JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford has once again reflected on the passing of Eddie Van Halen. The legendary VAN HALEN guitarist died on October 6 at the age of 65 after a long battle with cancer.
Asked in a new video interview with SiriusXM's Volume if he had any personal memories of Eddie to share with the viewers, Rob said (see video below): "When VAN HALEN's first album came out, JUDAS PRIEST's manager at the time, Dave Corke, comes over to my place, bangs on the door and he goes, 'You've gotta come listen to this band. I've just been sent this cassette. It's this band called VAN HALEN. You've gotta listen to this cassette.' And I didn't have a cassette player at home — I had a record player, but not a cassette player. So I went and sat in his car, and we put the cassette on, the very first VAN HALEN album, and I was just stunned. I was stunned by, first, the guitar virtuosity of Eddie, but just the whole expression of this band VAN HALEN. And we sat there in the dark in his car and we listened to the whole record. So that was my introduction to the great Eddie Van Halen. Fast forward some years, and JUDAS PRIEST opens for VAN HALEN at the Santa Monica Civic. And, again, beautiful, gracious guys. I was hanging out with David Lee Roth for the first time. So that's a second great memory.
"Eddie would come to PRIEST shows," he continued. "I believe Eddie and Glenn [Tipton, JUDAS PRIEST guitarist] were very strong friends. So there is that connection on a personal level.
"It's absolutely horrible that we've lost yet another incredibly talented musician," Rob added. "And I'm still trying to process it, because I've been a VAN HALEN fan since day one. And again, all we can do is pray for the family and the bandmembers and the fans and everybody, as we process the grief. And like we always do — like I did when I lost Ronnie [James Dio] and when I lost Lemmy — put the music on and turn the music up, because that's the greatest way you can celebrate these incredible musicians and, in this case, the legendary Eddie Van Halen."
Eddie died at St. John's Hospital 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.
The iconic VAN HALEN axeman died from complications due to cancer, his son confirmed.
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.