Eddie died at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, California. His wife, Janie, was by his side, along with Wolfgang, and Alex, Eddie’s brother and VAN HALEN drummer.
The news broke on social media via his son, Wolf Van Halen’s Twitter account.
“He was the best father I could ever ask for,” commented Wolf. “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.
“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.
It was reported that Eddie’s ongoing health battle went massively downhill in the last 72 hours, with doctors discovering his cancer had moved to his brain as well as other organs.
There have been a lot of rumours regarding the VAN HALEN guitarist’s supposedly worsening health, with other news sites reporting recently that Van Halen has been travelling between the U.S. and Germany for cancer treatment going on several years now.
Back in September 2019, singer David Lee Roth said that there were no plans for VAN HALEN to do anything for the foreseeable future. “I think VAN HALEN’s finished and this is the next phase,” he said, referring to his solo project. “And that being said, Eddie’s got his own story to tell. Not mine to tell it.”
Last October, Eddie stopped by a McLaren dealership in Beverly Hills and mingled with the sales team, taking pictures and even giving one fan a kiss. A few days later, he was photographed at a spinal neurosurgeon’s office in Beverly Hills.
Early last year, rumours were rampant that the classic-era lineup of VAN HALEN would reunite for the first time since 1984. It’s unclear why the tour didn’t happen, though there has been online chatter that a health setback involving Eddie Van Halen might have been responsible.
Last November, it was reported that Eddie spent several days in a hospital due to complications from his cancer treatment. Sources close to the legendary guitarist told the site he was admitted to the hospital with intestinal issues and abdominal pain, both the result of a bad reaction to the drugs Eddie was reportedly taking to battle throat cancer.
Eddie Van Halen was born in Amsterdam and his family immigrated to California in 1962 when he was 7. His father was a big band clarinettist who rarely found work after coming to the U.S., and their mother was a maid who had dreams of her sons being classical pianists. The Van Halens shared a house with three other families. Eddie and Alex had only each other, a tight relationship that flowed through their music.
His ground-breaking ability as a guitarist will never be replaced leaving behind a discography that influenced an incalculable amount of bands/artists and musicians from all over the world.
He will be greatly missed.
Eddie Van Halen 1955 – 2020
Rest in Peace