Eddie Van Halen's son Wolfgang 'hurt' by Grammys tribute

Amy Johnson
·2 min read
Eddie Van Halen plays alongside son Wolfgang Van Halen on stage at Sleep Train Amphitheatre on September 30, 2015 in Chula Vista, California. (Photo by Daniel Knighton/Getty Images)
Eddie Van Halen plays alongside son Wolfgang Van Halen on stage at Sleep Train Amphitheatre on September 30, 2015 in Chula Vista, California. (Photo by Daniel Knighton/Getty Images)

Eddie Van Halen's son Wolfgang has said he was "hurt" by the tribute to his late father at the weekend's Grammy Awards.

The renowned guitarist was one of the artists featured in the ceremony's In Memoriam segment after his death from cancer aged 65 last year, but his son expressed disappointment at the length of the tribute.

The In Memoriam part of the ceremony included extended tributes to Little Richard, Kenny Rogers, John Prine and Gerry Marsden while other artists, including Eddie, appeared briefly on a screen.

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Wolfgang, 30, shared that he declined an offer from the Recording Academy to play Eruptions, his father's famed guitar solo, at the awards.

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In a statement on Twitter, 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 realise that they would only show Pop for 15 seconds in the middle of 4 full performances for others we had lost.

“What hurt 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.”

Watch: Musicians honoured in Grammys In Memoriam segment

Wolfgang added that his father "probably would just laugh it off".

He said: “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 s***?’ He was only about the music anyway. The rest didn’t matter.

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“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.”

The Academy was also criticised by some for not including late Glee actor Naya Rivera, a former nominee, in the tributes, as well as Broadway star Nick Cordero.

With additional reporting by PA

Watch: Wolfgang Van Halen marks Eddie Van Halen's birthday