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Remembering Eddie Van Halen, the legendary guitarist and inventor, who had multiple patents to his name

Eddie Lodewijk Van Halen, who is counted among the most legendary rockstars the world has known and is credited to reviving hard rock music, died of cancer at the age of 65 on October 6.

October 07, 2020 / 05:45 PM IST

It was the age of shimmer; it was the age of glitz and glam; it was the age of disco. When the world was learning to tap its toes to electronic beats and swivel their hips in an ecstatic trance, Van Halen was born to restore the ebbing glory of hard rock music.

Eddie Lodewijk Van Halen, who is counted among the most legendary rockstars the world has known, founded the rock band Van Halen with his brother Alex in the 70s and is credited with reviving hard rock music. The band continues to be considered one of the greatest rock bands of all time and Halen himself is remembered for popularising two-handed tapping and his energetic guitar solos.

The group had released their first album ‘Van Halen’ in 1978, which had gone on to become one of the most successful debut albums in the history of rock music. It had sold 10 million copies worldwide.

The guitar virtuoso, who led the American rock band Van Halen, died of cancer at the age of 65 on October 6. His son Wolf Van Halen broke the news on social media. He wrote: “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 was the best father I could ever ask for. Every moment I have shared with him on and off stage was a gift. My heart is broken, and I don’t think I will ever fully recover from this loss. I love you so much, Pop.”

Halen, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007, is worshipped by the fans of hard rock music across the world.


However, Halen was more than a rock star; he was an inventor too and had several patents to his name. The rock and roll icon owns several guitar patents, namely, the 'musical instrument support', 'stringed instrument with adjustable string tension control', and 'guitar peghead'.

Musical instrument support is a device that helps guitars and other similar musical instruments lay perpendicular to the musician’s body. This helps them play the instruments in a completely different style and create sounds that cannot otherwise be achieved.

Stringed instrument with adjustable string tension control are a series of pegs attached to the tailpiece of a guitar. This helped the guitar strings wrapped around the pegs to produce a consistent tune.

Guitar pegheads are mounted on the tuning pegs to maintain tension on the strings.

That’s not all. Halen also built his own guitar out of wood. The legendary guitarist had once said: “My own sweat and oil would soak in to make it smooth. It took a lot of playing to get it that way but, eventually, it just felt so much better than any synthetic product you could put on there.” He is credited to building his own whammy bar and pick up on his guitar too.

With Halen's demise, the world did lose another gem in 2020. But his music and more importantly his knowledge and love for the art will forever guarantee his immortality. In the words of the legend himself: "If you want to be a rock star or just be famous, then run down the street naked, you'll make the news or something. But if you want music to be your livelihood, then play, play, play and play! And eventually you'll get to where you want to be."

Jagyaseni Biswas
TAGS: #world
first published: Oct 7, 2020 05:45 pm

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