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Eddie van Halen: Rock star and guitar legend dies of throat cancer aged 65 '

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Sad news.   Eddie was doing stuff on guitar that was unthinkable in 1977.  All the cool dudes were thinking punk was the way to go and unlearning guitar and along comes perhaps the most innovative guitar album of all time.

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Devastated by the passing of a musical leviathan. Easily in the top 10 of most guitarists, even if they’re not even a fan of rock music, and probably holds the top spot for many. Despite what seemed like a symbiotic relationship with his guitar he hardly ever tried to overshadow a great song with an over egged solo. Indeed, his solos always left you wanting more, unless you were fortunate enough to see him live and unleashed. So pleased he lived through his genius & realised his greatness was that of a true legend. RIP Eddie Van Halen..

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58 minutes ago, Barking Spiders said:

And he and his band made rock fun, something which has largely been absent from rock ever since. 

Absolutely, larger than life, great music, and mostly smiling all the way, they appeared to be both totally in love with the genre whilst often parodying it at the same time. DLR (and we're not talking train lines) was possibly the best front man ever, and EVH was likely the single most heard guitarist of the 80's - Jump, Beat It etc - up against some pretty stiff opposition that decade.  

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Posted (edited)

We will miss you, Eddie. :(

Am I the only fan who had been expecting this for years now, though? Gutted as I am, I'm not surprised because he'd been fighting this for at least two decades. I never bought his line of 'I drank, smoked and did drugs - a lot - for quite a long time in my life, but this cancer's all the fault of my metal plectrum. Honestly.' Yeah, right.

Thankfully, his legacy lives on.There are guitarists who play a lot of notes very fast, with no sense of melody, rhythm or serving the song, and say they were inspired by Eddie; I hope they take this moment as an opportunity to go back and listen to his guitar playing on VH songs, and try to understand how it actually works.

RIP EVH. :(

Edited by Silvia Bluejay
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Just now, Silvia Bluejay said:

Am I the only fan who had been expecting this for years now, though? Gutted as I am, I'm not surprised because he'd been fighting this for at least two decades. I never bought his line of 'I drank, smoked and did drugs - a lot - for quite a long time in my life, but this cancer's all the fault of my metal plectrum. Honestly.' Yeah, right.

Yep, reminds me of Michael Douglas and his alleged carcinogenic activities :) 

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50 minutes ago, Beedster said:

Yep, reminds me of Michael Douglas and his alleged carcinogenic activities :) 

 

Lol! Having spent 25 years in a KISS tribute and partaking in Gene-like antics I'm also worried..... ;)

 

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I bet I'm not the only one who will never ever forget the first time they heard 'Eruption'. Round at a mate's house, he'd just bought the album and as the second track played we all just stared at the stereo, and someone said what we were all thinking: "What the F**K is THAT??". Unbelievable stuff.

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34 minutes ago, cetera said:

 

Lol! Having spent 25 years in a KISS tribute and partaking in Gene-like antics I'm also worried..... ;)

 

I don't think 'cupping a feel' - as he once described it - is carcinogenic... ;)

Mind you, getting slapped in the face hurts though. :D

Gene famously doesn't do and has never done drugs.

 

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3 hours ago, Marvin said:

I'm not a big fan of Van Halen, but I'm truly gutted. His impact and influence cannot be overstated.

I did see this on Twitter, which makes for a smile on sad days like these

 

IMG_20201007_080400.jpg.e6f0bf43285fdfd651d57e76c7600a5e.jpg

 

I like Eddie even more now (almos as much as my dislike for Durst).

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This one feels very close to home. As has been said, a gamechanger and a legend, whose influence on rock guitar is arguably unsurpassed. Plus, as has also been said, done with a levity and a famous grin that made the subsequent gurners look like they were trying far too hard...

His gift for a hook line and great songwriting wasn't restricted to the guitar, either - some of the keyboards on the Van Hagar songs are world class.

65 is no age, tho having just read Sammy Hagar's autobiography, it's safe to say he lived a, erm, big life...

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While Eddie was a singular guitar talent, he did pave the way for legions of shredders who seemed to've missed the point that rock n roll should be fun. I'm just thinking back to '92 when I saw VH in Michigan and contrasting that with seeing G3 at the NIA Brum in the early noughties. Aye caramba that was a snooze and a half

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Every now and then someone dies that I have never met but it moves me to sadness. This is one such occasion. A true legend has left us. 

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I was lucky enough to see VH on their first UK tour in 1978 supporting Black Sabbath. They absolutely blew Sabbath off the stage. Out with the old and in with the new.

