Monday, September 28, 2020

Original Van Halen bassist Mark Stone dies

Original Van Halen bassist Mark Stone died September 26 after a battle with cancer.

The late rocker’s brother, Brad, broke the news via Instagram, writing: "My beloved brother Mark passed this morning. #markstone #vanhalen #fanhalen".

No further details have been released at this time.

The Van Halen News Desk reports Stone’s wife confirmed that he had been in hospice recently.

In 1971, Eddie and Alex Van Halen were making a name for themselves around their hometown of Pasadena, CA when they performed as Genesis, a power trio that included Kevin Ford on bass; according to "Van Halen Rising" author Greg Renoff, Stone saw the band playing one night and later talked his way into an audition, which he passed.

The three-piece set up anywhere and everywhere they could – often renting a PA from local contact David Lee Roth – and continued to build a reputation while Eddie managed his dual role as guitarist and lead vocalist. After discovering albums had been released by the UK progressive outfit Genesis, the band changed their name to Mammoth.

Roth joined Mammoth in 1973 and helped broaden the band’s appeal on the party circuit and entry into the Los Angeles club scene, before which the singer would suggest the group change its name to Van Halen.

According to Renoff, Stone eventually wore out his welcome with the brothers and was replaced by Michael Anthony in 1974; the band would perform on the regional circuit for another three years before signing with Warner Brothers in 1977 and issuing their self-titled debut album a year later.

“Mark helped lay the foundation the band we all love. RIP,” tweeted Renoff. “Condolences to his wife and all those who loved him.” See also:

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Search Van Halen at hennemusic