David Lee Roth is mourning the loss of Eddie Van Halen after his Van Halen bandmate died Tuesday morning at the age of 65 following a long battle with cancer. The rocker took to Twitter to share a simple but poignant message.
Roth, Van Halen's frontman for their first six albums, posted a black-and-white photo of the late guitarist and himself. The image, seemingly taken during one of the band's final tours, shows the pair posing backstage at an arena. He captioned the photo by writing, "What a Long Great Trip It's Been."
What a Long Great Trip It’s Been.. pic.twitter.com/M5pmkVi7hW— David Lee Roth (@DavidLeeRoth) October 7, 2020
Van Halen's son, Wolfgang "Wolf" Van Halen, confirmed the death of his father with a somber statement on social media soon after TMZ first broke the news of his family's loss. "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," Wolf wrote. "He was the best father I could ever ask for. Every moment I've shared with him on and off stage was a gift. My heart is broke and I don't think I'll ever fully recover from this loss. I love you so much, Pop."
TMZ reported that Van Halen died on Tuesday at St. Johns Hospital in Santa Monica after being in and out of the hospital several times over the past year. In November, he reportedly sought out treatment for intestinal issues and received a round of chemotherapy, but the cancer progressed nonetheless. The legendary guitarist was initially diagnosed with throat cancer more than 20 years ago, which required doctors to remove a part of his tongue, but over the years, cancerous cells migrated down his throat and would have to be scraped out. More recently, doctors reportedly discovered the cancer had migrated to his brain and other organs, which quickly progressed his illness. The rocker is survived by his wife, Janie, and his son, who became a bassist for Van Halen in 2006.