Wolfgang Van Halen has all but ruled out any chance of a reunion show to pay tribute to his late father, Eddie, arguing that the inter-personal relationships within the VH alumni are too “dysfunctional” to make it happen.
Van Halen was talking Van Halen with Classic Rock, and reflecting on his performance at the Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert. When asked about a potential Van Halen show, Wolfgang said that those shows at London’s Wembley Stadium and the KIA Forum in Los Angeles gave him the “closure” he needed
“I think I already did it with the Taylor Hawkins tributes,” he said. “I feel a lot of closure because my part of the show was a tribute to my father.”
Responding to reports that former Van Halen frontman Sammy Hagar was for a reunion show, Wolfgang noted that Hagar had flip-flopped on the proposition, adding, “if the Taylor concerts are all that happens then I’m happy with that”.
Those performances saw Wolfgang jam classic Van Halen tracks Hot For Teacher, On Fire and Panama alongside Justin Hawkins of the Darkness on vocals, Josh Freese on drums and Dave Grohl on bass guitar. WVH might have played bass in Van Halen but had no trouble nailing his father’s blazing leads on his EVH Gear semi-hollow electric guitar.
As to whether he will get the chance to play these songs alongside his uncle, Alex Van Halen, with either or both David Lee Roth or Hagar on vocals, it looks unlikely in the extreme. Wolfgang says Van Halen was never a band that could make their mind up about anything, and it hasn't got any easier since they have been disbanded.
“When it comes to Van Halen and entities surrounding the band it’s unfortunate, certainly compared to Foo Fighters who have their shit together with inter-personal relationships,” he said. “I don’t know what it is with some bands but certain personalities just can’t get over themselves to work collectively for one purpose – that’s been the curse of Van Halen for its entire career.
“So my playing at the Taylor shows delivered that catharsis without the stresses of dealing with the Van Halen camp, and the players involved. Their camp is very dysfunctional – everyone! – hell, it was difficult to make plans even when the band was active.”
Wolfgang Van Halen will be touring Europe and the UK with Mammoth WVH in November and December, opening in Hamburg on 1 November, and concluding the UK leg of the tour at London’s O2 Arena on 12 December, before picking up the tour in the States in January. See Mammoth WVH for full dates.