Wolf Van Halen Shares Opinions On Eddie Van Halen Tribute In Grammys And Clarifies Why He Declined Performing
Former Van Halen bassist Wolfgang Van Halen shared a post on his official Instagram page revealing his opinions about the ‘In Memoriam’ section in the 2021 Grammy Awards Show and stated that the tribute to his father, late guitarist Eddie Van Halen, was far from doing him and the rock music justice and Wolfgang refused to perform ‘Eruption’ in the awards show out of respect to his father.
As many of you know, this year’s Grammy Awards Show was quite unique than the previous years just like any other event because of the coronavirus pandemic. However, the Grammys managed to take place on March 14, and during the ceremony, there was an ‘In Memoriam’ segment which included numerous tribute acts to the legendary musicians who passed away over the last year.
In order to honor the artist we’ve lost last year, numerous musicians took the stage to perform some of the songs from those artists as Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak performed ‘Good Golly, Miss Molly’ as a tribute to Little Richard who passed away at the age of 87 in May after his battle with bone cancer. Along with Little Richard, the Grammys paid tribute to other musicians such as John Prine, Gerry Marsden, and Marry Wilson.
In addition to those iconic musicians, there was a brief segment paying tribute to late Van Halen guitarist Eddie Van Halen which lasted about 20 seconds with a video of Eddie playing the iconic ‘Eruption’ solo while there was a spotlight on his guitar which was standing by itself.
Many fans are not happy with this tribute as they felt it was not enough since Eddie Van Halen’s music was extremely influential in rock and roll for many guitar players along with other musicians. Furthermore, many stated the fact that hard rock, metal, and rock, in general, are neglected and often disrespected in award shows such as the Grammys due to their history of priority when it comes to awards and nominees.
In order to speak his mind about the incident, Wolfgang Van Halen shared a post on his official Instagram page revealing that he was asked to play ‘Eruption’ for the ‘In Memoriam’ section in the 2021 Grammys, however, just because Wolfgang thinks there is nobody who could fill Eddie Van Halen’s place, he refused to play any of his songs.
Wolfgang stated that he was hurt by the fact that a legendary musician such as Eddie Van Halen was not even mentioned at the beginning of the show, and revealed that his father’s legacy when it comes to rock music, guitar, and music, in general, is undeniable, therefore, despite rock isn’t the most popular genre at the moment, they should have respected Eddie Van Halen’s legacy.
Here is what Wolfgang said:
“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 hurts 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.
You can see the Instagram post by clicking here.