Eddie Van Halen suffered 'rapid decline' in final days: report

Eddie Van Halen’s brother Alex pays tribute to late rocker: ‘See you on the other side’

Eddie Van Halen’s older brother is mourning the loss of the beloved rock legend.“Hey Ed – Love you,” Alex Van Halen wrote in a statement sent to Fox News on Thursday. “See you on the other side. Your brother, Al.”The touching note was accompanied by a childhood photo of the siblings.Eddie Van Halen’s last Instagram post before his death, which was posted on May 8, commemorated his musician brother’s 67th birthday.EDDIE VAN HALEN, LEGENDARY ROCK GUITARIST, DEAD AT 65“Happy birthday Al!!” captioned the 65-year-old. “Love ya!!”
The Van Halen brothers.
(Courtesy of Alex Van Halen)Van Halen, recognized as one of the greatest guitarists of all time, passed away on Tuesday due to cancer. According to TMZ, citing sources, Van Halen died at a Santa Monica, Calif., hospital. Alex, as well as Van Halen’s son, Wolfgang, and wife Janie, were reported to be by his side.“He was the best father I could ask for,” Wolfgang wrote in a social media post. “Every moment I’ve shared with him on and off stage was a gift.”Eddie Van Halen was born in Amsterdam and his family immigrated to California in 1962 when he was 7. His father was a big band clarinetist who rarely found work after coming to the U.S., and his mother was a maid who had dreams of her sons being classical pianists.EDDIE VAN HALEN SUFFERED ‘RAPID DECLINE’ IN FINAL DAYS: REPORTThe Van Halens shared a house with three other families. Eddie and Alex had only each other, a tight relationship that flowed through their music.“We showed up here with the equivalent of $50 and a piano,” Van Halen told The Associated Press in 2015. “We came halfway around the world without money, without a set job, no place to live and couldn’t even speak the language.”He said his earliest memories of music were banging pots and pans together, marching to John Philip Sousa marches. At one point, Van Halen got a drum set, which his older brother coveted.“I never wanted to play guitar,” he confessed at a talk at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in 2015. But his brother was good at the drums, so Van Halen gave into his brother’s wishes: “I said, ‘Go ahead, take my drums. I’ll play your damn guitar.’”EDDIE VAN HALEN’S DEATH, CELEBS REACT: ‘MY HEART IS BROKEN’The rocker’s band, Van Halen, featured the brothers, as well as vocalist David Lee Roth and bassist Michael Anthony. The group formed in 1974 in Pasadena, Calif. Tensions between Roth and the band erupted after their 1984 world tour and Roth left. The group recruited Sammy Hagar as lead singer, but the star was ousted in 1996.
Van Halen pose in a London photographic studio in May 1978. Left to Right: Alex Van Halen, Michael Anthony, David Lee Roth, Eddie Van Halen.
(Fin Costello/Redferns/Getty)Former Extreme singer Gary Cherone stepped in for an album before Roth returned in 2007. Roth, now 65, teamed up with the Van Halen brothers, as well as Wolfgang, 29, on bass for a tour, the album “A Different Kind of Truth” and the 2015 release “Tokyo Dome Live in Concert.”Van Halen, sober since 2008, lost one-third of his tongue to a cancer that eventually spread to his esophagus. In 1999, he had a hip replacement.EDDIE VAN HALEN’S WIDOW JANIE SAYS HER ‘HEART AND SOUL HAVE BEEN SHATTERED’ BY HIS DEATH“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,” he said at the time. “Plus, I basically live in a recording studio that’s filled with electromagnetic energy. So that’s one theory. I mean, I was smoking and doing a lot of drugs and a lot of everything. But at the same time, my lungs are totally clear. This is just my own theory, but the doctors say it’s possible.”
Eddie Van Halen and Alex Van Halen during the 1994 Van Halen Golf Tournament in Los Angeles, California, United States.
(Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc.)He was married twice, to actress Valerie Bertinelli from 1981 to 2007 and then to stuntwoman-turned-publicist Janie Liszewski, whom he wed in 2009. Alex, an ordained minister, officiated the wedding.The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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