Wolfgang Van Halen “hurt” by Grammys 2021 tribute to EVH: “It’s impossible to ignore the legacy my father left on the instrument”

He also revealed that he declined the opportunity to play at the ceremony’s In Memoriam segment.

Eddie Van Halen onstage

Photo: Paul Natkin / Getty

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Wolfgang Van Halen has expressed his disappointment at the Grammys 2021’s tribute to his late father, Eddie Van Halen.

During the In Memoriam segment at the awards ceremony, held on Sunday (15 March) in Los Angeles, EVH was only mentioned for a few seconds, according to Wolfgang, who suggested that he had expected a bigger tribute.

“I didn’t realise that they would show Pop for 15 seconds in the middle of four full performances for others we had lost,” Wolfgang wrote on Twitter today (16 March). “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.”

In the same tweet, Wolfgang revealed that he had declined the opportunity to perform at the ceremony. “The Grammys asked me to play Eruption for the In Memoriam section and I declined,” he wrote. “I don’t think anyone could have lived up to what my father did for music but himself.”

Wolfgang also voiced interest in speaking to The Recording Academy about “the legacy of my father” and “the legacy of the rock genre moving forward”.

See the full statement below:

Eddie Van Halen died on 6 October 2020 after a lengthy battle with cancer. His passing has led to the creation of several memorials, including a statue planned in the city of Pasadena, California and a massive mural in Hollywood, California.

Since EVH’s death, Wolfgang has been vocal about preserving his father’s legacy. In December 2020, he criticised an auction of his father’s guitars, saying, “[The auction house was] just taking advantage of my father’s passing.”

Earlier that same month, he said that he wanted to personally manage his father’s archive of music before any posthumous releases are planned. “If we’re ever gonna do anything with the vault, I want to make sure we do it right and do something that dad would be okay with,” he said.

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