Guitar hero Eddie Van Halen died on Tuesday following a long battle with cancer.
He was a classically trained pianist and multi-instrumentalist and yet he could not read music.
As a pioneering rock guitarist, his lightning fast style and flashy showmanship wowed audiences and created legions of Eddie soundalikes.
Born in Amsterdam, Holland, he emigrated to the US at a young age and was raised in California. In interviews he always maintained he was incredibly fortunate to have immigrated into the US at just the right time to forge a career in global rock music, which he could not have done if he had stayed in the Netherlands.
Van Halen founded the rock group he called after himself in the 1970s and his amazing musical talent ensured the band quickly hit the big time.
The group, regarded as of one the most influential American rock bands of all time, is known for such classic high energy rockers as Jump, Panama, and Runnin’ with the Devil.
Van Halen has sold more than 75 million albums and has had more number one hits on the mainstream US rock chart than any other artist, according to the band’s label.
Van Halen was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2007, and Eddie is widely considered one of the greatest guitar players of all time.