Wolfgang Van Halen has paid tribute to VAN HALEN's original bass player, Mark Stone, who died on Saturday (September 26) after a battle with cancer.
According to Van Halen News Desk, Stone had been under hospice care recently.
Earlier today, Wolfgang tweeted: "Heartbreaking news to hear of Mark's passing. Met him a few times and he was a wonderful man. My heart goes out to his family".
After one of Wolfgang's Twitter followers suggested that Mark "hadn't talked" to Eddie Van Halen or Alex Van Halen "for decades," the current VAN HALEN bassist, who is also Eddie's son, shot back: "Really odd to lie about something you know nothing about. What do you get out of this?
"They absolutely still talked. How else would I have met him numerous times over the years if they 'hadn't spoken in decades'?"
Mark was the bass guitar player in the pre-VAN HALEN band MAMMOTH from 1972 until 1974. Along with Stone, MAMMOTH featured Eddie Van Halen (lead vocals and guitar) and Alex Van Halen (drums). In early 1974, vocalist David Lee Roth joined the group, which shortly thereafter changed its name to VAN HALEN. By around mid-1974, Stone's VAN HALEN bandmates felt that his commitment to school outweighed his interests in pursuing music professionally, and decided to look for another bass player. Michael Anthony, from the Pasadena-area band SNAKE, was chosen as Stone's replacement. Stone remained on good terms with his former bandmates, and attended Eddie Van Halen's marriage to Valerie Bertinelli in 1981.
Stone was featured in the "Van Halen Story - The Early Years" DVD, which was released in 2003. In 2015 and 2016, Stone made guest appearances with FAN HALEN, a band paying tribute to the Roth-era lineup of VAN HALEN.
Regarding his departure from VAN HALEN, Stone told "Van Halen Story - The Early Years": "I was a straight A student, and doing the band, and I was split between those two things, and basically I couldn't keep up. We met one day, and they actually asked me to leave. For a long time, it was really tough. It was really tough leaving that band because I knew they were destined for greatness. They say, 'Don't leave before the miracle happens,' and I did."