Wolfgang Van Halen Says ‘Van Halen Doesn’t Exist Anymore’
Despite forging his own successful career, Wolfgang is continually hounded with questions regarding his late father Eddie and the famous band that bore his last name. In a conversation with The Messenger, the younger Van Halen said he understands why fans continue clamoring for a tribute concert, but added that it’s time to move on.
“It's out of love and how many people my father's writing and playing touched around the world,” Wolfgang noted. “But life isn't written to have a happy ending — some things just suck. And if I have to figure out how to have a life without my father in it, I think people can figure out how to live without Van Halen, because it can't happen. Dad's not here, Van Halen doesn't exist anymore as far as I'm concerned. The music and the legacy are there, and I'll be here to push that forth, through things like dad's guitar and amp company, and help in every single way.”
Wolfgang participated in the Taylor Hawkins tribute concerts in 2022, celebrating the life and legacy of the late Foo Fighters drummer. It was an experience the rocker has praised in the months since then, even as fans compare those events to what an Eddie Van Halen tribute could possible look like.
“The unfortunate thing in comparison to what Dave Grohl was able to pull off with the Taylor Hawkins tribute, is that the Foo Fighters have a very friendly thing going on,” Wolfgang explained. “There wasn't a lot of animosity between members to get it done and Van Halen is quite the opposite. I don't know, maybe it's just '80s bands — there's something about '80s bands where it was the cool thing to be dicks. But some things just don't work out and it seems like [a tribute concert] is one of them.”
Wolfgang further noted that his performances at the Hawkins events, during which he played several Van Halen classics, served as an “opportunity obviously to pay tribute to Taylor, but at the same time pay tribute to my father. And that was it for me and it's over — that was me having that moment and being able to do it myself, outside of all the bullshit that the Van Halen duff gets muddled in with. I think I was able to put that to rest and not say goodbye, because I hate to ever speak in absolutes, but for the foreseeable future, Van Halen is not what I'm focused on in any way.”