Wolfgang Van Halen says that he was asked to play at this year’s GRAMMY AWARDS as a tribute to his late father, Eddie Van Halen, yet he decided against it.
The VAN HALEN guitarist was included in Sunday night’s “In Memoriam” segment at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards with Eddie Van Halen’s name appearing on the screen over a 20-second clip of him shredding a guitar solo. Also a while spotlight shone down on his iconic Frankenstrat guitar that was on a stand, on-stage..
Soon after, a number of people within the music industry, (Let’s be honest, the rock part of “the industry”) blasted The Recording Academy for its meager tribute to the iconic guitarist. Former VAN HALEN singer Gary Cherone tweeted: “Maybe an Artist that reimagined how one plays an instrument, who continues to influence generations of musicians and, literally changed the course of rock ‘n’ roll deserves more than fifteen seconds at the Grammys?”
Well Eddie’s son, Wolfgang Van Halen, issued a statement criticizing the way his father was honored at the event and explained why he decided against participating in the tribute. He wrote: “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 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.
“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.
Eddie passed away in October after a battle with cancer. He was 65 years old.
— Wolf Van Halen (@WolfVanHalen) March 15, 2021