Wolfgang Van Halen: The Grammys Almost Had Bigger Eddie Van Halen Tribute

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Brian Hiatt
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Eddie Van Halen’s son, Wolfgang Van Halen, says he declined an offer to play “Eruption” as a tribute to his dad during this year’s Grammy’s, he revealed on Twitter Monday. “I don’t think anyone could have lived up to what my father did for music but himself,” Wolfgang wrote, explaining that he was then surprised to see the tribute become just a brief display of his guitar. “I didn’t realize they would only show Pop for 15 seconds in the middle of four full performances for others we had lost.”

“What hurt the most,” Wolfgang continued, “was that he wasn’t even mentioned when they talked about artists we lost in the beginning of the show. I know rock isn’t the most popular genre right now (and the academy does seem a bit out of touch) but I think it’s impossible to ignore the legacy my father left on the instrument, the world of rock, and music in general. There will never be another innovator like him.”

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Wolfgang acknowledged that his father, who died last year after a long battle with cancer, wouldn’t have cared about any of it. “I know Pop would probably just laugh it off and say, ‘Eh, who gives a shit?’ He was only about the music anyway. The rest didn’t matter.” But he offered to speak to the Recording Academy “not just about the legacy of my father, but the legacy of the rock genre moving forward.” (A spokesperson for the Recording Academy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.)

Wolfgang, who toured and recorded on bass with Van Halen, is releasing his self-titled debut album as Mammoth WVH (in which he sings and plays all the instruments), on June 11th.

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