GUNS N' ROSES' Slash, METALLICA's Kirk Hammett and RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE's Tom Morello will pay tribute to Eddie Van Halen during the TV special honoring this year's Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductees. The program will be available on HBO and to stream on HBO Max November 7 at 8 p.m. ET/PT and will replace the live 35th annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony that was originally scheduled for May 2 of this year.
It was announced in March that the ceremony would be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic which is sweeping the globe.
The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame 2020 inductee class includes DEPECHE MODE, THE DOOBIE BROTHERS, Whitney Houston, NINE INCH NAILS, The Notorious B.I.G., T. REX and Ahmet Ertegun Award honorees Jon Landau and Irving Azoff.
"To protect the health and safety of our Inductees, their families, crews and our attendees, we've made the decision that the scheduled live event is not possible," John Sykes, chairman of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Foundation, said in a statement this past summer. "Together with HBO and executive producer Joel Gallen, we will still create an exciting program honoring our 2020 inductees, by telling the stories of their incredible contributions to music and impact on a generation of artists that followed them."
The 2021 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony will move to the fall, with the 36th induction ceremony returning to Cleveland.
Eddie died on October 6 at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California at the age of 65. 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.
The day of Eddie's passing, Slash told WGN News about the legendary guitarist's death: "I'm just a little shocked. It's hard for me to verbally say anything, other than I'm just devastated. Eddie was really cool. And I've been talking to him — we've been texting. And I knew he was sick, but I didn't wanna ask him how sick he was. But he was in a hospital in L.A. for a while. And I knew [expletive] was up, but I didn't expect that today at all. So I'm floored."
Asked what he thinks Eddie's legacy will be, Slash said: "Eddie changed guitar playing. I picked up the guitar, I guess it was 1979, 1980. The first VAN HALEN record came out, and Steven Adler, who was GUNS N' ROSES' original drummer, when we were kids, we used to just hang out and ditch school and go to the pizza place and whatnot. And we used to listen to that first VAN HALEN record, and it was just insane. It was, like, 'What the [expletive]?'
"He changed guitar playing," Slash continued. "He was such an amazing musician, amazing guitar player, amazing innovator and just a hell of a guy. And we really lost a major contributor to rock and roll today."
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Morello said: "Eddie Van Halen was one of the greatest, most inventive, truly visionary musicians of all time. He was an unparalleled titan in the annals of rock and roll. And on the Mount Rushmore of guitarists, he is neck-and-neck for the pole position.
"The way that he reimagined the instrument was a testament to divine inspiration: taking this kind of this cobbled-together, garage-built guitar and turning it into this divining rod of awesome rock and roll power. He was truly inspirational to generations of guitarists. I put myself on the list of people who not only [had] a deepened enjoyment of the genre because of his outstanding unsurpassed musicianship; it was also the way that he destroyed the notion that it had all been done before on the electric guitar. That certainly planted the seed for youngsters like me to begin exploring possibilities on the instrument that were undreamt of before Eddie Van Halen."
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.