Wolfgang Van Halen added some additional details why he decided not to contribute to the Eddie Van Halen tribute at this year’s Grammy Awards.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Wolfgang said, “It just seemed like kind of a tone-deaf ask. It just didn’t feel right. And I think some people are like, ‘Well, you should have just f—ing done it anyway.’ And I don’t think they were really thinking about the emotional attachment to it. And just the fact that it isn’t the right thing to do and something I’m not comfortable with.”
He added, “I’ll always be here to champion my father and to further his legacy to the ends of the earth. I’m a little biased, but I think you cannot argue the impact that three guitar players had on the history of the instrument. And that’s Les Paul, Jimi Hendrix, and my dad. And so when something like this happens, you think he would be deserving of a bit more time.”
Many fans were outraged over the lack of a major tribute to EVH during the show’s “In Memoriam” segment and voiced their displeasure on Twitter. The day after the Grammy’s, Wolfgang took to social media and offered his opinion and some clarity on the segment.
“The GRAMMYs asked me to play ‘Eruption’ for the ‘In Memoriam’ section and I declined,” began Wolfgang. “I don’t think anyone could have lived up to what my father did for music but himself.”
He continued, “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. ”
Wolfgang added, “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.”
He continued, “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 s—?’ He was only about the music anyway. The rest didn’t matter.”
Wolfgang concluded, “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.”