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Billy Corgan Honors Eddie Van Halen: ‘A Man of Staggering Genius’

Billy Corgan paid tribute to Eddie Van Halen, “a man of staggering genius, who wrapped his gift in a smile and a party’s swing,” on social media following the guitar god’s death at the age of 65.

“What a musician, what a legacy, what power and mastery,” the Smashing Pumpkins frontman wrote in his tribute. “I don’t think it’s possible to sum up what his inspiration did for me as a musician. No man made his playing so effortless that I endeavored to make mine sound the same.”

Corgan continued: “I am truly saddened by his loss; and isn’t it strange that a man who played an instrument spoke directly to so many in an unmatched way that rivals only a few: Coltrane, Hendrix, Parker, Miles, Django.”

Corgan also shared a few brief personal remembrances of Eddie Van Halen, including sending faxes to the guitarist’s 5150 studios. “I once asked him when he knew he was ‘that guy,’ and he said ‘I don’t know. I just sat on the edge of my bed and practiced and practiced…,’” Corgan wrote. “Yet the funny thing is a whole army could sit on the edge of their beds and never come up with 1/100th of what he did by the age of 22… Sometimes you just have to stop and say ‘Wow, I was lucky to see that comet flash by…'”

Following the death of Eddie Van Halen after a lengthy battle with cancer, there has been an outpouring of tributes from fellow guitar greats, including Pete Townshend, Joe Walsh, Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready, John Mayer, Joe Satriani, and Tom Morello.

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