Eddie Van Halen Tribute: 5 Best Songs of Both Eras Feat. Sammy Hagar
We lost one of the most influential and innovative guitarist of the Rock Era, when Eddie Van Halen succumbed to his long battle with throat cancer. He was only 65 years old. the word Legend is thrown around too much in the world we live in now. The over use of the term waters down the meaning for true legends and make no mistake the word legend was coined for EVH. Here at Professor of Rock, we want to honor to the Legend Eddie Van Halen through the music. Not only was Eddie one of the all-time greatest guitarists, he was also a master composer, lyricist, producer, and multi-instrumentalist. He was a lightning fast player, a relentless originator, and a veritable trailblazer. Here we break down Eddie’s top 5 song from both David Lee Roth era and the Sammy Hagar era including Runnin’ with the Devil, Dreams, 5150, Panama, Best of Both Worlds, Mean Streets, I’m the One, Jump, When It’s Love, Poundcake and more with commentary by Sammy Hagar.
Edward Lodewijk Van Halen (Dutch: [ˈɛdʋart ˈloːdəˌʋɛi̯k fɑn ˈɦaːlə(n)], /væn ˈheɪlɛn/ van HAY-len; January 26, 1955 – October 6, 2020) was an American musician, songwriter, producer, and inventor. He was the main songwriter and lead guitarist of the American rock band Van Halen, which he co-founded in 1972 with his brother, drummer Alex Van Halen, bassist Mark Stone, and singer David Lee Roth. He was well known for popularizing the tapping guitar solo technique, allowing rapid arpeggios to be played with two hands on the fretboard.
Van Halen 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.
Suffering from lingering injuries from past, high-risk, acrobatic stage performances and crashes, Van Halen underwent hip replacement surgery in 1999, after his chronic avascular necrosis, with which he was diagnosed in 1995, became unbearable. He began receiving treatment for tongue cancer in 2000. The subsequent surgery removed roughly a third of his tongue. He was declared cancer-free in 2002. He blamed the tongue cancer on his habit of holding guitar picks in his mouth, stating in 2015: “I used metal picks – they’re brass and copper – which I always held in my mouth, in the exact place where I got the tongue cancer. … I mean, I was smoking and doing a lot of drugs and a lot of everything. But at the same time, my lungs are totally clear. This is just my own theory, but the doctors say it’s possible.”
In 2012, Van Halen underwent an emergency surgery for a severe bout of diverticulitis. Recovery time required due to the surgery led to postponement of Van Halen tour dates scheduled in Japan. Van Halen was later hospitalized in 2019 after battling throat cancer over the previous five years. He died from the illness at Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California on October 6, 2020, at the age of 65