Tony Iommi, David Lee Roth and more pay tribute to the late Eddie Van Halen
Fellow musicians from the rock community took to social media to celebrate the achievements of the 65-year-old guitar icon.
L-R: David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen performing in 2015 / Photo: John Medina / Wire Image
Edward “Eddie” Van Halen, the guitar pioneer and icon who helmed the legendary rock band Van Halen, died Wednesday (7 October) from throat cancer.
Tributes – from fellow artists in the rock community, as well as from the guitar icon’s Van Halen bandmates – have, and continue to pour in online. Here’s what some had to say…
David Lee Roth
Van Halen singer David Lee Roth took to Twitter to remember his fallen bandmate. “What a Long Great Trip It’s Been,” Roth wrote.
What a Long Great Trip It’s Been.. pic.twitter.com/M5pmkVi7hW
— David Lee Roth (@DavidLeeRoth) October 7, 2020
Vocalist Sammy Hagar – who fronted Van Halen from 1985 to 1996, as well as in a brief reunion from 2003 to 2005 – also tweeted: “Heartbroken and speechless. My love to the family.”
Heartbroken and speechless. My love to the family. pic.twitter.com/MQMueMF2XO
— Sammy Hagar (@sammyhagar) October 6, 2020
Guitarist Tony Iommi, whose Black Sabbath toured with Van Halen in the late 70s, remembered the guitarist.
“I’m just devastated to hear the news of the passing of my dear friend Eddie Van Halen,” Iommi wrote. “He fought a long and hard battle with his cancer right to the very end. Eddie was one of a very special kind of person, a really great friend. Rest In Peace my dear friend till we meet again.”
I’m just devastated to hear the news of the passing of my dear friend Eddie Van Halen. He fought a long and hard battle with his cancer right to the very end. Eddie was one of a very special kind of person, a really great friend. Rest In Peace my dear friend till we meet again. pic.twitter.com/Qs8tsLPANJ
— Tony Iommi (@tonyiommi) October 6, 2020
Black Sabbath singer Ozzy Osbourne also remembered Van Halen, writing that he was “one of the nicest guys I ever worked with.”
“His influence on music and especially the guitar has been immeasurable,” Osbourne added. “He was an absolute legend. Eddie, I’ll see you on the other side, my friend.”
. @EddieVanHalen was one of the nicest guys I ever worked with and we shared so many laughs together. His influence on music and especially the guitar has been immeasurable. He was an absolute legend. Eddie, I’ll see you on the other side, my friend. Love, Ozzy.
— Ozzy Osbourne (@OzzyOsbourne) October 6, 2020
Black Sabbath’s Geezer Butler also paid tribute, writing: “So shocking – one of the nicest, down to earth men I have ever met and toured with. A true gent and true genius. RIP.”
Just when I thought 2020 couldn't get any worse, I hear Eddie Van Halen has passed. So shocking- One of the nicest, down to Earth men I have ever met and toured with. A true gent and true genius. RIP. So sad.Thoughts go out to his brother Alex, and his family. pic.twitter.com/fwIw040YMX
— Geezer Butler (@geezerbutler) October 6, 2020
Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott and Vivian Campbell paid tribute to Van Halen, each penning a statement in praise of Van Halen’s guitar mastery.
“I saw Van Halen destroy Sabbath at the Sheffield City hall in 1977,” Elliott wrote. “Eddie was a big part of that, having essentially reinvented guitar playing just like Jimi Hendrix had done a generation earlier.”
Campbell recalled first hearing Van Halen’s music when a guitarist friend brought over the band’s first LP to his house.
“It was a moment that redefined everything that I thought was possible about playing the guitar,” Campbell tweeted. “The goalposts had just been moved. I stayed up all that night trying to learn from Eddie. Many decades later, and I’m still learning from Eddie.”
Very sad to hear about the passing of the legendary @eddievanhalen. You will be missed. #RIPEddieVanHalen
📸: @markweissguy #EddieVanHalen @VanHalen pic.twitter.com/x4J6nfxOqY
— Def Leppard (@DefLeppard) October 6, 2020
Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, a fellow Los Angeles musician, mourned the fallen guitar icon in a message shared to Twitter.
“Oh man, bless his beautiful creative heart,” Flea tweeted. “I love you Eddie Van Halen, an LA boy, a true rocker. I hope you jam with Jimi tonight. Break through to the other side my brother.”
Oh man, bless his beautiful creative heart. I love you Eddie Van Halen, an LA boy, a true rocker. I hope you jam with Jimi tonight. Break through to the other side my brother. ❤️❤️❤️ https://t.co/XpcTlPJq9A
— Flea (@flea333) October 6, 2020
Wolfgang Van Halen
Van Halen’s son, Wolfgang Van Halen, first confirmed news of his father’s passing in a statement over Twitter.