From the young, wide-eyed and impressionable like myself, through to the dyed in the wool rockers, the audience were aware something special was taking place. It’s not a stretch to say that no one had ever seen anything like it before. They came on stage with a handful of people in attendance and by the time they’d finished the theatre bars were empty and the place was packed - almost unheard of for a support act!

As I lost touch with a lot of the bands I liked in my youth, VH were someone I always went back to, mainly due to the smile I know they’d put on my face. In your face rock ‘n’ roll, but in a fun and joyous way, with tongue firmly in cheek!

There’s a really good piece by Michael Hann in today’s Guardian where he not only praises Eddie’s unique talent and game-changing approach to the guitar, but also highlights the often overlooked (pop-like) quality of their songs, and Eddie’s songwriting. In it there is a link to The Bird and the Bee, and their reworking of VH songs, which is definitely worth a listen and showcases the pop sensibilities that EVH and DLR brought to the band.
 

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/oct/07/eddie-van-halen-was-the-heir-to-hendrix-electric-guitar

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I think the magic of Van Halen ( and I loved both singers eras) was that, even without the revolutionary solos, they had great, 4 minute, catchy memorable songs, the guitar wizadry was just the extremely wonderful cream on top of an exquisite cake.

Sure, many shredders came in his wake and created some great music, but Eddie did it within the song and did what other widdlers did in a 5/6 minute instrumental in a twenty second burst , and that meant a lot more.

I particularly loved his little touches and embellishments, witness the playing on 'When It's Love' live, just beautiful. RIP, smiling man.

 

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3 hours ago, Rich said:

I bet I'm not the only one who will never ever forget the first time they heard 'Eruption'. Round at a mate's house, he'd just bought the album and as the second track played we all just stared at the stereo, and someone said what we were all thinking: "What the F**K is THAT??". Unbelievable stuff.

Yup.  Running With The Devil (still my fave VH track to this day) got some air play when the album was released and, after hearing that, I bought the album.  As you say, first listening, not expecting it.  Kaboom.

My only caveat to the whole of this was I don't think he was a very nice person but that is a whole other can of beans and doesn't detract from his place in history.

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His niceness was inverse to the effect of his alcoholism, which he did overcome. Not just in the tributes since yesterday, but there are lots of accounts of him being a very nice fella.

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As everyone else has mentioned already he was truly an inspiration for so many guitarists.

The full VH band at the start in 78 was simply an incredible show to watch. EVH and DLR were both the ultimate showmen. Add to that the incredible Mike Anthony on bass and Alex VH on drums you had a wall of sound to back EVH showmanship.

For me the ultimate fun rock band.

Dave

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40 minutes ago, Beedster said:

This is a nice clip

 

  I still haven't worked out whether EVH invented the two handed tap, but he's one of the few who managed to make it musical. Bizarrely the two handed tapping bit in Eruption is the only bit I can even get close to playing.

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1 minute ago, Nicko said:

  I still haven't worked out whether EVH invented the two handed tap, but he's one of the few who managed to make it musical. Bizarrely the two handed tapping bit in Eruption is the only bit I can even get close to playing.

I think Jimmy Webster, a demonstrator for Gretsch guitars is often cited as the first person to do it. However, I suspect some flamenco guitarists must’ve employed a similar technique in the dim and distant past. EVH certainly brought it to the masses and made it mainstream.

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This is a nice clip too - from about 38 minutes in if the link doesn't work properly

 

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8 hours ago, Silvia Bluejay said:

We will miss you, Eddie. :(

Am I the only fan who had been expecting this for years now, though? Gutted as I am, I'm not surprised because he'd been fighting this for at least two decades. I never bought his line of 'I drank, smoked and did drugs - a lot - for quite a long time in my life, but this cancer's all the fault of my metal plectrum. Honestly.' Yeah, right.

Thankfully, his legacy lives on.There are guitarists who play a lot of notes very fast, with no sense of melody, rhythm or serving the song, and say they were inspired by Eddie; I hope they take this moment as an opportunity to go back and listen to his guitar playing on VH songs, and try to understand how it actually works.

RIP EVH. :(

Remember, it’s the cigarettes that got him, rather than the booze or the Charlie (they just made him act like a d1ck at times, although I know people who met him who said that he was a great guy). Also, much as I would like to believe the Fred Durst story, it doesn’t really ring true with what I’ve heard about him.

As far as I’m concerned, he was the GOAT rock and roll guitar player! He was up there with Hendrix for innovation, a terrific rhythm player and possibly the most distinctive lead guitarist ever. If you listen to his isolated guitar tracks, it is amazing how fluid his playing was, how clean he picked and his timing / groove were outstanding.

Often imitated but never equalled…

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Came home from my dad’s funeral yesterday to the news about Eddie (Was a huge VH fan when I was younger). What a day. 

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