Despite the fact that all those involved have said that some kind of all-star tribute to the late Eddie Van Halen isn’t going to happen, the question keeps coming up. However, Eddie’s son Wolfgang Van Halen, the Grammy-nominated leader of his own band Mammoth WVH, says it’s his own existence that’s the ultimate tribute.
Speaking to The Messenger, Wolfgang says, “I view me just being alive and being in the music business as a tribute to my father every day.” But, he understands why people keep bringing it up.
“It’s out of love and how many people my father’s writing and playing touched around the world. But life isn’t written to have a happy ending — some things just suck,” he says bluntly. “And if I have to figure out how to have a life without my father in it, I think people can figure out how to live without Van Halen.”
“Dad’s not here, Van Halen doesn’t exist anymore as far as I’m concerned,” he adds. “The music and the legacy are there, and I’ll be here to push that forth, through things like dad’s guitar and amp company, and help in every single way.”
The fact that Van Halen “doesn’t exist anymore” is just fine with Wolfgang, who says he never understood the “animosity” in that band. As he puts it, “Maybe it’s just ’80s bands — there’s something about ’80s bands where it was the cool thing to be d***s.”
Still, Wolfgang notes that people constantly asking him about his dad is “very jarring, and it wears you out.”
“I can’t go online or do anything without somebody reminding me ‘Hey, knock, knock, your dad’s dead. Do you miss him?'” he says. “I feel like unless you’re in this position, nobody really understands it.”
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