Eddie Van Halen’s son Wolfgang says he was ‘hurt’ by the Grammy Awards tribute to his late father. During the In Memoriam segment of Sunday’s Grammy Award ceremony, Eddie appeared briefly on screen while extended tributes were paid to Little Richard, Kenny Rogers, John Prine, Gerry Marsden and others who died in 2020. Wolfgang said that he expected a larger tribute for his father, who died aged 65 from cancer in October.
The 30-year-old Wolfgang also revealed he declined an offer from the Recording Academy to play Eruption, his father’s famed guitar solo, during the segment because he would not be able to live up his father’s legacy. Wolfgang wrote on Twitter: ‘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 realize 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.
Wolfgang concluded: “I just wanted to explain my side. I know Pop would probably just laugh it off and say “Ehh who gives a sh**?” He was only about the music anyway. The rest didn’t matter. 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.’
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