Wolfgang Van Halen has suggested that mis-management of the coronavirus pandemic played a role in hastening his father Eddie’s death last October.
Having previously revealed that his father had been responding well to the medical treatment he was receiving in Germany following his diagnosis with stage 4 lunch cancer in 2017, Wolfgang has been left wondering whether Eddie may have had a greater chance of recovery had the handling of the Covid-19 virus not necessitated severe restrictions on international travel, thereby ruling out the possibility of continuing his treatment.
In a major new interview with The Washington Post, Wolfgang confirms rumours that, pre-pandemic, Van Halen were discussing the possibility of welcoming back Sammy Hagar and original bassist Michael Anthony into the fold for one final tour alongside founding members David Lee Roth, Eddie Van Halen and Alex Van Halen, and that Wolfgang himself was being considered as the tour’s opening act. In a symbolic passing of the torch to his son, Eddie was also talking about joining his boy (who joined Van Halen on bass aged just 15) onstage for one song per night.
“The way we figured it,” Wolfgang says, “if I were to open for Van Halen, he would come out and play a solo for a song. That would have been the end-all dream.”
“I will forever loathe covid and how it was handled,” Wolfgang added, “because they stole that moment from me.”
In an interview in the new issue of Classic Rock magazine, Wolfgang also played down criticisms of his father’s decision to recruit him on bass in 2007, thereby ending Michael Anthony’s long-term tenure in the band.
“I was just there to support my father in any way I could,” Wolfgang told Classic Rock. “He was newly sober, and because of that was dealing with some performance anxiety, so I was very happy to be there for him. The backlash wasn’t anything I thought too much about.”
Wolfgang Van Halen releases his debut solo album, Mammoth WVH, on June 11 via EX1 Records.