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Eddie Van Halen- Arguably The Greatest Guitarist And Innovator In History

Eddie Van Halen- Arguably The Greatest Guitarist And Innovator In History

Edward Lodewijk Van Halen was born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on January 26, 1955. Eddie and his brother Alex studied improvisational classical music as children in Pasadena.

Kenzo Norman
Last updated: Jan 21, 2022 | Dec 10, 2021

Table of Contents

Edward Lodewijk Van Halen was a musician and songwriter from the United States. He co-founded Van Halen with his brother, drummer Alex Van Halen, bassist Mark Stone, and singer David Lee Roth in 1972. He was the band's principal songwriter and guitarist. He was known for popularising the tapping guitar solo method, which allowed quick arpeggios to be played with two hands on the fretboard. He is considered one of the all-time finest guitar players in rock history.

Eddie Van Halen Biography

Edward Lodewijk Van Halen was born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on January 26, 1955. Eddie and his brother Alex studied improvisational classical music as children in Pasadena. Eddie, in particular, was a musical prodigy. His musical influences were Eric Clapton and Jimmy.

He memorized Clapton's solos by listening to his CDs. They were so into music that they formed their first band in elementary school. Eddie took up the guitar and Alex the drums as teenagers, quitting classical music to join Mammoth.

It was created in 1974 by the Van Halen brothers, David Lee Roth, and Michael Anthony. With Eddie's signature guitar sound and Roth's equally distinctive vocals, the band became an instant hit in the Los Angeles rock scene.

Van Halen performing

Eddie Van Halen Songs

When Kiss's bassist, Gene Simmons, heard their music in a tiny club in 1977, he gave them their first big break. Gene financed Eddie and the boys' first recording session there. Eddie released their debut album, Runnin' With the Devil, with Warner Bros. in 1978, just a year after their big break. With Eddie's amazing guitar skills and Roth's amazing vocals, the album went platinum in six months.

Van Halen became one of the highest-paid bands in the business as a result of their incredible work ethic. It was a quick succession of multi-platinum albums after their debut. Women and children came first, followed by Fair Warning a year later, and Diver Down in 1982. Their real breakthrough came with the release of their album 1984, which featured future hits like "Hot for Teacher" and "Jump."

Here are Eddie van Halen’s 20 Greatest Solos:

  • "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" (1978)
  • "Eruption" (1978)
  • "I'm the One" (1978)
  • "Ice Cream Man" (1978)
  • "You're No Good" (1979)
  • "Somebody Get Me a Doctor" (1979)
  • "Spanish Fly" (1979)
  • "Mean Street" (1981)
  • Michael Jackson, "Beat It" (1982)
  • "Push Comes to Shove" (1982)
  • "Cathedral" (1982)
  • "Panama" (1984)
  • "Drop Dead Legs" (1984)
  • "Hot for Teacher" (1984)
  • "Jump" (1984)
  • "Dreams" (1986)
  • "Mine All Mine" (1988)
  • "Right Now" (1991)
  • "Humans Being" (1996)
  • "China Town" (2012)

Eddie Van Halen Guitar

All his life, Van Halen used bespoke gear. His first guitar choice was a Gibson Les Paul, which he modified to sound like Eric Clapton by replacing the bridge P90 pickup with a humbucker.

In 1982, Van Halen signed his first guitar endorsement deal with Kramer, introducing the 5150 Baretta model. This collaboration lasted ten years. Van Halen began collaborating with Ernie Ball/Music Man in 1991 to make the Music Man EVH model guitar, which lasted until 1995. In 1996, Van Halen partnered up with Peavey to create the Peavey EVH Wolfgang; this partnership lasted until 2004 when Van Halen linked up with Fender to create the Edward-endorsed Art Series guitars under Fender's Charvel brand, and then the EVH brand.

Guitarist Eddie Van Halen performs

Eddie Van Halen Tapping

In 1978, Eddie released "Eruption." It was ranked number two on Guitar World's list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Solos. Eddie popularised the tapping method he employed in this show. Using both hands on the guitar's neck is called "tapping."

Eddie wasn't the first to use it. Several guitarists had used the approach before him, but he popularised it. Eddie had a unique guitar style. He employed equipment to alter the guitar tone. Eddie Van Halen is always striving to improve his talents. Eddie became known as the finest guitarist ever.

Eddie Van Halen Wife

In 1980, Van Halen met Valerie Bertinelli, who was an actress, in Shreveport, Louisiana. On April 11, 1981, they married in California and had a son, Wolfgang, in 1991. He divorced in 2005 after four years of separation in Los Angeles, which was finalized in 2007.

Eddie proposed to his then-girlfriend, Janie Liszewski, an actress and stuntwoman who was also Van Halen's publicist. His son Wolfgang and ex-wife Bertinelli were present at the 2009 wedding. His brother, Alex Van Halen, is performed Eddie's 2009 wedding and Valerie Bertinelli's 2011 wedding.

Eddie Van Halen Cause Of Death

Van Halen had emergency surgery for diverticulitis in August 2012. Hospitalized in November 2019 for cancer treatment problems. Eddie Van Halen has been battling throat cancer since 2015. Eddie passed away on October 6, 2020, at the age of 65.

What Was The Official Cause Of Death Of Eddie Van Halen?

The death certificate states that while Eddie had cancer, a stroke was the direct cause of his death. The death certificate also lists pneumonia, myelodysplastic syndrome (a bone marrow condition), and throat cancer.

What Was Eddie Van Halen's Net Worth When He Died?

Eddie Van Halen's net worth was $120 million at the time of his death. He was Van Halen's richest member.

What Were Eddie Van Halen's Last Words?

“'I love you,' Ed whispers to Wolfie and me before he ceases breathing,” Valerie, his wife said, adding that their son Wolfgang was also there during his last breath. Eddie died of throat cancer in October 2020 at the age of 65.


Without Eddie Van Halen, it's difficult to conceive what rock & roll would sound like. He, like Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, and Eric Clapton, redefined the guitar language for a generation. His pyrotechnic finger-tapping, elastic dive bombs, and bursts of melody revolutionized the guitar solo, inspiring thousands of imitators. But no matter what he was doing, he put his heart into it.

Kenzo Norman | Kenzo is a journalist-turned-marketer who is fascinated by how storytelling and targeted marketing can result in content that changes businesses. He is responsible for implementing inbound marketing strategies that help his clients raise brand awareness, generate leads, and gain new customers as an Account Executive. Jason enjoys reading on the beach, tracking down mono records, and playing guitar when he is not working.


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