Wolfgang Van Halen Recalls His First Encounter With Axl Rose

Wolfgang Van Halen joined Ultimate Classic Rock for an interview in which he recalled the first time he encountered Axl Rose and revealed his first impression of the Guns N’ Roses icon.

Guns N’ Roses was planning to embark on a tour back in Summer 2020 with stops throughout North America, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. However, they had to postpone the dates due to pandemic restrictions. The band then announced the rescheduled tour dates, and the tour began on July 31 at Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Following that, GN’R announced the additional 14 dates and the North America leg of the tour. As it turned out, Wolfgang Van Halen’s Mammoth WVH would be the opening act for GN’R during the tour. Wolfgang announced the news and dates on his band’s official Instagram account and revealed that they will support GN’R on several other dates.

In the interview, UCR’s Matt Wardlaw and Bryan Rolli asked Wolfgang Van Halen if he has cool stories from his time with Axl Rose this summer. Wolfgang then recalled the time he first encountered Axl Rose after their show at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford while they were all spending time outside the tour bus.

The musician said Axl Rose came there at the night’s end. He then stated that seeing him was pretty nerve-racking, and he thought they should be on their best behavior. Wolfgang then recalled extending his hand to greet Rose, but the frontman hugged him. To his surprise, Rose stated he liked their ‘Don’t Back Down’ video, and Wolfgang said Rose was very kind and affable that day.

In the interview, Ultimate Classic Rock asked Wolfgang Van Halen:

“Do you have any cool stories about spending one-on-one time with Axl Rose this summer?”

Wolfgang then responded:

“There weren’t many times, but when we did see him, it was always really fun. The very first night, I think it was after MetLife, we were all just kind of hanging out outside our bus, and it was like the whole bus area. And one by one, Duff McKagan walked by, and then Slash walked by, and then Frank Ferrer, and Richard Fortus, and Melissa Reese.

Then at the end of the night, Axl finally walked up. It was very nerve-racking. It was like, ‘Okay, I think Axl’s coming up. Everybody be on your best behavior and be nice.’ And he was so affable, just so kind.

I was like, ‘Hi, Mr. Rose,’ and I put out my hand, and he brought me in for a hug and everything, and he talked about how much he liked the ‘Don’t Back Down’ video, which was crazy just to think that he had even watched it.”

Like Mammoth WVH, the American rock band Dirty Honey also opened for Guns N’ Roses this year. On November 1 and 2, the band supported Guns N’ Roses on their Not In This Lifetime Tour, and in January 2022, both bands will embark on the Young Guns co-headlining tour. The tour will begin on January 21 in Chicago and conclude on March 5 in Indio, California.