It’s been a year since the music world lost the legendary rock guitarist Eddie Van Halen. And the people Van Halen left behind are still mourning his death. Today, his bandmate and friend Sammy Hagar posted a tribute on social media saying that even though Van Halen is gone, “the music lives on.”
On October 6th, 2020, Wolf Van Halen, son of Eddie Van Halen, posted a note on Twitter saying his father had passed away at the age of 65.
“He was the best father I could ever ask for,” Wolf wrote. “Every moment I’ve shared with him on and off stage was a gift.”
Wolf continued to tell his fans that Eddie Van Halen had died after a “long and arduous battle with cancer.” The rocker had been publicly battling the disease for almost two decades. The cancer began in his throat and then ultimately spread to other organs in his body, including his brain.
Eddie Van Halen started his music career with his brother Alex. But his fame exploded after partnering with David Lee Roth. And he was quickly recognized as one of the world’s most talented musicians.
In 1985, Sammy took Roth’s place as Van Halen’s lead singer. He stuck with the band until 1996. and then rejoined for the Best of Both Worlds tour in 2004. Hagar and Van Halen had an unsteady friendship throughout their time together. But according to PEOPLE, the two had worked through their differences before the rock icon passed.
Sammy Hagar Remembers Rock Legend Eddie Van Halen
“I would love you to share that Eddie and I had been texting, and it’s been a love fest since we started communicating earlier this year,” Hagar wrote in a letter to Howard Stern. “We both agreed not to tell anyone because of all the rumors it would stir up about a reunion, et cetera, and we both knew that wasn’t going to happen. But he also didn’t want anyone to know about his health.”
Hagar was invited to join Stern’s SiriusXM radio show to speak about his bandmate’s death. But the Marching To Mars singer wasn’t comfortable interviewing on the topic. So he wrote a letter instead. In it, he penned that he and Van Halen spoke consistently until the last month of the guitarist’s life. At that point, Eddie stopped responding to text messages. And Hagar knew that meant his friend’s health was declining.
“I reached out one more time last week and when he didn’t respond, I figured it was a matter of time,” he added. “But it came way too soon.”
And today, Sammy Hagar posted a heartfelt tribute to his legendary friend.
“I can’t believe it’s been a year,” he wrote. “The man is gone but the music lives on #forever.”