The legendary guitarist Eddie Van Halen has died aged 65. One of the most influential guitarists of the modern age, Van Halen was known for his mastery of the two-handed tapping technique and for bringing the virtuosic rock guitar solo back into the popular music mainstream in the late 70s and 1980s.
One of the great innovators, Van Halen formed a bridge between 1970s rock styles and heavy metal sounds of the 1980s. He delivered his best work with a nonchalance that belied the training and dedication driving him and his band to succeed.
Born in the Netherlands in 1955, Van Halen came from a musical family. His father played saxophone and clarinet professionally and ensured Van Halen and his older brother, Alex, started piano lessons from a young age.
The boys’ training in classical music and theory would influence Van Halen’s guitar playing, particularly the famous two-handed, finger tapping