Wolfgang Van Halen Reveals Why Some VH Fans Saw Him As The ‘Biggest Enemy’

Wolfgang Van Halen recalled the first gig he did with Van Halen alongside his dad. The bassist opened up to Classic Rock about fans’ reactions to him replacing original bassist Michael Anthony and how that affected him. He explained:

“I was there to support my dad, but I was aware that I’d become the biggest enemy of every forty-to-fifty-year-old man out there in the world. It was something I didn’t know how to handle. That did a lot of damage to me.”

Even though fans had trouble accepting Wolf’s takeover, the bassist revealed that he and Michael were on good terms by adding:

“Mike and I are very cordial. He’s a wonderful f*cking guy. We talk, and it’s great.”

Despite the turbulent start, Wolfgang shared that he did his part for the band. He said:

“It was a lot of pressure, but we had rehearsed constantly, to the point where those songs were in my bones. Luckily, nobody was staring at me– they were staring at Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth on the stage together – so I got to lay back and do my part.”

In a 2021 interview with Spin, Wolf admitted that after he took over Anthony’s place, he understood why fans hated him. The bassist expressed:

“Looking cynically on paper, as a kid replacing a longtime member, it’s like…yeah, you should hate me. It’s a lot more nuanced than that. It’s not like my dad was like, ‘F*ck you, get out of here.’ My dad wasn’t going through a good time, and Mike was having a good time playing with Sam. Sam wasn’t in the band.”

You can read Wolfgang Van Halen’s interview with Classic Rock here.