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Wolfgang Van Halen refuses to cover his dad’s songs

Written by on September 18, 2023

Eddie Van Halen’s son Wolfgang Van Halen refuses to cover his dad’s songs because it’s important to be his “own musician”.

Wolfgang played bass in his father’s band Van Halen for four years, but he’s been focusing on his solo project Mammoth WVH since Eddie’s death in 2020 and the 32-year-old musician has now revealed why he doesn’t play any of the band’s hits at his shows.

Speaking on the ‘Talk Is Jericho’ podcast, Wolfgang explained: “I’m happy to be able to prove myself. The important key distinction is that I’m not doing what my dad did, I’m my own person, I’m my own musician … it’s why I don’t play any Van Halen music or have a plan to play Van Halen music during my sets.

“Even my dad hated doing covers back in the day, his quote resonates with me all the time where he says: ‘I’d rather bomb with my own music than succeed with somebody else’s’, and that’s exactly how I feel about playing Van Halen music. I’d much rather fail on my own than succeed heartlessly by playing ‘Panama’.”

However, Wolfgang made an exception last year when he took to the stage at the Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concerts in London and Los Angeles to perform ‘On Fire’, ‘Hot For Teacher’ and ‘Panama’ in honour of the later drummer, who was a huge fan of Van Halen.

Wolfgang said of the decision: “It was wonderful. It was the exception where it was like, this would be the time to do it. Taylor was such a huge fan and to get my own satisfaction of doing a direct Van Halen tribute for dad, it felt like the right thing to do in that moment. I’m really proud of it.”


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