On Tuesday, October 6th, Eddie Van Halen — the all-time great guitar virtuoso who redefined the instrument with his namesake band, Van Halen — died following a tough battle with throat cancer. He was 65. "Ed's a once- or twice-in-a-century kind of guy. There's Hendrix and there's Eddie Van Halen," Alice in Chains' Jerry Cantrell said of his friend last year. "Those two guys tilted the world on its axis."
Indeed, Eddie did, inspiring generations of guitar players and rock musicians in the process. Count among them, Lamb of God shredder and solo artist Mark Morton. Below, he pays tribute.
"Edward Van Halen is the world's greatest guitar hero. Pushing the limits of technical ability, innovation and style, Eddie single handedly set the standard of what rock guitar playing was for his own generation and the ones that followed. His impact was not confined solely to the mastery of guitar. As a songwriter, Edward's pop sensibility and song craft propelled his band Van Halen through decades of worldwide, chart-topping success, weathering extreme shifts in popular music trends. His impact on rock music cannot be measured. Eddie Van Halen is the sole reason I ever dreamed of playing guitar. Literally millions of people all over the world have found a passion for music through his work. I am grateful to have been one of them. Eddie Van Halen will be loved and celebrated forever."