Eddie Van Halen: Cause of Death Officially Revealed
TMZ has obtained a copy of Eddie Van Halen’s death certificate, revealing the iconic guitarist’s official cause of death to be a cerebrovascular accident, or CVA — which is medical jargon for a stroke.
The death certificate also notes that Van Halen was suffering from lung cancer (which we knew), pneumonia, and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), which is a bone marrow disorder.
The gossip site also reveals that the guitarist’s body was cremated 22 days after he died, and the ashes will be (or likely already have been) scattered into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Malibu, in accordance with Van Halen’s wishes.
Van Halen was diagnosed with tongue cancer roughly twenty years ago and had part of his tongue removed in 2000. Eddie notoriously blamed his cancer on a metal guitar pick he used to use, which he would hold in his mouth, despite being a noted heavy smoker for decades. He passed away in October at the age of 65.
Eddie Van Halen was born in Amsterdam in 1955. He started Van Halen with his older brother, drummer Alex Van Halen, in 1972. The band’s eponymous 1978 debut, which also included singer David Lee Roth and bassist Michael Anthony, was a critical and commercial smash hit, with particular attention given to Eddie’s guitar playing. He would go on to become one of the most imitated guitarists of all time and is largely credited with inventing the two-handed tapping technique that would go on to dominate heavy music guitar leads for decades.
Roth would eventually quit Van Halen, who would go on to sell even more records with their new singer, Sammy Hagar. After splitting with Hagar in the ’90s, the band has something of a tumultuous history, which included multiple reunions with Roth and Hagar and a short-lived stint with Gary Cherone (Extreme).
Van Halen’s last album, A Different Kind of Truth — which featured Roth on vocals and Wolfgang on bass — was released in 2012. They completed what would be their final tour in October of 2015.
An October 2019 TMZ report, which claimed “sources with direct knowledge,” claimed Eddie had throat cancer and had been flying back and forth to Germany for the previous five years to get treatment. The report stated that “for the most part” the treatment had been effective.
In late 2018, rumors that Van Halen, fronted by Roth, would reunite with Michael Anthony for a summer 2019 stadium tour including Yankee Stadium picked up steam. Anthony then revealed he hadn’t spoken directly to the Van Halen brothers since 2004 but confirmed he had been contacted about the reunion. The tour never came to fruition.
This past weekend, newly unearthed video footage of Van Halen visiting Jason Becker at his home in 1996 found its way online. You can view that here.