Eddie Van Halen, the Hall of Fame guitarist whose indelible career, lined with 56-million album sales and 11 consecutive top-ten albums (including two diamond records), defined the direction of hard rock in the 1980s, died from throat cancer this week. He was 65.
Born to a family of jazz and classical musicians in the Netherlands, Eddie was in the second grade of elementary school when his family set out for America with next to nothing in search of a new beginning. They arrived at the sun-basked fabled region of South California with little more than fifty dollars and an out-of-tune piano. Over the next three decades, Van Halen would become one of the most influential figures in Rock and Roll history.
Growing up like many new immigrants, penniless and destitute, Eddie spent his childhood days going dumpster-diving for scrap metal to hawk for change at scrap yards and sharing just one room with his brother and parents, as he explained in