Eddie Van Halen

Eddie Van Halen

Original Name Edward Lodewijk Van Halen
Amsterdam, Amsterdam Municipality, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Death 6 Oct 2020 (aged 65)
Santa Monica, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend
Memorial ID 216428287 · View Source
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Musician. He was born in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and in 1962, the family moved to the United States settling in Pasadena, California. He and his older brother, Alex Van Halen, were naturalized as US citizens and they learned to play the piano starting at the age of six. Eddie once said in an interview that he was not able to read music, but that instead he learned from watching and listening. During recitals of Bach or Mozart, he would improvise. From 1964 through 1967, he won first place in the annual piano competition held at Long Beach City College. Afterward, he would hear the judges comment that he had an interesting interpretation of the classical piece when he thought he was playing it the right way. In an interview, he said the playing the piano was not interesting or challenging to him. His brother, Alex, began playing the guitar and he began playing drums. He heard Alex play a drum solo in the song “Wipe Out” and decided to swap instruments and began to learn how to play the electric guitar. He and his brother, Alex, formed their first band with three other boys, calling themselves The Broken Combs, performing at lunchtime when he was in the fourth grade. He would later say that this was when he first felt the desire to become a professional musician. In 1972, he and his brother formed a band. Two years later, the band changed its name to Van Halen and, at the same time, became a staple of the Los Angeles music scene while playing at well-known clubs like the Whisky-a-Go-Go. In 1977, Warner Records offered Van Halen a recording contract. The band's first album “Van Halen” reached number 19 on the Billboard pop music charts, becoming one of rock's most commercially successful debuts. It was highly regarded as both a heavy metal and hard rock album. By the early 1980s, Van Halen was one of the most successful rock acts of the time. The album “1984” went five-times platinum a year after its release. The single "Jump" became the band's first and only number-one pop hit and got them a Grammy nomination. In 1992, the band won the Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance with Vocals for the album “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge.” In 2019, the band ranked 20th on the RIAA list of best-selling artists with 56 million album sales in the United States and more than 80 million worldwide. Additionally, Van Halen charted 13 number-one hits in the history of Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart. VH1 ranked the band seventh on a list of the top 100 hard rock artists of all time and, in 2007, Van Halen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Individually, Eddie received acclaim for his guitar work in the band. He also worked on several projects outside of the band, including solo work and partnerships with his brother on film soundtracks as well as musical collaborations with Kiss bassist Gene Simmons, Nicolette Larson, Michael Jackson, Brian May, Sammy Hagar, Black Sabbath, Roger Waters, Toto guitarist Steve Lukather, and LL Cool J. In addition, Eddie made cameo appearances in the music video for Frank Sinatra's "L.A. Is My Lady" and an episode of Two and a Half Men. He was also an inventor on three patents related to guitars: a folding prop to support a guitar in a flat position, a tension-adjusting tailpiece, and an ornamental design for a headstock. His 1978 instrumental solo "Eruption" was voted number two in Guitar World's readers’ poll of the "100 Greatest Guitar Solos", and it showcased a solo technique called tapping, using both left and right hands on the guitar neck. Although he popularized tapping, he did not invent the tapping technique, which had been used by flamenco guitarists for at least a century, as well as the likes of Western virtuosos like Paganini on both violin and guitar. Eddie named Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin as an influence, saying in one interview with Guitar World that he got the idea of tapping watching Jimmy Page do his "Heartbreaker" solo back in 1971. Eddie held a patent for a flip-out support device that attaches to the rear of the electric guitar until it expired in 2005. This device enables the user to employ the tapping technique by playing the guitar in a manner similar to the piano with the face of the guitar oriented upward instead of forward. He struggled with alcoholism and drug abuse. He began smoking and drinking at the age of 12, and he stated that he eventually needed alcohol to function. He entered rehabilitation in 2007, and later shared in an interview that he had been sober since 2008. Due to injuries from past, high-risk, acrobatic stage performances and crashes, he had hip replacement surgery in 1999 and in 2000, he began receiving treatment for tongue cancer resulting in surgery where he lost about one-third of his tongue. He was said to be cancer-free in 2002. In 2012, he underwent an emergency surgery for a severe bout of diverticulitis. After battling throat cancer for five years, he was hospitalized in 2019 and then died from the illness on October 6, 2020, at the age of 65.

Bio by: Glendora

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: SeekingFamily
  • Added: 6 Oct 2020
  • Find a Grave Memorial 216428287
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Eddie Van Halen (26 Jan 1955–6 Oct 2020), Find a Grave Memorial no. 216428287, ; Maintained by Find A Grave Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend.