Artist of the Week: Remembering rock icon Eddie Van Halen

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Ali Smith, roundtable editor

Last week, the world of rock ‘n’ roll lost a pivotal musical icon: Eddie Van Halen.
The Dutch-American is known across the world for his many talents, including songwriting, production and invention.
What he is most famous for, however, is his ability to shred the guitar, quite literally, in his American rock band Van Halen.
“I destroyed a lot of guitars trying to get them to do what I wanted, but I learned something from every guitar I tore apart, and discovered even more things,” said Van Halen.
The band, co-founded by brothers Eddie and Alex Van Halen, debuted in 1972, reaching its peak in the early ‘80s, when their album “1984” went five-times platinum.
In 2007, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, where Van Halen was recognized for his achievements on the guitar.
Van Halen single-handedly changed the art of guitar for the rock genre with his popularization of the technique called “tapping,” previously used by flamenco guitarists.
In his 1978 guitar solo “Eruption,” Van Halen introduced the world to this technique, as he used both his left and right hand on the guitar neck..
Through years of alcoholism, multiple cancers and several surgeries, Van Halen pushed on and continued to pave the way for the rock nation with his athletic guitar solos and explosive personality.