GRETA VAN FLEET drummer Danny Wagner and guitarist Jake Kiszka spoke to Meltdown of Detroit's WRIF radio station about the recent passing of iconic VAN HALEN guitarist Eddie Van Halen.
"That was a rough day, rough week," Jake said (see video below). "[Me and] a lot of guitar friends, [we were] texting back and forth. [Eddie] was an influence for every guitar player. Who didn't wanna play 'Eruption' and stuff like that? I remember growing up, he was such an influence to me. I remember a couple of years where I listened to VAN HALEN constantly. But it was pretty brutal. We mourned his loss for, like, a week."
Added Danny: "We were also in the studio recording one of the songs for [the new GRETA VAN FLEET] album that day too. We were in L.A. So you woke up, you found out the news, and then you had to go record a song. There was this weird energy."
Eddie died on October 6 at Providence Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California. His wife, Janie, was by his side, along with his son Wolfgang and Alex, Eddie's brother and VAN HALEN drummer.
After undergoing hip replacement surgery in 1999 due to a chronic joint problem, Eddie was diagnosed with mouth cancer in 2000 and had to have part of his tongue surgically removed. Declared "cancer-free" in 2002, he subsequently had to intermittently have "cancer cells scraped out of his throat after they migrated there." He later battled lung cancer and had been receiving radiation treatment in Germany. Things took a turn for the worse in early 2019 when Eddie got in a motorcycle accident. He was subsequently diagnosed with a brain tumor, and received gamma knife radiosurgery to treat the illness.
Following Eddie's death, fans left flowers at his childhood home on Las Lunas Street in Pasadena, California. Additional flowers, candles and fan mementos were placed on Allen Avenue where Eddie and Alex scratched their band's name into the wet cement of a sidewalk when they were teenagers.
VAN HALEN was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2007.
Rolling Stone magazine ranked Eddie Van Halen No. 8 in its list of the 100 greatest guitarists.
GRETA VAN FLEET will release its second album, "The Battle At Garden's Gate", on April 16, 2021 via Lava/Republic Records. A bold evolution from the band's 2018 full-length debut "Anthem Of The Peaceful Army", the new LP came together primarily on the road or while in the studio after the runaway success of 2017's "Highway Tune" led to GRETA VAN FLEET packing up, leaving home, and eagerly soaking up new experiences on an extended road trip around the world.