Wolfgang Van Halen released his debut single Distance (opens in new tab) with solo project Mammoth WVH today and it's an emotive tribute to his late father, guitar legend Eddie Van Halen (opens in new tab). To mark its release he also took part in a candid interview with Howard Stern and he took the chance to reveal the rumours of Van Halen's reunion with Michael Anthony were not only true but there was even talk of a 'kitchen sink' tour with the Sammy Hagar, David Lee Roth and even Gary Cherone.
"There are no rules" – Eddie Van Halen: the last guitar mag interview (opens in new tab)
“Since 2015 Id’ been talking with dad and was introducing the idea,” says Wolfgang. “Because he knew I was doing my music and I said, ‘Hey dad, you know what would be cool? Hear me out… what if I opened for you guys and we had Mike come back.”
Eddie “warmed up” to the idea as time went on, and Wolfgang revealed that the idea for “The Kitchen Sink Tour” was mooted too. “Let’s get Dave and Hagar and even Cherone and do a giant fucking awesome thing,” he continued. It got as far as being discussed with legendary artist manager Irving Azoff. But it wasn’t to be – tragedy intervened.
“Things started getting really bad at the beginning of 2019, right after my birthday. [Dad] got in a motorcycle accident and from [that] we found out he had a brain tumour. But then we took care of it. He got this crazy procedure called a Gamma Knife radiation procedure and was ok. But as time went on shit just kept stacking up and stacking up. It just never let up.
"Ultimately 2017 kind of was the start of it all, at the end of 2017. He was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and the doctors were like, ‘You have six weeks’ and he went to Germany [for treatment]… it was amazing because I got three more years with him.”
Wolfgang reiterated that he wanted fans to be aware that Eddie and the band tried to make the reunion happen, even in the face of such adversity.
“That’s kind of important to let people know. But that was real and we were so excited about it, all of us.”