Wolfgang Van Halen says he does not want to play any more VAN HALEN songs
If you’re one of the enthusiastic VAN HALEN fans who felt a surge of excitement watching Wolfgang Van Halen join the stage during the Taylor Hawkins tribute concerts, performing classics like “On Fire,” “Hot For Teacher,” and “Panama,” it’s time to cherish those moments. Wolfgang Van Halen, who openly shared the deeply emotional nature of those performances, appears resolute in his decision to refrain from such endeavors in the future.
During a recent appearance on the Talk is Jericho podcast, Wolfgang Van Halen affirmed his desire to establish himself as a musician in his own right, emphasizing his reluctance to gain recognition by merely playing other artists’ music. He also highlighted that his father, Eddie Van Halen, had a distaste for performing cover songs during his career.
“It was wonderful. It was the exception where it was like, ‘This would be the time to do it.’ Taylor was such a huge fan and to get my own satisfaction by doing a direct Van Halen tribute for Dad, it felt like the right thing to do in that moment. I’m really proud of it.”
“I’m happy to be able to prove myself,” Wolfgang Van Halen added. “The important key distinction is that I’m not doing what my dad did, I’m my own person, I’m my own musician… it’s why I don’t play any Van Halen music or have a plan to play Van Halen music during my sets.
“Even my dad hated doing covers back in the day, his quote resonates with me all the time when he says I’d rather bomb with my own music than succeed with somebody else’s, and that’s exactly how I feel about playing Van Halen music. I’d much rather fail on my own than succeed heartlessly by playing ‘Panama’.”
During a recent interview on Australia’s “Everblack” podcast, Wolfgang Van Halen, who became part of VAN HALEN at the tender age of 15, and had the privilege of sharing the stage with his iconic father, legendary VAN HALEN guitarist Eddie Van Halen, discussed his reflections on the unique experience of being a part of this legendary rock band at such a young age. This collaboration continued from 2006 until 2015, marking five years prior to Eddie’s unfortunate passing.
He said: “Yeah, I think there were a lot of positives and a lot of negatives. I think it really forced me to mature very quickly at a young age. I think at 15, I couldn’t be a regular 15-year-old. So in a certain way, I couldn’t be a regular teenager anymore once that happens, and I experienced a lot of stuff, I think, that most kids that age wouldn’t really normally experience.
“But that’s my story and I wouldn’t take it back for anything. It’s what has led me to where I’ve gone my entire life. It was a really important thing to be there and to support my dad, and that’s all that was really on my mind. And being able to play with my family for that long is something I’ll never forget.”
There have been no updates on the potential VAN HALEN tribute concert since April 2022. During that time, former METALLICA bassist Jason Newsted disclosed to The Palm Beach Post that about six months prior, VAN HALEN drummer Alex Van Halen had approached him regarding the possibility of playing bass for the tribute project. Newsted expressed his initial willingness to travel to California and jam with Alex and the renowned guitarist Joe Satriani to gauge the synergy. However, he later concluded that it would be exceedingly challenging to pay proper homage to VAN HALEN‘s enduring legacy.
Approximately three months afterward, Wolfgang Van Halen conveyed to Rolling Stone magazine that the notion of an Eddie Van Halen tribute had ultimately been abandoned due to interpersonal conflicts within the VAN HALEN camp.