I can’t pretend to be the biggest Van Halen fan. Growing up, I enjoyed their poppier tracks like “Jump” and “Right Now”, mostly recognizing them from placement in ads or movies. But as I got older, I heard “Eruption”, and there was no denying the virtuoso skill of guitarist Eddie Van Halen.
As I listened to more music by the hard rock band, the stand-out of their catalogue was always Van Halen‘s incendiary guitar playing. Whether on his own tracks, or songs like Michael Jackson‘s “Beat It”, he knew how to make the guitar fierce while still melodic. Now, I can’t listen to any hard rock albums without hearing his influences.
Today, Eddie Van Halen lost a long battle with cancer at the age of 65. Celebrate his life by celebrating the music he created.