Rock legend Eddie Van Halen, 65, passed away on Tuesday morning from throat cancer.
Eddie’s son, Wolfgang, announced the news on Twitter, describing his father’s illness as a “long and arduous battle.”
— Wolf Van Halen (@WolfVanHalen) October 6, 2020
Born in Amsterdam on Jan. 26, 1955 to a Dutch saxophonist father and European Indonesian mother, the Van Halen family immigrated to Pasadena, California in 1962 to escape racial prejudice against his mother, Eddie, and his older brother Alex, the New York Times reported.
Since the news of his passing, Indonesian and other Asian fans poured their pride in “one of the greatest rock guitarists of all time” with words of praise and admiration, Coconuts Jakarta reported.
I was today years
old when I found out that Eddie Van Halen was of Asian descent. His
mother Eugenia was Indonesian Dutch. I can only imagine how impactful
knowing this would’ve been growing up as a half-Asian
RIP Eddie Van Halen. pic.twitter.com/pJsBivoevU
JP (@jessiepeterson) October
Lotta folks inc me surprised to hear of Eddie Van Halen’s Indonesian-Dutch mom who was apparently the Tiger Mom influence as the family moved to US from Netherlands to escape Dutch society’s racism— and then proceeded to live the American immigrant dream. https://t.co/UNiXZNP5WO pic.twitter.com/EznKQ4oYhD
— Mei Fong/ 方凤美 (@meifongwriter) October 7, 2020
Growing up in the 70s-80s I had few Asian role models. So when this half-Indonesian kid came ripping on to the music scene as a rock god, it meant everything to me and my friends. RIP Eddie Van Halen. The Greatest. pic.twitter.com/K4aEz7lCMV
— Paul Bae (@MrPaulBae) October 6, 2020
Fellow rock legends and musicians mourned the loss as well.
— Ozzy Osbourne (@OzzyOsbourne) October 7, 2020
“To me, he was like Tesla or Louis Pasteur or Ray Kurzweil. He might not have been working with circuits or engines or whatnot. He was working with musical notes and guitar strings and bridges and amplifiers.” – Kirk Hammett https://t.co/eJPoL8idei
— Metallica (@Metallica) October 7, 2020
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Le guitariste de ma jeunesse s’est envolé 🖤 .. I grew up listening to the legendary #VanHalen and would cover many of their songs on stage during my rock days. I loved David Lee Roth era but Sammy Hagar brought mean vocals to the band. And there’s Eddie Van Halen who was one of the Greatest Guitar players of all time. He was also good looking, probably because he had Indonesian blood. He was my guitar hero 🖤 .. #RIPEddieVanHalen
Featured Image (left) via Getty, (right) @jessiepeterson