Flashback: In February 2015, Eddie Van Halen announced during his interview at the Smithsonian that son and Van Halen bassist Wolfgang would be releasing a solo album . Of the album, Eddie threw some hype Wolfie’s way, telling listeners, “Wait until you hear his record! This is not pop talking, this is REAL talk. It blew my mind.”
But, the hype was quickly overshadowed, as a month later on their official website, Van Halen announced a Summer/Fall North American tour, in addition to the news that they’d be performing not once, but twice, on TV—a first (and second) for the band, who popped their TV cherry on the Jimmy Kimmel Show on March 30th, less than a week after the tour was announced. Ellen Degeneres got the far-from sloppy VH seconds in April, as the boys trotted out “Jump” and “Dance The Night Away” for the psyched up audience.
So, not surprising that the WVH solo project was derailed, right? Heck, your old man gets people talking, and then suddenly you’re on Jimmy Kimmel, rehearsing, then doing Ellen, before going out on the road for 41 shows in 39 different cities while promoting the live album recorded in Tokyo, 2013. That kinda schedule? It’ll keep you busy.
Still, it’s been a while, and not a lot of talk by anyone in the Van Halen camp about the album’s arrival. Last August, Wolfgang tweeted this tidbit:
“Progress. Shouldn’t be too much longer until everything I’ve been working on is done.”
Not a whole lot followed, but the first taste of what fans might expect came in December of 2017, when Wolfgang released a 17 second teaser as, “A sneak peek to start your week.” Not exactly a press release and ‘leaked’ single, but, it was something.
A sneak peek to start your week ?? pic.twitter.com/QnIsV58hQ4
— Wolf Van Halen (@WolfVanHalen) December 11, 2017
Well, things’ve ramped up some. On May 22nd, Wolf tweeted a closeup pic holding an acoustic guitar up to a studio mic with the message: “Finally getting back to work on finishing this thing. Tracking some acoustics with @elvisliberace and @1f_jef.” Call outs were to record producer, engineer and mixer Mike Elvis Baskette and recording engineer Jeff Moll.
— Wolf Van Halen (@WolfVanHalen) May 23, 2018
Thursday, the follow-up came, a photo more along the lines of what we expected, Wolfgang’s electric guitar, with sound board in the background, with the caption: “Solo trackin’ time w/ @elvisliberace & @1f_jef.”
— Wolf Van Halen (@WolfVanHalen) May 25, 2018
On May 27th. Another closeup, this time showing off a mic in the studio, and the update: “Tracking some vocals/getting work done/having an awesome time w/ @elvisliberace & @1f_jef.”
— Wolf Van Halen (@WolfVanHalen) May 28, 2018
And, the latest… On June 13th, Wolf confirmed on Instagram that all recording on his project is complete and ready for the mixing stage.
When you’re the bass player for a legendary band, the creative process is tough enough. When you’re in the shadow of your dad and uncle, A-list Rock and Roll Hall of Famers? Understandable that you’re going to take your time. Not that that’s made all the VH faithful any less demanding or critical. JoeGodlar, for example, tweeted:
“I’m sorry Wolf but if it isn’t Van Halen I don’t think many will care.”
To which Wolf replied with class:
“Hey thanks, man! Always nice to meet a fan (heart emoji)”
Not all the fans have been on his case, however, with some simply eager for more info. Benj asked:
“Wolf any guest sit ins on this project or all Instruments/Vocals done by you? Also is there a cover tune or all originals?”
“No. Yes. All originals.”
(No surprise there, because VHND was the first to break in 2017 that Wolfgang was planning to do it all himself.)
So, the big question on everyone’s mind—will Eddie pop up on his offspring’s debut solo album? Doesn’t look like it, unless there’s some stretching o’ the truth going on. Wouldn’t appear Uncle Alex or bandmate Diamond Dave will, either. (A bit Wallflowers/Jacob Dylanesque in not relying on that, or, not making a big deal out of it if anyone does pop up.) To be sure, it’s a record that’s been shrouded in mystery. Will it be worth it when the album drops? Will everybody want some? We’ll keep you posted as updates come in.