As the music world and hard rockers in their from their late thirties to early fifties reel from the loss of Eddie Van Halen at the age of 65 from throat cancer, Alex Winter - Bill from 'Bill & Ted' - penned a heartfelt tribute to the guitar god for Rolling Stone.
Winter, like most of his generation, came to Van Halen and the guitarist's work from their self-titled album of 1978, which featured hits like 'Runnin' With The Devil', 'Eruption', and their cover of 'You Really Got Me'.
Comparing Van Halen to the Beach Boys and Brian Wilson, Winter added he thinks "the reason everyone’s grieving so much is there was just so much emotionality in Van Halen’s playing! It wasn’t just noodling. It wasn’t like some guy who could play the guitar really fast. There was a really beautiful quality to what he would play that I think really impacted people profoundly."
More pointedly, Winter talks about how Eddie Van Halen was offered a role in all three 'Bill & Ted' movies, but sadly declined every single one. "He was extremely charismatic and he was always very genteel, but he always turned us down," Winter explained, adding that the third movie was to feature an entire scene written specifically for Eddie Van Halen, but that he turned it down for personal reasons, now obviously clear that it was due to the guitarist's declining health.
"We didn’t obviously have any idea what that was, but it was pretty clear now what it was. It’s just devastating."
You can read the full tribute here.