I was fortunate enough to see Van Halen several times. Once, in 1982, when David Lee Roth was still the lead singer, and a couple of times with Sammy Hagar singing lead. I have to say those concerts were memorable, not for the music but for the fun. On stage, those guys just seemed to be enjoying themselves. Later on we’d start hearing about all of the dirt of the sex, drugs, and alcohol, but I can’t say it really took me by surprise.
I’d heard a few years back about problems with his throat and cancer, most likely from the amount of smoking he did. I rarely saw him in an interview without a cigarette. He lost part of his tongue to cancer in 2000. Apparently now he’d been battling it in his throat for the better part of five years.
Eddie is survived by his son, Wolfgang, with actress Valerie Bertinelli. Wolfie is the one who announced his death earlier today on Twitter. Eddie was 65 years old.
I hear he’s getting a band together with Neil Peart. There’s a great band in the making for when I get to rock & roll heaven.