Born in the Netherlands, Eddie moved to America in the 60’s where legends like the Dave Clark Five, Cream, and Jimmy Page captivated his attention.
Eddie teamed up with brother Alex Van Halen, singer David Lee Roth, and bassist Michael Anthony in the 1970’s and started to make a name for themselves playing gigs around LA, first as Mammoth and then as Van Halen.
Van Halen landed a record contract in 1977 and soon hit the big time, going multiplatinum and selling out concerts. Eddie quickly became known for his incredible speed and skill on his signature tape-covered Fender Stratocaster guitar.
Van Halen’s popularity continued into the 80’s and Eddie gained a reputation as rock’s best guitarist. He leant his talents to other artists too; Eddie’s signature licks can be heard on Michael Jackson’s super huge 1983 hit “Beat It.”
In 2007, Van Halen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and toured again that September with Eddie’s son Wolfgang playing bass. It was the most successful tour in the band’s history and cemented their place in rock history. The band released A Different Kind of Truth in 2012, which debuted at #2 on the Billboard Top 200, and are expected to continue touring this year.
So enjoy some of Eddie’s finer moments below and be sure to wish him a Happy Birthday in the comments section!