“I can’t believe I’m having to write this,” the statement read. “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.”
— Wolf Van Halen (@WolfVanHalen) October 6, 2020
Guitarist John Mayer paid tribute on Instagram, writing: “Eddie Van Halen was a guitar superhero. A true virtuoso. A stunningly good musician and composer. Looking up to him as a young kid was one of the driving forces in my needing to pick up a guitar.”
“Learning to play the guitar taught me so many things, but still absolutely nothing about how to play like Eddie Van Halen. And for that reason, I never stopped watching him in adolescent awe and wonder, and I promise you I never will. So very sad to learn of his passing. My love to his family, his bandmates, his friends and his crew.”
The full post is below:
Guitarist Nita Strauss wrote on Instagram: “The word ‘innovator’ gets thrown around a lot in this industry. In my humble opinion, there is no one it applies to more than the great Eddie Van Halen. Thank you for being THE innovator, the ultimate pioneer of these six strings and blazing a trail for so many of us to attempt to follow. Forever an inspiration.’ Her full post is below:
Dream Theater’s John Petrucci also paid tribute on Instagram, writing: “EVH changed guitar forever and was a tremendous inspiration for me and countless guitarists everywhere. Today the guitar community and the world mourn the loss of a true innovator, legend and one of the greatest musical icons of our time. My deepest sympathies go out to his family. May you Rest In Peace Eddie.”
Kiss’ Gene Simmons wrote on Twitter: “Eddie was not only a Guitar God, but a genuinely beautiful soul. Rest in peace, Eddie!”
My heart is broken. Eddie was not only a Guitar God, but a genuinely beautiful soul. Rest in peace, Eddie! …Eddie Van Halen Dead at 65 from Cancer https://t.co/gITtcndQVv
— Gene Simmons (@genesimmons) October 6, 2020
Simmons’ bandmate Paul Stanley wrote: “Speechless. A trailblazer and someone who always gave everything to his music. A good soul.” His full tweet is below:
Oh NO! Speechless. A trailblazer and someone who always gave everything to his music. A good soul. I remember first seeing him playing at the Starwood in 1976 and he WAS Eddie Van Halen. So shocked and sad. My condolences to Wolfie and the family. https://t.co/ExAWzFAEYJ
— Paul Stanley (@PaulStanleyLive) October 6, 2020
Billy Idol wrote on Twitter: “Rest in peace guitar legend Eddie Van Halen. We will miss you.”
Rest in peace guitar legend Eddie Van Halen. 💔 We will miss you. #fuckcancer @eddievanhalen #eddievanhalen pic.twitter.com/S4vnN3tyWc
— Billy Idol (@BillyIdol) October 6, 2020
Mötley Crüe’s Nikki Sixx on Twitter: “Crushed. So fucking crushed … You were the Mozart of rock guitar.”
Crushed. So fucking crushed. RIP Eddie Van Halen. You changed our world. You were the Mozart of rock guitar. Travel safe rockstar.
— —Nikki Sixx— (@NikkiSixx) October 6, 2020
Singer and guitarist Lenny Kravitz wrote that “Heaven will be electric tonight” – and posted a fantastically energetic photo of Van Halen playing live.
Legendary guitar and musical innovator Edward Van Halen. 1955-2020. Heaven will be electric tonight. pic.twitter.com/hdLd7atI74
— Lenny Kravitz (@LennyKravitz) October 6, 2020
Music legend Brian Wilson also took to Twitter to pay tribute, writing: “I just heard about Eddie Van Halen and I feel terrible about it. Eddie was such a great guitarist and I remember how big Van Halen was, especially here in L.A. Love and Mercy to Eddie’s family & friends.”
I just heard about Eddie Van Halen and I feel terrible about it. Eddie was such a great guitarist and I remember how big Van Halen was, especially here in L.A. Love and Mercy to Eddie’s family & friends. pic.twitter.com/PY8fyrx1Lu
— Brian Wilson (@BrianWilsonLive) October 6, 2020
Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler wrote: “He changed the course of guitar whammy bar rock and rhyme… a game-changer. And his melodic crazy was over the top. We’ll miss you Eddie.”
HE CHANGED THE COURSE OF GUITAR WHAMMY BAR ROCK & RHYME… A GAME CHANGER… AND HIS MELODIC CRAZY WAS OVER THE TOP… WE’LL MISS YOU EDDIE…
LOVE FROM ABOVE
— Steven Tyler (@IamStevenT) October 7, 2020
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