Joe Bonamassa has reflected on the passing of Eddie Van Halen, saying he was a “tremendously impactful” guitarist who “came up with some really inventive, powerful things.”
Bonamassa discussed his appreciation for the innovative VAN HALEN axeman, who died from cancer on October 6 at age 65, during an interview with Guitar Interactive magazine.
He said (see video below): “It’s like losing Stevie [Ray Vaughan] again, and [Jimi] Hendrix.
“[People] never would associate me being a big Eddie Van Halen fan.
“When I hear his stuff, especially early stuff, I hear a blues-rock guy that came up with some really inventive, powerful things,” he continued. “I hear the blues in it. I hear a lot of songs — even ‘Hot For Teacher’ and stuff like that — and it’s, like, ‘Let’s do ‘La Grange’ on 80.’ His tone, how clean it was — I can hear the [Eric] Clapton; I can hear the blues. And then he just would take it somewhere else.
“He was tremendously impactful to so many that you just go, there’s pre-Eddie [and then there’s] post-Eddie. That was it. I mean, how many single-humbucker Strats were before 1978? One knob and a bunch of stripes on it. Now there’s millions. That’s one guy. That’s how much he changed the name.”
Eddie died at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, California. His wife, Janie, was by his side, along with his son, Wolfgang, and Alex, Eddie‘s brother and VAN HALEN drummer.
The iconic VAN HALEN axeman died from complications due to cancer, his son confirmed.
VAN HALEN was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2007.
Rolling Stone magazine ranked Eddie Van Halen No. 8 in its list of the 100 greatest guitarists.
After undergoing hip replacement surgery in 1999 due to a chronic joint problem, Eddie was diagnosed with mouth cancer in 2000 and had to have part of his tongue surgically removed. He later battled throat cancer and reportedly had been receiving radiation treatment in Germany. It is believed that his heavy smoking over the years led to his long battle with cancer.