Van Halen songs like “Runnin’ With The Devil,” “Panama” and “Hot For Teacher” were the soundtrack to the lives of so many generations of rock fans, and there’s barely a musician in the world — guitarists especially — who didn’t idolize the fast-fingered, innovative playing of Eddie Van Halen.
His death leaves a guitar-shaped hole in the universe.
Eddie Van Halen’s longtime bandmate, Michael Anthony shared a photo with only the words “heartbroken” as he sent condolences to Van Halen’s family. David Lee Roth later put out a statement of his own.
Former Van Halen singers Sammy Hagar and Gary Cherone shared their shock in their own posts.
Heartbroken and speechless. My love to the family. pic.twitter.com/MQMueMF2XO
— Sammy Hagar (@sammyhagar) October 6, 2020
Whether you were blessed to have known him or not, He was a kind and gentle soul… His impact on ALL our lives was immeasurable! His music, eternal! My deepest sympathies to the Van Halen family… Love you Ed #LongLiveTheKing!
— Gary Cherone (@garycherone) October 6, 2020
The members of Metallica called Eddie Van Halen an “inspiration” and an “idol”:
Motley Crue‘s Nixxi Sixx called Van Halen the “Mozart of rock guitar.”
Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, another Los Angeles band who achieved huge fame, referenced Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix in his Tweet about Van Halen’s “beautiful, creative heart.”
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
In a statement to SPIN, former Alice Cooper and Thin Lizzy guitarist Damon Johnson said, “He was my hero, my #1 guy; no one came close. What Eric Clapton was to Eddie, Eddie was to me. I remember the first time I heard “Eruption.” I remember every molecule of the moment, in my friend’s Chevy Van with shag carpeting on the wall. It was like, ‘what the fuck is THAT?!’ Greatest of all time.”
KISS guitarist/singer Paul Stanley called the guitarist a “good soul” and sent condolences to his son Wolfie, whose mother is Van Halen’s ex-wife Valerie Bertinelli.
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
Gene Simmons who produced Van Halen’s first demo, also shared his shock.
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
Alex Skolnick of Testament said the loss of Eddie Van Halen left him “speechless” and “unable to function.”
There have been many big losses in the music world but few that just stop you in your tracks, leave you speechless and basically unable to function #RIPEddieVanHalen
— Alex Skolnick (@AlexSkolnick) October 6, 2020
Ed Roland of the band Collective Soul added a personal note to his remembrance: “As much of a talented monster he was on guitar, he also was one of the most kind, sweet and generous souls I’ve ever met. RIP Eddie.”
Food Network TV host Guy Fieri, who is friends with quite a few rockstars, including former Van Halen singer Sammy Hagar, expressed his condolences as well.
— Guy Fieri (@GuyFieri) October 6, 2020
See more of the tributes below:
. @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
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
— Pearl Jam (@PearlJam) October 6, 2020
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
I am devastated at the news of the passing of my friend Eddie Van Halen. pic.twitter.com/hUyIdKXsdG
— Kenny Chesney (@kennychesney) October 6, 2020
Rest In Peace Edward Van Halen. https://t.co/VdUACX5zJn
— Official Dio (@OfficialRJDio) October 6, 2020
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