Wolfgang Van Halen Declined Grammys’ Invitation to Play “Eruption” During Ceremony

Photo by Carl Lander, via Wikipedia
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Sunday night saw the 2021 Grammy Awards go down to much acclaim, occasional derision, and huge excitement from metal fans after Body Count won the Best Metal Performance Grammy. But one part of the show that’s received criticism is the ‘In Memoriam’ reel, which featured only a short tribute to fallen guitar hero Eddie Van Halen. Now, Eddie’s son Wolfgang has come out saying that he, too, was frustrated by the brevity of the Grammys’ tribute to his father — but that he’d been asked to play the classic Van Halen instrumental track “Eurption” at the ceremony, and declined.

“The GRAMMYS asked me to play Eruption for the ‘In Memoriam’ section and I declined,” explained Wolfgang in a post on his Twitter. “I don’t think anyone could have lived up to what my father did for music but himself.

“It was my understanding that there would be an ‘In Memoriam’ section where bits of songs were performed for legendary artists that had passed. I didn’t realize that they would only show Pop for 15 seconds in the middle of 4 full performances for others we had lost.

“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.

“I’m not looking to start some kind of hate parade here, I just wanted to explain my side. I know Pop would probably just laugh it off and say ‘Ehh who gives a shit?’ He was only about the music anyway. The rest didn’t matter.

“I’d love to get the opportunity to speak with The Recording Academy not only about the legacy of my father, but the legacy of the Rock genre moving forward.”


Words by Chris Krovatin