Mark Stone, who was the original bassist for Van Halen, has sadly passed away following a battle with cancer. His death has since been confirmed by his brother, Brad, who shared the sad news on his Instagram.
Stone was a founding member of Van Halen, however, his tenure in the band was short-lived. He was a member of the band since their formation in 1972, alongside brothers Eddie and Alex Van Halen, as well as David Lee Roth who joined up with the group soon after. They originally called themselves Genesis but changed that to Mammoth upon finding out about Genesis’ that there was another band named Genesis. Two years after their formation they changed their name to Van Halen but, later on in that year, they would also axe Stone from the group in replace of Michael Anthony.
The former bassist was a bright, intelligent student at school which took priority over the band for Stone, he explained. “I was a straight ‘A’ student in school, and doing the band, and split between these two things, and basically, I couldn’t keep up with them,” Stone disclosed in the documentary The Van Halen Story: The Early Years.
“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,” he added.
Stone never actually appeared on any official Van Halen releases but contributed to some demos from 1973 through 1974. We send our condolences to Mark Stone’s family and friends during this difficult time.