Eddie Van Halen “has lost his long and arduous battle with cancer this morning,” posted his son Wolfgang

It’s with heavy heart that we are reporting that Van Halen guitar virtuoso and co-founder, Eddie Van Halen, has passed away today, October 6. The musician died at 65, following a merciless battle with throat cancer for many years.

According to the source, Eddie died at St. Johns Hospital in Santa Monica. Over the past three days his health had reportedly deteriorated significantly. The Van Halen musician had been battling cancer for more than a decade, TMZ reports. The disease was recently found to have spread all the way to his brain and other organs.

At the time of his death Eddie was surrounded by his dearest ones. His wife Janie, son Wolfgang and his brother, Van Halen drummer, Alex, were there by his side at the hospital.

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In fact, Eddie had been hospitalized many times over the past year. Last November, the guitarist went through a course of chemotherapy due to suffering from intestinal issues.

Eddie Van Halen’s son Wolfgang confirmed the news on social media and wrote heartfelt words about his father:

“I can’t believe I’m having to write this, but my father, Edward Lodewijk Van Halen, has lost his long and arduous battle with cancer this morning,” he says. “He was the best father I could ever ask for. Every moment I’ve shared with him on and off stage was a gift. My heart is broken and I don’t think I’ll ever fully recover from this loss. I love you so much, Pop.”

A Dutch immigrant in California, Eddie could play almost any music instrument. Curiously enough, he couldn’t read music, according to Fox6. Eddie founded Van Halen band with his brother Alex and rocketed it to the height of one of hard rock’s biggest groups. Van Halen were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. Eddie’s mindblowing guitar riffs also granted him No. 8 spot in its list of the 100 greatest guitarists by Rolling Stone.

And those of you who are less familiar with Van Halen’s legacy surely have heard Eddie’s unforgettable powerful solo in Michael Jackson’s hit ‘Beat It’. The funny part is that his 20-second-long solo took only half an hour to record, and Eddie did it for free, as a favor to producer Quincy Jones.

Did you know that for a while Eddie intended to become a drummer, not a guitarist? “I never wanted to play guitar,” the musician admitted during at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in 2015. Eddie even got a drum set but in the end let his brother stick to it: “I said, ‘Go ahead, take my drums. I’ll play your damn guitar.’”

And since yesterday many European countries celebrated the Teacher’s Day, let us remind ourselves of one of the most successful Van Halen tracks, ‘Hot For Teacher’. Stay tuned with us on AlteRock Facebook and AlteRock Twitter!