TESTAMENT's Eric Peterson has paid tribute to Eddie Van Halen, who died on Tuesday (October 6) at the age of 65. The legendary VAN HALEN guitarist 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.
Peterson said in a statement: "First of all, it's really weird… I've been listening to [VAN HALEN's] first album a lot during quarantine and thinking how did this record stand the test of time?
"I was at a music store two days ago and I saw the EVH guitar and fell in love. So I put it on layaway — then today I was supposed to pick it up. Then I heard the news… What the hell!!!
"Eddie is my favorite guitar player and made an impact on me and set me on the path of who I am today. His music was the soundtrack of my middle school years. His music will live on forever.
"Eddie changed the way guitar players look at guitar, for sure. He didn't want to be the fastest; he wanted people to remember his songs and he had everything.
"And now I'm going to learn all of those VAN HALEN songs all night. I'm tripping out… I'm going to pick up that guitar right now.
"My condolences to his family."
Eddie died from complications due to cancer, his son confirmed.
The guitarist was diagnosed with mouth cancer in 2000 and had tongue surgery. He was later diagnosed with throat cancer and reportedly had been receiving radiation treatment in Germany.