The Grammys were set to host a momentous tribute to the legendary Eddie Van Halen. The ceremony tapped Eddie’s son, Wolfgang Van Halen, to perform ‘Eruption’ in tribute to his father — which he declined.
In a tweet on Monday, Wolfgang Van Halen revealed that he opted out of performing the song out of respect for his fathers legacy. “I don’t think anyone could have lived up to what my father did for music but himself,” Wolfgang wrote.
The Grammys ultimately shared a brief clip of Eddie Van Halen performing ‘Eruption’ whilst a spotlight illuminated one of his signature striped guitars.
Naturally, the scant tribute didn’t sit well with fans and friends of Van Halen. Music historian Eddie Trunk took to Twitter to slam the awards ceremony, writing: “So in a more than three-hour show, with five months to prepare, this is all Grammy could muster for one of the most iconic impactful artists in music history. They reached new levels of shame and disrespect. I am beside myself. Fuck the Grammys.”
Wolfgang also expressed his disappointment with the broadcast, “I didn’t realize they would only show Pop for 15 seconds in the middle of four full performances for others we had lost.”
“What hurt the most,” Wolfgang continued, “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.”
Despite the upset, Wolfgang shared that his father would have met the inadequate memorial with a sense of humour. “I know Pop would probably just laugh it off and say, ‘Eh, who gives a shit?’ He was only about the music anyway. The rest didn’t matter.”