Eddie Van Halen‘s son has posted a touching tribute on social media to the legendary VAN HALEN guitarist on the third anniversary of his death.
Wolfgang Van Halen, who played with his father as a member of VAN HALEN, wrote: “It’s been three years and I still can’t believe it. No happy moment in my life goes by without a painful ache, knowing I can’t share it with you. I wish you were here. I love you, Pop.”
After Eddie was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer, he began flying to Germany for treatments. Eventually, the cancer spread to Eddie‘s spine and brain. Just a few months later, Eddie died at age 65.
The 33-year-old Wolfgang speculated to The Washington Post that his father could have flown to Germany for more radiation had the coronavirus crisis not happened, possibly prolonging his life.
In November 2020, Wolfgang said that doctors told Eddie he had “six weeks” after he was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. “And then he went to Germany,” Wolfgang told Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show. “Whatever the fuck they do over there, it’s amazing, because I got three more years with him.”
In December 2021, Eddie‘s immediate cause of death was revealed to be a cerebrovascular event, such as a stroke. Pneumonia, the blood disorder myelodysplastic syndrome and lung cancer were also cited as underlying causes in his death certificate, which was obtained by TMZ. The certificate also listed a number of other “significant conditions” that contributed to Eddie‘s death, including squamous cell carcinoma (skin cancer) of the head and neck, and atrial fibrillation, a condition that causes irregular heartbeat and elevates stroke risk.
In the Howard Stern interview, Wolf said the cause of his dad’s death had been “misattributed” by some media outlets as throat cancer. Eddie had previously battled tongue cancer in the early 2000s, which Eddie blamed on holding a metal pick in his mouth.
Wolf said it was “certainly feasible” that Eddie got tongue cancer from the pick but he shot down the suggestion that he died from throat cancer.
“People love to give him shit about that,” Wolfgang said, before adding, “He would hold that pick in the same spot all the time, and that’s the exact area that he got the squamous cell carcinoma in his tongue that he had to get cut out.
“When it’s reported, it’s always attributed to the throat cancer and then everybody instead of going ‘Oh shit. His cancer’s back,’ people are just going ‘What an idiot. He thinks he got throat cancer from a pick?’ And it just totally derails the whole thing,” he said.
Rolling Stone magazine ranked Eddie Van Halen No. 8 in its list of the 100 greatest guitarists.
VAN HALEN was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2007.