Wolfgang Van Halen and his late father, Eddie Van Halen, were incredibly close. In fact, Wolfgang was a major influence in getting Eddie back on the road.
In a feature piece for The Washington Post, Valerie Bertinelli said, “Van Halen does not make a final record without Wolfie. They got three extra tours out of Van Halen because of Wolf.”
This was in part due to the father and son jamming regularly following Eddie getting sober in 2006.
Wolfgang recalls that after his father completed a stint in rehab, “That’s when we started jamming. I hadn’t seen him that happy in a while, and being fresh sober, he was like an alien to the world again. Trying to figure out who he was.”
The Washington Post piece further notes, “When you walk around 5150 [studio] with Wolfgang, you immediately understand the central role he played in that last incarnation of Van Halen — even if he won’t take credit. A setlist from the 2015 tour is tacked to the wall, handwritten by Wolfgang and including rarely played tracks (“Light Up the Sky,” “Dirty Movies”) that he pushed the brothers to add to shows. A wax board, still unwashed, features notes for ‘A Different Kind of Truth.’ Wolfgang scoured old tapes and had his father listen to unfinished songs dating to the 1970s. He wanted him to embrace a sound he had been moving steadily away from.”
A Different Kind of Truth producer John Shanks added, “He knew where the pearls were buried. Wolfie is the historian of their catalog. Sometimes it’s very helpful to have someone who’s in the club but objective to say, ‘Dad, you know what people really want to hear?’”
Wolfgang’s new album, Mammoth WVH, comes out June 11 and is available for pre-sale/pre-save on major digital platforms here. Meanwhile, physical copies and album merch are available at WolfgangVanHalen.Shop.MusicToday.com.