Edward Lodewijk Van Halen, known popularly as Eddie Van Halen, was born on January 26, 1995. He was one of the most innovative and influential guitarists on the American music scene. Van Halen was his hard rock band, and he was the lead guitarist and co-founder. He was a huge fan of Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton and would listen to Clapton’s records at all hours of the day and night, teaching himself to play each of his solos. He initially called the band Mammoth and was joined by his brother Alex. Van Halen passed away from throat cancer on June 10, 2020, at 65. We celebrate his birthday today.
Edward Lodewijk Van Halen
Eddie Van Halen, EVH
January 26, 1955
October 6, 2020 (age 65)
Eddie Van Halen, born on January 26, 1955, was a musician, songwriter, producer, and inventor who was born in the Netherlands and raised in the United States. He was a founding member of the Van Halen rock band. Van Halen’s parents were Eugenia (van Beers) and clarinetist, saxophonist, and pianist Jan Van Halen. His father was a native of the Netherlands. His mother was Eurasian, hailing from Rangkasbitung on the island of Java in the Dutch East Indies, now Indonesia; she was of Indonesian, Dutch, and Italian ancestry. Nijmegen, the Netherlands, was also home to the family. In 1962, the Van Halens moved to Pasadena, California, and later became citizens of the United States.
Van Halen received no formal music education but learned to improvise while listening to Bach or Mozart recitals. Between 1964 and 1967, he took first place every year at the Long Beach City College piano competition. He gravitated toward rock music and was highly influenced by British Invasion bands like The Beatles and The Dave Clark Five, despite his parent’s wishes for their sons to become classical pianists. Van Halen got a drum set and his brother started playing the guitar, but after seeing his brother play Surfaris’s ‘Wipe Out’ drum solo, Van Halen handed him the drums and started playing the electric guitar. He claims that as a teenager, he frequently practiced at home while wearing his guitar and strolling around or spending hours in his room with the door locked.
He starts playing the guitar and deepening his musical interests; he was just planting the seed that would make his career a success.
Alongside his brother, Alex, the two establish a band named after their last name — this marks the start of a lifelong musical relationship and a legendary career.
Van Halen releases their debut studio album, “Van Halen,” and receives a diamond certification.
This is the best possible ending to his extraordinary career, as his name is forever engraved along the biggest rock n’ roll legends in history.
Van Halen releases their last studio album, “A Different Kind of Truth,” and it receives a gold certification by the Canadian Recording Industry — it also peaks at number two on the U.S. charts.
Why We Love Eddie Van Halen
He’s rock n’ roll legend
His Hall of Fame induction and his 40-year spanning career prove that he will forever be remembered as one of the greatest in the genre. He is an inspiration to every aspiring guitarist.
He was from mixed background
He was born in the Netherlands in an Indonesian and Dutch marriage; his family then migrated to the United States. This mix of cultures and experiences enhanced any artistic endeavor.
He was a music nerd
Although he had stated that he can’t read music sheets, he named his first kid after Mozart’s first name Wolfgang. His family was also very into music, as his dad was knowledgeable in classical composition.
5 Surprising Facts
He was a vegetarian
Van Halen said in many interviews that he was vegetarian out of health issues — he cut entirely red meats because of cholesterol and hypertension scares.
He had a few tattoos
They were rarely revealed to the public because of their locations, but he said he had a few intimate tattoos that meant a lot to him.
He owned a restaurant in Pasadena
For some years, during the 1990s, Van Halen managed a restaurant in Pasadena, California — it was a B.B.Q. Steakhouse with a rock ‘n roll theme.
He owned a brand of guitar picks
His brand, E.V.H., produces guitar picks, which is a great homage to the showman that was also famous for throwing his picks at the fans.
He was offered a spot in Foreigner
Mick Jones, who was a good friend of his, remembered once how he offered Van Halen a spot in Foreigners — he didn’t accept it for undisclosed reasons.
Eddie Van Halen FAQs
What caused the death of Eddie Van Halen?
He died after he suffered a stroke.
What were Eddie Van Halen’s last words?
His family stated that he said “I love you” to Wolfie.
Who was with Eddie Van Halen when he died?
His second wife, Janie Liszewski, and his brother, Alex Van Halen, were with him when he died.
Eddie Van Halen’s birthday dates