As if 2020 couldn’t get any worse Eddie Van Halen’s son Wolfgang just broke the news on twitter this afternoon that the legendary guitarist has passed away at age 65 after a long fight with cancer.
Regarded as one of the most innovative guitarists of the 20th century Eddie Van Halen changed the landscape of rock through a style uniquely his own, popularizing the two handed tapping technique in the late 1970s.
The band that bore his name went on to become kings of stadium rock launching hits the likes of Jump, Panama, Dreams, Why Can’t This Be Love, Love Walks In, When It’s Love (among countless others) into the stratosphere. Eddie further cemented his status as an icon by crossing over into the pop realm lending his skills on the guitar solo for Michael Jackson’s Beat It.
Our thoughts go out to Wolfgang Van Halen, Eddie’s brother Alex and Eddie’s wife Janie. Eddie Van Halen was a one in a million talent who to this very day continues to inspire kids to pick up the guitar.
Sad news to start the weekend on as Quiet Riot drummer Frankie Banali has succumbed to pancreatic cancer at age 68.
The following statement has been released from Frankie’s family:
Frankie was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer on April 17, 2019 and given six months to live. He put up an inspiringly brave and courageous 16-month battle to the end and continued playing live as long as he could. Standard chemotherapy stopped working and a series of strokes made the continuation on a clinical trial impossible. He ultimately lost the fight at 7:18 p.m. on August 20 in Los Angeles surrounded by his wife and daughter
Frankie is survived by his devoted wife Regina, loving daughter Ashley, many dear friends, dedicated fans, and a menagerie of rescue animals, all of whom are family. He was a longtime advocate for animal rescue, a spokesperson for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and a sponsor of Children International. Donations in his name are encouraged for Fixnation.org, Aspca.org, Pancan.org, or Children.org. His wish for everyone is that you be your own health advocate for early detection so you may live long and rescue many animals.
Funeral plans will be announced at a later date.
Back when Quiet Riot released their 2006 effort – Rehab (their last with the legendary Kevin DuBrow) – Frankie reached out to both myself and Tony thanking us for our glowing review of the album. During that time we struck up a friendship with Frankie, when Kevin tragically passed away in November of 2007 both Tony and I felt the need to touch base with Frankie sending our condolences and Frankie got back to us right away thanking us for the kind words and thoughts as he was absolutely devastated having lost one of his best friends. With the sad news of Frankie’s passing after a courageous battle with cancer we know that he is now up in the great beyond rocking out with his friend once more as well as so many other legends no longer with us. Rest In Peace Frankie.
Another sad day for the music industry as iconic Roxette front woman Marie Fredriksson has succumbed to cancer after a 17 year battle with the disease.
One of the most dynamic talents to break out of Sweden Marie’s powerhouse vocals took Roxette to the top of charts with numerous hit singles including – The Look, Listen To Your Heart, Dangerous, and Joyride to name a few.
Both myself and Tony send our condolences to Marie’s family, friends, and band mates. While her incredible voice is no longer with us it will continue to live on through an amazing body of work.
Our thoughts are with Ric’s family, loved ones, friends and bandmates. This weekend has been absolutely devastating for the rock community with the loss of Eddie Money and now we unfortunately have to also grieve the loss of another of the 1980’s most pioneering artists. Rest In Peace Ric Ocasek, both myself and Tony like so many others spent literally hundreds of hours listening to The Cars incredible body of work. It didn’t take much to get caught up in a infectious hook from classics the likes of Just What I Needed, Drive, Magic, Moving In Stereo or Hello Again. Ric blended synths, new wave and in your face guitar riffs flawlessly and in the four decades since The Cars’ initial rise have continued to transcend generations.