Wolfgang Van Halen Says Grammys Asking Him to Play ‘Eruption’ Was ‘Tone-Deaf’
Wolfgang Van Halen has provided a bit more insight into his decision to decline performing at the Grammys, calling it a "tone-deaf" request. The Recording Academy had asked the rocker if he wanted to play "Eruption" to honor the late Eddie Van Halen during its 'In Memoriam' segment earlier this month.
"It just seemed like kind of a tone-deaf ask. It just didn't feel right," he admitted to Rolling Stone. "And I think some people are, like, 'Well, you should have just fucking done it anyway.' And I don't think they were really thinking about the emotional attachment to it. And just the fact that it isn't the right thing to do and something I'm not comfortable with."
Instead, a clip of the late guitarist playing "Eruption" himself was broadcasted during the tribute, with a light shining on his signature Frankenstrat guitar.
"I'll always be here to champion my father and to further his legacy to the ends of the Earth," he continued. "I'm a little biased, but I think you cannot argue the impact that three guitar players had on the history of the instrument. And that's Les Paul, Jimi Hendrix, and my dad."
"And so when something like this happens, you think he would be deserving of a bit more time."
Several days after the Grammys, executive producer Ben Winston defended the 'In Memoriam' segment, noting that Eddie Van Halen was the only artist shown playing their own music during the tribute.
"I felt that was an appropriate tribute to him, but if Wolfgang didn’t, I’m sorry about that, of course — it’s such a horrific thing to lose a parent. We did the best that we felt we could," he said.
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