White's Blue Tribute
- Jack White, 45, honored the late Eddie Van Halen this weekend during his appearance on Saturday Night Live.
- White performed with a special guitar that was designed by Van Halen, who died last week of throat cancer.
- Van Halen is being mourned throughout the world; it’s important to remember the grieving is part of the process of loss.
Prior to his appearance, White announced on his Instagram account:
“i thought it could be a nice gesture for me to use this blue eddie van halen model guitar for one of the songs tonight on SNL. the guitar was designed by eddie (with a few customizations i had added). eddie was very kind to me and saw to it that this guitar was made for me to my specs. i wont even insult the man’s talent by trying to play one of his songs tonight. thanks again eddie for this guitar and rest in peace sir.”
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i thought it could be a nice gesture for me to use this blue eddie van halen model guitar for one of the songs tonight on SNL. the guitar was designed by eddie (with a few customizations i had added). eddie was very kind to me and saw to it that this guitar was made for me to my specs. i wont even insult the man’s talent by trying to play one of his songs tonight. thanks again eddie for this guitar and rest in peace sir.
Later in the show, host Burr ended by saying “Rest in peace, Eddie Van Halen,” following a classic clip of Van Halen’s appearance on SNL in 1987.
Van Halen touched so many people and will not soon be forgotten.
Van Halen’s Lasting Legacy
White wasn’t the only one of the hundreds of musicians to have been the benefactor of Van Halen’s powerful musical impact. Last week we saw an outpouring of love from fellow artists, like Flea, Gene Simmons, Lenny Kravitz, Billy Idol, Sammy Hagar, and others.
My heart is broken. Eddie was not only a Guitar God, but a genuinely beautiful soul. Rest in peace, Eddie! …Eddie Van Halen Dead at 65 from Cancer https://t.co/gITtcndQVv
— Gene Simmons (@genesimmons) October 6, 2020
Legendary guitar and musical innovator Edward Van Halen. 1955-2020. Heaven will be electric tonight. pic.twitter.com/hdLd7atI74
— Lenny Kravitz (@LennyKravitz) October 6, 2020
Most notably, perhaps, were the words shared by his son, Wolfgang, who’s also a musician and plays in his late father’s band.
Wolfgang wrote last week in a heartbreaking tribute: “…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 broken and I don’t think I’ll ever fully recover from this loss. I love you so much, Pop.”
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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. 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 broken and I don’t think I’ll ever fully recover from this loss. I love you so much, Pop.
Losing a Parent to Cancer
Losing a parent is one of the most difficult things a child can go through, at any age. Regardless of whether your parent is mourned by millions or just by close family and friends, it’s important to understand that it’s OK to grieve.
For some people, mourning a loved one can be an outlet to create something new and beautiful. Camila Legaspi talked to SurvivorNet about how she was able to turn her immense sense of loss, after her mom died of breast cancer, into inspiration. She says, “I actually took this sadness and let it motivate me. I learned that it’s OK to be sad sometimes. It’s OK to carry sadness with you … it’s not always a bad thing. It makes you who you are and it gives you a story to tell and it helps you teach other people to cope with their sadness.”
Understanding Throat Cancer
Van Halen first battled tongue cancer in 2000, and his second bout of cancer was with throat cancer. Throat cancer – also called laryngeal or hypopharyngeal cancer – begins in the throat and can spread to other areas of the body.
According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), cancer that begins in the larynx (laryngeal cancer), will be treated based on what part of the throat it starts in. Risk factors for throat cancer include:
- Alcohol and tobacco use
- Inadequate nutrition (The ACS says poor nutrition may contribute to this cancer; eating fewer fried or processed foods and more plant-based foods can help lower your risk.)
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection
- Certain genetic syndromes (i.e. Fanconi anemia and Dyskeratosis congenita)
- Gender (men are four times more likely to get throat cancer than women)
- Age (more than half of throat cancer patients are over age 65)
Van Halen’s passing has highlighted this disease even more so than before. And while the world continues to mourn this musical – and paternal – loss, we humbled and honored by his musical legacy and the gifts he gave the world.