During a recent interview with Variety magazine, Grammy Executive Producer Ben Winston talked about the ‘In Memoriam’ segment during this year’s Grammy Awards and explained why Eddie Van Halen’s tribute was so short while saying ‘we did the best that we felt we could.’
As you may recall, less than a week ago, Wolf Van Halen had made it to our headlines with his reaction to the Grammy‘s disrespectful tribute to Eddie Van Halen. Wolf had said that he was asked to perform Eddie Van Halen’s ‘Eruption’ solo during the ‘In Memoriam’ segment, an offer that Wolf had declined because no one ‘could have lived up to what my father did for music but himself.’
Nonetheless, Wolf thought that they would still play some parts of Eddie’s songs and create a slideshow to commemorate his legacy. Thus, he was very disappointed when he saw that his father was shown for just 15 seconds between four full performances for other artists that passed away. In his recent conversation with Variety, Grammy’s Executive producer Ben Winston addressed those claims and explained their point of view.
Winston said that they did indeed talk to Wolf’s representative before the show and after he declined their offer to perform live, Winston ‘offered up eight or nine guitarists who maybe could.’ Wolf said that it would be a better idea to play a video of Eddie as ‘nobody could play like him‘ which Winston said is exactly what they did.
He said that he would have loved for the tribute to be longer but that was the most they could give Eddie because he was ‘the only person in the whole In Memoriam to play their own music, with no other faces being seen.’ Winston went on to say that he believes that this was an ‘appropriate tribute to him‘ and that he’s sorry that Wolf doesn’t feel the same way.
Here’s what Ben Winston said in the interview:
“We had a call with Wolfgang’s rep before the show, and I asked if he’d be willing to come on and play. He said he didn’t really want to do that, and I offered up eight or nine guitarists who maybe could. But instead, he felt like we should play a video of Eddie himself because nobody could play like him, so that’s what we did.
I would have loved for it to be longer than it was, but Eddie was the only person in the whole ‘In Memoriam’ to play their own music, with no other faces being seen. I felt that was an appropriate tribute to him, but if Wolfgang didn’t, I’m sorry about that, of course — it’s such a horrific thing to lose a parent. We did the best that we felt we could.”
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