Van Halen Doesn't Exist Anymore Says Wolfgang


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Van Halen News Photo by antiMusic's Rob Grabowski August 04, 2023
Photo by antiMusic's Rob Grabowski

(Submitted) The Messenger sent over the following excerpts from a new interview in which Wolfgang Van Halen shares how he's dealing with the nonstop chatter and bickering around the idea of a Tribute tour honoring his late father.

The idea of a tribute to your dad keeps coming up. Do you understand why it remains such an active conversation?
It's out of love and how many people my father's writing and playing touched around the world. 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.

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. 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 this is one of them.

Did playing in those Taylor shows change your perspective at all about the idea of tribute events?
Luckily, I feel like I was able to get that feeling from the Taylor thing, which is why I played Van Halen songs and that's not something I take lightly. It felt like the right thing to do, knowing how impossible it would be to do it as a separate thing. I took that as my 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 bullsh-- 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.

Is it frustrating that you have to keep dealing with the squabbling?
Beyond that, it's emotionally difficult for me to hear about it every day. But that's the position I'm in unfortunately, and there's nothing I can do about it. I think Zelda Williams, Robin's daughter, put it in such a beautiful way - on one of the anniversaries of his passing, she said that even a truckload of roses weighs a ton.

I understand that it's all rooted in positivity, but it gets very jarring, and it wears you out. I can't go online or do anything without somebody reminding me "Hey, knock, knock, your dad's dead. Do you miss him?" I feel like unless you're in this position, nobody really understands it. You can empathize with it, but it's very tough to relate to.

Check out the full interview here.

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