The Song Wolfgang Van Halen Couldn’t Listen To After Losing Eddie Van Halen
Experiencing grief and mourning following the death of a loved one is an inevitable part of life. It may also be one of the most painful and overwhelming emotions that many of us will ever endure, especially if it is a family member. Everyone reacts differently to a loss, but moving on with life is usually hard for most people, at least for a while.
Any memory from a special moment or an item related to that loved person will eventually remind the surviving ones of them. Losing his father, Eddie Van Halen, with whom he had a close relationship, has also been quite challenging to cope with for Wolfgang Van Halen.
Undoubtedly, Eddie is irreplaceable for the Mammoth WVH frontman, both as the always supportive father figure and his musical mentor. It is no surprise that the late guitarist substantially shaped Wolf’s musical taste, so the singer has so many things to remind him of his father. In an interview with Louder Sound two years after his father passed away, Wolfgang named the album Eddie had played to him for the first time.
Eddie Van Halen sadly passed away in the fall of 2020, losing his lengthy battle with cancer. The world would no longer be the same for Van Halen listeners because the Van Halen they knew and adored would not be the same without Eddie. Yet, Wolfgang’s pain was not even possible to predict. Eddie was a very loving and supportive father, always by his side on his musical journey, giving him advice and guidance to help him throughout his life. He had lost both his father and his guide.
In an early 2022 interview, Wolfgang revealed the ‘playlist of his life.’ Among them, of course, were the ones that his father helped him to discover. Peter Gabriel’s 1986 album ‘So’ was recommended to him by Eddie one day while he was sitting and listening to some other stuff. And now, this album that Wolfgang once enjoyed most listening to and considers one of the best albums ever in the music world has become one of the most challenging albums for him to listen to due to the pain of his father’s death.
“This is one of my favorite albums because it was one of my father’s favorite albums of all time,” said Wolf, recalling one of the favorite albums of his father. “I’ll never forget him coming up to me one night with these huge headphones and going, ‘Wolf, put these one.’ And he put the headphones on my head and cranked the first song, ‘Red Rain.’ The soundscape of it is incredible – everybody should do that at least once in their life, put an amazing pair of headphones on and crank ‘Red Rain.’”
He continued, “It’s very hard to listen to now my father is gone, but that album, front to back, is Peter Gabriel at his finest. He’s such a fantastic songwriter. Nobody has that voice, and nobody ever will. You just marvel at it: ‘F*ck, that’s awesome.’”
After Eddie’s death, Van Halen disbanded. Wolfgang never intended to replace his father. He is now following his own path while playing with Mammoth WVH. Mammoth WVH honors his father, paying homage to the name of his first band. Wolf dedicated himself to finding his own personal tune in this band while always respecting his father’s legacy.