"Him not having any idea that Eddie Van Halen just took his picture was super funny": The night a Tool fan unwittingly got a rock legend to take a photo of him

Eddie Van Halen and son Wolfgang in 2012
(Image credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

Wolfgang Van Halen is a big fan of Tool, but one of his favourite things that happened at a Tool show at nothing to do with the band playing. It was back in October 2019 and Wolfgang and his late father, and rock icon, Eddie had been to see Tool play at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. At the end of what had been a triumphant show, a comical scene unfolded involving his dad. Wolfgang recounted the tale during a recent interview on Chris Jericho's podcast, Talk Is Jericho:

“It was the end of the show and some guy just wanted a picture of himself with the stage behind him,” he said. “He walked up to dad and was like, ‘hey can you take a picture?’ and it being dad, it was like, ‘oh ok, he wants to take a picture’ and then he just stood by the stage by himself.” Unbeknownst to the Tool fan, he had asked Eddie Van Halen to take his picture rather than asking Eddie Van Halen to be in a picture with him. “It's such a funny little story that I loved,” he continued. “It wasn’t so much, how dare you not know who he is, because dad just looked like a dad, of course you wouldn’t know who he was, but him not having any idea that Eddie Van Halen just took his picture was super funny.”

Wolfgang took his Twitter page at the time to post about it, taking a picture of the picture:

Elsewhere in the interview, Van Halen talks about recording at 5150 Studios, the facility built by his late dad. “It feels like it’s my duty to be there,” he tells Jericho, adding that he’s brought up to modern spec. “I got a new board and everything but it’s very much the same vibe, I didn’t want to upgrade it and get it ride of the vibe of it all, I wanted to make sure it’s still the same parquet floors and every scratch that’s there has been there since the 80s so it’s very important it still lives and breathes as it always has, just now it works to the best of its ability.” Both of Wolfgang Van Halen’s records as Mammoth WFH were recorded at the studio, which is based in Los Angeles.

Niall Doherty

Niall Doherty is a writer and editor whose work can be found in Classic Rock, The Guardian, Music Week, FourFourTwo, on Apple Music and more. Formerly the Deputy Editor of Q magazine, he co-runs the music Substack letter The New Cue with fellow former Q colleagues Ted Kessler and Chris Catchpole. He is also Reviews Editor at Record Collector. Over the years, he's interviewed some of the world's biggest stars, including Elton John, Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys, Muse, Pearl Jam, Radiohead, Depeche Mode, Robert Plant and more. Radiohead was only for eight minutes but he still counts it.