Eddie Van Halen was honored by several fellow legendary musicians on Saturday night during the 2020 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
The ceremony, available to stream now on HBO Max, included a tribute during the In Memoriam segment to Van Halen, who died at the age of 65 on Oct. 6 after a years-long battle with cancer.
Slash, Metallica’s Kirk Hammett, and Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello all made appearances during the segment and shared kind words about the late Van Halen bassist.
"Eddie Van Halen was a tremendously gifted musician. His style and his sound were completely unique to him,” said Slash, according to multiple outlets. “He had a massive impact on guitar playing, and I don’t think there’s anybody that’s picked up the guitar since 1978 that hasn’t been touched in some way by his influence. I’m gonna miss his playing and I’m gonna miss him as a friend.”
Hammett added, "Eddie Van Halen was amazing. Not since Jimi Hendrix had there been a guitar player that had so much impact and was so inspiring to me. He just explored the most simplest thing, a harmonic on a string, and brought it into a realm of technique that nobody even thought was possible. He was just like from a different planet."
Calling Van Halen "the Mozart of our generation," Morello reportedly said, "He had the kind of talent that maybe comes around once a century. Eddie Van Halen inspired me to practice 20,000 hours to try to get within a hundred miles of his inspired mastery of the electric guitar."
Along with Van Halen, the In Memoriam segment also honored Little Richard, Bill Withers, Neil Peart, John Prine, Ginger Baker, Ric Ocasek, Dr. John, Kenny Rogers, Charlie Daniels and more.
Last month, Eddie's son, Wolf Van Halen, confirmed that his dad, who co-founded the rock band Van Halen alongside his brother Alex in 1972, had died in a statement shared to his Twitter page.
"I can't believe I'm having to write this, but my father, Edward Lodewijk Van Halen, has lost his long and arduous battle with cancer this morning," he tweeted. "He was the best father I could ask for. Every moment I've shared with him on and off stage was a gift. My heart is broken and I don't think I'll ever recover from this loss. I love you so much, Pop."
Valerie Bertinelli, Eddie's ex-wife and Wolf's mother, replied to the tweet with several broken heart emojis. Eddie and Bertinelli, 60, were married for 26 years before their divorce in 2007.
Van Halen was most recently comprised of Eddie, Alex, Wolf, and vocalist David Lee Roth.
Van Halen is one of the top 20 bestselling artists of all time and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.
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