Following the passing of Eddie Van Halen on Tuesday, the guitar great has been saluted by dozens of his peers in the rock world. Among those paying homage to the Van Halen legend are fellow guitar icons like Jimmy Page, Angus Young, Tony Iommi, and more.
There’s no questioning that Eddie Van Halen was one of the greatest ever to play the guitar, having revolutionized the instrument. That said, his iconic status becomes even more evident when the guitarists of Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Queen, The Who, Rage Against the Machine, and more sing his praises.
Zeppelin’s Page remarked, “It is with great sadness that I heard the passing of Eddie Van Halen. He was the real deal: he pioneered a dazzling technique on guitar with taste and panache that I felt always placed him above his imitators.”
AC/DC’s Young commented, “Eddie was a guitar wonder, his playing pure wizardry. To the world of music he was a special gift. To those of us fortunate enough to have met him, a very special person. He leaves a big hole in a lot of hearts. To the Van Halen family my heartfelt sympathies.”
Sabbath’s Iommi, largely credited for inventing heavy metal, wrote, “I’m just devastated to hear the awful news of the passing of my dear friend Eddie Van Halen. He fought a long and hard battle with his cancer right to the very end. Eddie was one of a very special kind of person, a really great friend, brilliant guitar player who was idolized by millions of fans and a lovely human being.”
Queen’s Brian May shared a photo of himself with Eddie on Instagram, writing, “Completely gutted to hear the sad news. This wonderful man was way too young to be taken. What a talent – what a legacy – probably the most original and dazzling rock guitarist in History. I think of him as a boy — an innocent prodigy — always full of joy, always modest – and those truly magical fingers opened a door to a new kind of playing. I treasure the moments we shared. His passing leaves a giant hole in my heart.”
The Who legend Pete Townshend told Rolling Stone, “He was not just an innovative and stylish player with great taste, he was also a laidback virtuoso showman who just blew us all away every time. Every shredder today has lost their master teacher and guide.”
Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello, a revolutionary guitarist himself, wrote, “Rest In Peace, EVH. One of the greatest, most inventive, truly visionary musicians of all time. An unparalleled titan in the annals of rock n roll. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for every spectacular note.”
Other guitar virtuosos honoring Eddie Van Halen include Zakk Wylde, Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, and Metallica’s Kirk Hammett. See the Instagram tributes from the aforementioned guitarists below.