Van Halen's Son Says the Grammys Gave His Dad the Shaft

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Ian Spelling
·2 min read
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Wolfgang Van Halen wishes the Grammys would “Finish What Ya Started.” The 29-year-old son of Eddie Van Halen, responded via social media to fans’ disappointment over the fact that the Recording Academy didn’t give Eddie Van Halen his proper due during the “In Memoriam” portion of the Grammys telecast on Sunday, March 14. All viewers saw was a brief clip of Eddie – who succumbed to cancer in October of 2020 — shredding on “Eruption” as a spotlight shone down on one of his iconic striped guitars. In addition to agreeing with the Van Halen faithful, Wolfgang revealed that he nearly performed on the show and he tasked the Recording Academy with doing a better job of embracing rock and roll.

“The Grammys asked me to play ‘Eruption’ for the ‘In Memoriam’ section and I declined,” Wolfgang, who was on fire, said via Twitter and Instagram on March 15. “I don’t think anyone could have lived up to what my father did for music but himself. It was my understanding that there would be an ‘In Memoriam’ section where bits of songs were performed for legendary artists that had passed. I didn’t realize that they would only show Pop for 15 seconds in the middle of 4 full performances for others we had lost.

“What hurt the most was that he wasn’t even mentioned when they talked about artists we lost in the beginning of the show,” he continued, unchained. “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.”

That was not enough for Wolfgang, who for many years played bass in the band with his Pop.

“I’m not looking to start some kind of hate parade here, I just wanted to explain my side,” he continued, a man on a mission. “I know Pop would probably just laugh it off and say ‘Ehh who gives a shit?’ He was only about the music anyway. The rest didn’t matter. I’d love to get the opportunity to speak with The Recording Academy not only about the legacy of my father, but the legacy of the Rock genre moving forward. Thank you.”

We’d LOVE to eavesdrop on that conversation. It’s about time.

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