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“One of Eddie’s greatest joys was to play music with his son”: Eddie Van Halen didn’t deserve backlash for replacing Michael Anthony with Wolfgang, engineer says

“There was nothing more than, ‘I want to play music with my kid.’ Plain and simple.”

[L-R] Eddie Van Halen, Michael Anthony and Wolfgang Van Halen

Credit: Getty Images

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Engineer Ross Hogarth has argued that Eddie Van Halen did not deserve the backlash he received when Wolfgang took over Michael Anthony’s position on bass in Van Halen.

Wolfgang, who has since forged his own identity as an artist in his band Mammoth WVH, joined the rock outfit in 2007 when he was just a teenager. Despite some criticism from fans at the time, Hogarth has argued that it was a “beautiful joy” to be around the father-son dynamic.

Wolfgang himself has previously compared his experience of joining Van Halen to being  “fired out of a cannon”. Hogarth worked with the band on their final studio album, A Different Kind of Truth, and told Anthony Marinelli in a recent interview that Wolf’s addition to the line up added a “certain glue”.

“I will say something direct and honest. First off, everybody who knows Michael Anthony also knows he’s just an awesome guy, a beautiful cat,” he begins (via Ultimate Guitar). “Somehow, there was all this animosity, but anyone who’s a father, and their kid plays music – one of Eddie’s greatest joys was to play music with his son.

“One of Wolf’s greatest joys was to play music with his dad, and now that his dad is gone, those moments would never have happened if Ed had just stayed with [the classic lineup].” He continues, “Everyone wants Michael Anthony with David Lee Roth, the original Van Halen. But there was nothing more than, ‘I want to play music with my kid.’ Plain and simple.

“I’m not gonna get any further into the dynamics, but I will say that to be around that beautiful joy – Uncle Al, playing music with his nephew, and Ed getting music to play with his son. What happens [is] family harmonies; you can’t get that sound [otherwise]. When those guys played together, there was a certain glue that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.”

Watch the interview below:

Wolfgang Van Halen is touring with Mammoth WVH this year. You can view the full list of live dates, which begin this February, via their official website.

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