Wolfgang Van Halen spoke at length about the rumored tribute tour in honor of his late father, Eddie Van Halen, in a new interview with Rolling Stone.
“What I can say is that there was an attempt at doing something,” said Wolfgang. “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. After being in Van Halen for a long time, I really have strived to have an environment where there is no walking on eggshells and there is no personality that you have to deal with. It’s just guys having fun making music and just having a good time. But, you know, from my time in Van Halen, there was always some stuff that gets in the way from just making music and having a good time. And, I think, that’s what happened.”
Wolfgang, acknowledging his elusive answer, would add, “I would love to just sit here and say everything and say the truth. There are plenty of interviews my dad did, where he straight up just said everything. And people hated him for it and thought he was lying. So I could just say s—, but people have already decided how they feel about things, facts or not. So I can say the facts. But that may not align with how certain people feel. I know how Van Halen fans get. They are very motivated by which specific people they like in the band. And it’s just not worth it. Just, we made an attempt, and some people can be hard to work with, and made it not happen.”
Wolfgang would go on to clarify that the tribute to his father was actually just supposed to be a one-off performance, not a tour as has been previously reported. However, even trying to organize a one-off performance led to various issues, and apparently, none of this tribute business was supposed to come out.
“People love to pin every decision Van Halen has ever made on Dad. But [Alex Van Halen’s] the brain,” said Wolfgang. “Al has been the guy forever. He’s the dude. When it comes to Van Halen, Dad just wanted to play guitar. But, you know, Al’s mentality, and it’s the mentality that Van Halen took for the entirety of its band, is that there’s nothing worth talking about unless it’s happening…And just because one person [former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted] decided to talk about it when they weren’t supposed to, it f—ed everything up.”
When pushed on whether the biggest issue with getting a tribute show together was David Lee Roth, Wolfgang responded with, “I would say, ‘Do your research on the history of Van Halen, and come to your conclusions.'”