Original Van Halen Bassist Mark Stone Dies

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Photo via Brad Stone’s Facebook page

Mark Stone, the original bass guitarist for Van Halen, died Saturday (September 26). His death was revealed by his brother, Brad, on his Facebook page, with a brief note, “My beloved brother Mark passed this morning.”

Mark Stone had been known to be battling cancer. Earlier this year, his brother revealed that Mark Stone had developed a tumor in his pancreas. “Thank you all for your prayers,” he wrote. “He is in good hands.”

Stone joined brothers Alex Van Halen (on drums) and Eddie Van Halen (on guitar and lead vocals) in 1972 in Southern California in a band whose name evolved to Mammoth, playing high schools and backyard parties. They were then joined by David Lee Roth who replaced Eddie as the band’s lead singer and the band’s name was ultimately changed to Van Halen. As their local following grew, they began to play higher caliber venues, particularly in Hollywood.

“I was a Straight A student and doing the band and I was split between these two things,” Stone said in an interview. “Basically, I just couldn’t keep up with them.” Stone was replaced in the lineup by Michael Anthony on bass.

Listen to a recording, reportedly of the pre-Van Halen Mammoth, with Stone on bass

In recent years, Stone had appeared from time to time with a tribute band, Fan Valen.

Related: Our Album Rewind of Van Halen’s debut LP

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