I've been doing a lot of listening since he died the other day and while I always worshipped the dude - and that never, ever waned - after barraging myself with examples of his playing both familiar (like his solos on Beat It and Jump and that heavy intro to Pretty Woman [Intruder] and..oh there is so much) and new (like that tune he did on SNL, the Hollywood Bowl solo, and several other gems that kept coming up in the feed of every social media platform in existence) and listening really, really hard has elevated my respect for his playing above and beyond even the upper reaches of respect that I had for him before.
The dude was such a guitar monster, with a bag full of skills, licks, tricks, and devastating lines that was the size of a planet...it's all really rather incomprehensible and I'm so, so glad I got to share argons with him on at least three occasions. What a privilege.
And though we can safely assume that his best musical days were either behind him or would soon be so, Eddie deserved to enjoy many years of laurel-resting, and it's a damn shame that he was robbed of that. But what a blessing that the world will forever have the echo of Eddie's astounding gift to the world of rock music and guitar on-the-whole ringing in it's ears. His memory will always be revered and his influence will always be pervasive.
Thank-you so, so much Eddie van Halen, and goodbye.