Former Van Halen bassist and founder of Mammoth WVH, Wolfgang Van Halen, recently posted a photo on his Instagram account and expressed his disappointment over the way that the Grammys honored his father’s passing while saying that he’s not looking to start a ‘hate parade’ but that he definitely needed o express his views on this matter.
On October 6, 2020, the rock world mourned the passing of the legendary Van Halen guitarist Eddie, after battling cancer for over five years. While his father was still battling cancer, Wolf started writing ‘Distance‘ as a means of coping with his father’s deteriorating health, which he released in November, as a tribute to his father. Wolf has been quite open about his father’s passing and there isn’t a day that he doesn’t honor his memory in one way or another.
As you probably know, the 63rd Grammy Awards took place on March 15, and while the show was enjoyed by millions, there was one detail that highly upset Eddie’s fans and loved ones, including Wolfgang. As it turns out, the Grammys had asked Wolf to perform Eddie’s solo in ‘Eruption‘ during the ‘In Memoriam’ section but Wolf declined this offer as no one ‘could have lived up to what my father did for music but himself.’
However, he thought that they would still play some bits of his songs as a way of commemorating his legacy. Instead, what they did during the ‘In Memoriam’ section was to put on four full performances for other artists that passed away and just show Eddie Van Halen for fifteen seconds in between. This rightfully upset Wolf who said that what hurt, even more, was to see that even though ‘they talked about artists we lost at the beginning of the show,’ they didn’t even mention Eddie.
Wolf said that this is unbelievable as Eddie was an innovator who left a huge legacy and impacted not only rock music but music in general. He went on to say that he’s not planning to start a ‘hate parade’ but that he definitely wants to have a conversation with The Recording Academy both about the legacy of his father and the legacy of rock music.
Here’s what Wolfgang Van Halen said in the caption of his Instagram post:
“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 at 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. 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.
Click here to check out the photo that Wolf posted on his Instagram account and you can listen to Eddie Van Halen‘s solo in ‘Eruption‘ below.