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Wolfgang Van Halen on Nixed Van Halen Tribute: “Some People Can Be Hard to Work With, and Made It Not Happen”

When pressed on whether it was David Lee Roth, Wolfgang answered, "Do your research on the history of Van Halen."

wolfgang van halen on van halen tribute 2022
Wolfgang Van Halen, photo by Raymond Ahner
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    Wolfgang Van Halen has opened up about a long-rumored Van Halen tribute in a new interview. The son of the late Eddie Van Halen said that it was ultimately nixed due to the notorious personality clashes within the band.

    “What I can say is that there was an attempt at doing something,” Wolfgang said of the tribute in a new interview with Rolling Stone. “But, you know, I don’t like to speak negatively about people, but there are some people that make it very difficult to do anything when it comes to Van Halen. … Just, we made an attempt, and some people can be hard to work with, and made it not happen.”

    He then reveals that it would have been a one-off tribute concert, not a full tour, as had been reported. When pressed on whether David Lee Roth was the source of the dissent, Wolfgang seemed to confirm as much without mentioning his name specifically.

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    “I would say, ‘Do your research on the history of Van Halen, and come to your conclusions,'” Wolfgang said.

    A possible Van Halen tribute show/tour was only a rumor until former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted said he was approached about participating in the project alongside guitar shredder Joe Satriani. It was the first time the idea had been publicly discussed, and according to Wolfgang, Newsted was out of line in making the revelation.

    “Just because one person decided to talk about it when they weren’t supposed to, it f**ked everything up,” Wolfgang said. He clarified that he was upset that Newsted’s revelation put it out there for the world to know, but that the tribute was nixed long before the bassist said anything.

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    As for David Lee Roth, the singer continues to offer mixed signals about his retirement and the Van Halen tribute. DLR recently made the following remark when asked about the tribute, suggesting it still could happen: “Yeah, I wrote the songs … I was the one who named the band … I’m only in the middle of my first retirement.”

    Elsewhere in the Rolling Stone interview, Wolfgang revealed he has a number of songs written for his follow-up to the debut Mammoth WVH album. “There’s about seven or 10 ideas left over that were written around that time [of the debut album recording sessions],” he remarked. “And since then, I’ve written many, many more. So there’s a lot to pick from.”

    He added that he is eyeing next year as a release date for Mammoth WVH’s sophomore album.

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