This week’s featured artist is Eddie Van Halen, who sadly passed away yesterday at 65 years old after a lengthy battle with throat cancer. Born Edward Lodewijk Van Halen on January 26th 1955, he was a Dutch-American musician, songwriter, producer, and inventor. Eddie was the main songwriter and lead guitarist of the American rock band Van Halen, which he co-founded in 1972 with his brother, drummer Alex Van Halen, bassist Mark Stone, and singer David Lee Roth.
Eddie’s 1978 instrumental solo “Eruption”, which was voted number 2 in Guitar World’s readers poll of the “100 Greatest Guitar Solos”, showcased a solo technique called tapping, using both left and right hands on the guitar neck. He became known for popularizing tapping, which allowed him to play rapid arpeggios with two hands on the fretboard, as well as his screaming whammy bends. Early in Van Halen’s career, Eddie would turn his back to the crowd during tapping solos to disparage copycats.
Eddie’s approach to the guitar has influenced an entire generation of guitarists. Eddie, like many rock guitarists, never fully learned to read music. He is regarded as having revolutionized the instrument as a self-taught prodigy, virtuoso, a guitar hero, and the greatest guitar player of his generation.
In 2012, he was voted number one in a Guitar World magazine reader’s poll for “The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”. In January 2007, Van Halen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Individually, Eddie received acclaim for his guitar work in the band.
Check below for a live video and tab of Feel Your Love Tonight from 2015, first released on their eponymous debut record from 1978.
Rest in Peace Eddie, and thank you for your music.
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