Michael Anthony, David Lee Roth, Sammy Hagar and Gary Cherone all took to social media to pay their respect to the guitar hero, who died today at age 65 after what his son Wolfgang described as a “long and arduous” battle with cancer.
Bassist Anthony, who joined Van Halen in 1974 and remained with the group until 2006, posted three photos of himself playing live alongside Eddie with the caption “No words. … Heartbroken. My love to the family” on his Instagram account. Hagar, who began a decade-long stint as the group’s second singer in 1985, shared similar sentiments on his Twitter account.
Van Halen’s original and current singer Roth, who paid a loving onstage tribute to Van Halen at what turned out to be the band’s second-to-last live show back in October 2015, shared a backstage photo and the words “What a long great trip it’s been.”
Singer Cherone, whose three-year stint with the band included the 1998 studio album Van Halen III, offered the most verbose tribute: “Whether you were blessed to have known him or not, he was a kind and gentle soul. … His impact on ALL our lives was immeasurable! His music, eternal! My deepest sympathies to the Van Halen family. … Love you, Ed.”
The most heartbreaking thoughts from a former bandmate came from Eddie’s son Wolfgang, who replaced Anthony as the band’s bassist before the band’s 2007 tour. “He was the best father I could ever ask for,” he wrote. “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 fully recover from this loss. I love you so much, Pop.”