Wolfgang Van Halen, son of legendary guitarist Eddie Van Halen, has revealed some more details about his father’s cause of death. When he had first announced his passing on October 6, he mentioned an “arduous battle with cancer.” Today, he went on The Howard Stern Show to talk about Van Halen and debut a tribute song called “Distance.”
His father was reportedly diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in 2017 and predicted to have six weeks left to live. Eddie Van Halen went to Germany for some alternative cancer treatments and lived for another three years in spite of the initial prediction. Wolfgang Van Halen expressed his gratitude for that, “Whatever the fuck they do over there, it’s amazing because I got three more years with him.”
In 2019, stage four lung cancer wasn’t the only threat to Eddie Van Halen’s health. He was in a motorcycle accident and soon after found out he had a brain tumor. In November last year he ended up in the hospital due to a reaction to his cancer treatments.
“Shit kept stacking up and stacking up,” Wolfgang Van Halen reflected. “It just never let up.” Early this year, bandmate David Lee Roth stated that the guitarist was “not doing well.”
Van Halen had been trying to get a “Kitchen Sink” reunion tour together that would feature all three lead vocalists from across the band’s history: Lee Roth, Sammy Hagar and Gary Cherone. Drummer Alex Van Halen and original bassist Michael Anthony were also set to be on the lineup, but Eddie Van Halen wasn’t healthy enough to join them, so the tour didn’t end up happening.
“You can’t have Van Halen without Eddie Van Halen,” Wolfgang Van Halen told Stern. He didn’t think there would be much more from the band besides archival releases and tribute shows.