Legendary guitarist Eddie Van Halen died on October 6th at 65, after a long struggle with throat cancer. His hard partying, rock star lifestyle was fueled by sex, drugs, and booze.
Here are ten things you didn’t know about one of rock’s most iconic guitarists.
Van Halen the group apologized to the manager of a Madison, Wisconsin hotel in the liner notes of their second album, after destroying Eddie’s hotel room by throwing a table and chairs out of the third story window and getting into a fire extinguisher battle.
— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) October 7, 2020
Van Halen was notorious for copious alcohol and drug use while on tour. According to a book by their former manager, the band’s motto was, “Drink a bottle of booze, pop a couple ‘ludes, smoke a joint or two (or ten) and see where the night takes you.”
Eddie Van Halen drinking beer… and Valerie Bertinelli having none of it. pic.twitter.com/8uLj9APAH0
— Ben Smith // Vote Biden Harris (@BenInBrooklyn) May 5, 2020
Globe Trotting Drug Dealer
Eddie had a drug dealer that would supply him with cocaine anywhere in the world.
Three months into Eddie’s relationship with actress Valerie Bertinelli, he was slapped with a paternity suit from another woman. Van Halen claimed to have only received oral sex from the woman, and was proven correct when the paternity test revealed he wasn’t a genetic match to the child.
— Scott T. Sterling (@ststerling) August 4, 2020
Van Halen was so drunk at his wedding to Bertinelli, that she had to hold his hair back in her white gown while he puked into a toilet before their reception. They remained married until 2007.
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40 years ago my life changed forever when I met you. You gave me the one true light in my life, our son, Wolfgang. Through all your challenging treatments for lung cancer, you kept your gorgeous spirit and that impish grin. I’m so grateful Wolfie and I were able to hold you in your last moments. I will see you in our next life my love.
Van Halen was so notorious for sleeping with groupies on tour, that a South American hotel manager accused Bertinelli of being a sex worker and wouldn’t let her upstairs into his room until he proved that she was his wife.
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Eddie popularized the guitar method of tapping, which uses both hands on the guitar neck. He was influenced by the guitarist from Led Zeppelin. “I think I got the idea of tapping watching Jimmy Page do his “Heartbreaker” solo back in 1971.”
— Mar Palafox (@MarFoxHimself) October 7, 2020
Van Halen could do more with a guitar than play it, he created devices to enhance the instrument. He holds patents for a support that allows the guitar to be held perpendicularly, the “Guitar Peghead,” and an adjustable string tension control.
Eddie lost a third of his tongue to treat a cancer diagnosis in 2000. He blamed the cancer on his guitar picks. “I used metal picks – they’re brass and copper – which I always held in my mouth, in the exact place where I got the tongue cancer.”
“I used metal picks — they’re brass and copper — which I always held in my mouth, in the exact place where I got the tongue cancer,”—. https://t.co/vHiQG4Xu27
— Bill (@WB23) October 7, 2020
Eddie had a jam session with Limp Bizkit in 2001, but he abruptly left his equipment at the Los Angeles house the band was staying at. After not getting a response when he asked front man Fred Durst to return his stuff, Van Halen drove an assault vehicle onto the lawn and held a gun to Durst’s head until the equipment was loaded into his truck.