RITCHIE BLACKMORE Says EDDIE VAN HALEN Was 'The Ultimate Guitar Hero'

RITCHIE BLACKMORE Says EDDIE VAN HALEN Was 'The Ultimate Guitar Hero'

Legendary DEEP PURPLE and RAINBOW guitarist Ritchie Blackmore has paid tribute to Eddie Van Halen, who passed away on Tuesday (October 6) at the age of 65.

Blackmore said in a statement: "Eddie Van Halen was a brilliant guitarist who started a technique of guitar playing which was emulated by a whole generation of guitarists. He was one of the nicest musicians I ever met in the music business. Very shy and not at all conceited about his ability as a guitar player.

"Frank Zappa said [Eddie] reinvented the guitar. I agree.

"He will be sadly missed but his brilliant legacy will always be remembered. The ultimate guitar hero."

Eddie died at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California. His wife, Janie, was by his side, along with his son, Wolfgang, and Alex, Eddie's brother and VAN HALEN drummer.

The iconic VAN HALEN axeman died from complications due to cancer, his son confirmed.

After undergoing hip replacement surgery in 1999 due to a chronic joint problem, Eddie was diagnosed with mouth cancer in 2000 and had to have part of his tongue surgically removed. He later battled throat cancer and reportedly had been receiving radiation treatment in Germany. It is believed that his heavy smoking over the years led to his long battle with cancer.

COMMENTS

To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).