Music Features

Eddie Van Halen, “Mozart of Rock Guitar,” Dies at 65

Eddie Van Halen inspired millions with his brilliant guitar skills.

Eddie Van Halen

The era of 80s hair bands may be over, but some of its gods will live on forever.

Eddie Van Halen was one of those gods, a rocker who fundamentally changed music, supercharged thousands of crowds with his infectious energy, and inspired infinite numbers of kids to pick up an electric guitar.

Van Halen passed away today after a prolonged fight with throat cancer. "I can't believe I'm having to write this, but my father, Edward Lodewijk Van Halen, lost his long and arduous battle with cancer this morning," his son, bassist Wolfgang Van Halen, shared on social media. "He was the best father I could ever ask for. Every moment I've shared with him on and off stage was a gift. My heart is broken and I don't think I'll ever fully recover from this loss."

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It’s hard to believe, but it’s been three decades since Van Halen released their masterpiece album, 1984 and became pioneering MTV stars.

In celebration of the milestone, Rock Paper Photo has compiled an awesome collection of Van Halen pics from back in the day—and Popdust has selected our favorite photos.

So, bust out the spandex, grab a super-size can of hairspray, turn up the volume, tune up the air guitar and get ready to ROCK!!!!!

Van Halen by Mark Weiss

The band was already a household name back in the early 80s—but the release of 1984, which coincided with the rise of MTV, truly cemented their place in music history.

Not surprisingly, photographers loved the colorful, energetic and flamboyant Van Halen—and all the greats, including, Mark Weiss, Richard E. Aaron and Robert Knight shot the band back in the day—all with equally amazing results.

Van Halen by Robert M. Knight

Van Halen burned bright and fast but sadly, as their fame increased, vocalist David Lee Roth and guitarist Eddie Van Halen developed a toxic rivalry and they soon gave way to fighting and feuding.

The band’s golden age was over by 1985 with the departure of Roth and, not surprisingly, they would never be quite the same again.

Eddie Van Halen by Richard E. Aaron

Thankfully though, photographers were there to capture the fierce foursome in their hey day and immortalize them in all their shameless rock God glory.

Head over to Rock Paper Photo to check out the full amazing collection of photos and to purchase your favorite fine art prints.

Van Halen by Mark Weiss