Wolfgang Van Halen Turned Down an Invitation to Perform ‘Eruption’ at the Grammys


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A number of music luminaries were honored during the 63rd annual Grammy Awards on Sunday evening, with powerful musical tributes given by big-name acts to influential icons including Little Richard, John Prine, Gerry Marsden of Gerry & the Pacemakers and more. As it turns out, there could have been a salute to Eddie Van Halen by his son, Wolfgang Van Halen, but Wolfgang explained in a social media post on Monday why he turned down the opportunity.

His reasoning for turning down the tribute segment is reflective of the thoughtful tone the younger Van Halen has maintained in recent weeks regarding his father’s October passing after a prolonged fight with cancer.

Wolfgang’s statement:

“The GRAMMYs asked me to play ‘Eruption’ for the ‘In Memoriam’ section and I declined. 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. 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.

“I’m not looking to start some kind of hate parade here, I just wanted to explain my side,” continued Wolfgang in his statement. “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. “

In lieu of an actual musical tribute to Eddie Van Halen, his iconic guitar sat alone in the middle of the stage while his picture was displayed on the screens behind it.

Performances from Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard (backed by Coldplay’s Chris Martin) honoring Gerry Marsden of Gerry & the Pacemakers, Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak’s new project) honoring Little Richard, Brandi Carlile honoring John Prine and Lionel Richie honoring Kenny Rogers made up the musical portion of the In Memoriam segment.

As for Wolfgang Van Halen, he recently hit No. 1 on the rock charts with “Distance,” a song he debuted in November in the wake of his father’s passing. Its video, featuring home movies from the Van Halen family, is an emotional journey befitting the song’s subject matter:

The song wasn’t originally intended to be included in Wolfgang’s debut album under his project name Mammoth WVH, but it has since been added due to its overwhelming popularity since its release.

The new album will be out on June 11.

Click here to pre-order Mammoth WVH on CD from our Rock Cellar Store
Click here to pre-order Mammoth WVH on 2-LP from our Rock Cellar Store

Comments

  • Chrissy Blue says:

    Such a sad and sentimental tribute to Eddie Van Halen by his son Wolfgang. I can feel the pain when you see the videos of him growing up with his dad. But classic rocks still lives and Van Halen music will never fade out and die..as much as the new music is here..you can’t bury the classics they will always live on….I grewup with Van Halen loved Eddies guitar rifs and songs..David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar were great in there time with this dynamic band to along with Michael Anthony..I was always a fan of Sammy Hagar way before he started playing with Eddie and his brother..you can’t bury the amazing talent that made this band also..Van Halen will always live on…Always!

  • Ed Banger says:

    Nice tribute by the academy towards the great EVH. A lot of amazing musicians passed last year – so to get 15 seconds wasn’t bad. I stopped listening to VH after the second album – by then they had become a formula.


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