743

Reported Deaths: 6274
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin51161671
Cuyahoga37222743
Hamilton30493372
Montgomery20518236
Butler15199148
Lucas14566417
Summit13933327
Stark9193206
Warren841976
Mahoning7530300
Lake710067
Lorain6690106
Clermont593651
Delaware572537
Licking564577
Trumbull5584147
Fairfield554464
Greene538066
Clark5218101
Allen494989
Marion476759
Medina471657
Wood4598107
Miami437568
Pickaway404048
Portage358972
Columbiana357698
Tuscarawas342667
Richland328539
Wayne327394
Mercer296047
Muskingum252510
Hancock245940
Ross244559
Auglaize236435
Darke232560
Erie230268
Putnam229449
Ashtabula228354
Geauga211851
Scioto200616
Union19668
Shelby194017
Lawrence193039
Athens19134
Seneca182919
Belmont170229
Madison163119
Sandusky157729
Preble156521
Huron155519
Defiance144823
Holmes140439
Logan133517
Knox131718
Fulton128726
Jefferson128613
Crawford126817
Washington125227
Ottawa124530
Clinton109115
Williams10799
Ashland107825
Highland103718
Brown10135
Henry101323
Hardin99719
Champaign9825
Van Wert97318
Jackson96212
Fayette92717
Morrow9202
Guernsey89314
Coshocton85215
Perry82912
Adams80313
Pike7661
Gallia76513
Wyandot73217
Paulding66511
Hocking64516
Noble62224
Carroll48810
Meigs39612
Monroe32321
Morgan2685
Vinton2246
Harrison2193
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Overcast
46° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 41°
Angola
45° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 40°
Huntington
Overcast
46° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 40°
Decatur
Overcast
46° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 42°
Van Wert
Overcast
46° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 42°
Cloudy Thanksgiving
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events