Mourning A Musical Icon – RIP Eddie Van Halen
This is not the first day I have been on the air when a musician has died. I remember like it was yesterday announcing the passing of Chris Cornell. I balled like a baby on air then, and I did the same thing today when I announced the passing of Eddie Van Halen. EVH died today after a long battle with throat cancer.
I first saw the story reported by TMZ. I did not want to believe it, but unfortunately TMZ is quite accurate with breaking news. I ran into Tony LaBrie's office to see if he had heard. He asked where I read it, and agreed that TMZ is most often right. Ugh. From there we both looked at Eddie's sons Instagram. My heart sank. Wolfgang Van Halen had already posted a picture of his dad, along with some sweet words that immediately had me crying. I tried to read it on the air earlier, and could not get through it without crying. You can see his post below.
I have never met Eddie Van Halen. Most of us have not met our musical heroes. The fact that I am so emotional has to do with more than just being a fan. My heart goes out Eddie's friends and family. I think of Wolfgang, I think of Eddie's wife, I think of his ex-wife Valerie Bertenelli, I think of his brother Alex, the list goes on and on. We mourn as fans, but to those who know him in the most personal way - I cry for them too.
Mourning someone you have never met, but feel so close too is an odd feeling. If you are crying too, it is okay. I feel you. RIP EVH, gone but never forgotten. Your music and memory lives on.
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I can’t believe I’m having to write this, but my father, Edward Lodewijk Van Halen, has lost his long and arduous battle with cancer this morning. 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. I love you so much, Pop.