Wolfgang Van Halen said he was hurt by the underwhelming tribute to his father Eddie last night at the Grammy Awards and hopes for change regarding the legacy of not just his father but for rock music.
Eddie was included in Sunday night’s “In Memoriam” segment at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards, where The Recording Academy paid tribute to musicians who died in the past year. Eddie’s name flashed across the screen over a brief archival clip of him performing “Eruption” live while his iconic Frankenstrat was displayed under a spotlight.
Here’s what Wolfgang stated via his Twitter page:
The GRAMMYS asked me to play Eruption for the ‘In Memoriam’ section and I declined. 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.
Throughout last night and today the Record Academy has received criticism from musicians and music journalists.
Former Van Halen singer Gary Cherone:
Maybe an Artist that reimagined how one plays an instrument, who continues to influence generations of musicians and, literally changed the course of rock ‘n’ roll deserves more than fifteen second at the Grammys? #LongLiveTheKing— Gary Cherone (@garycherone) March 15, 2021
Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid:
Fozzy singer Chris Jericho:
Hey @RecordingAcad …no tribute to @eddievanhalen tonight? You and your bullshit awards can GO FUCK YOUR ASS!! And don’t ever try to give my band a nomination. I’d rather win a @RazzieAwards… #FuckOffGrammys #Grammys— Chris Jericho (@IAmJericho) March 15, 2021
Radio Personality/Talk Show Host/Author Eddie Trunk:
So in a more than 3 hour show, with 5 months to prepare, this is all #GRAMMYs could muster for one of the most iconic impactful artists in music history… they reached new levels of shame & disrespect. I am besides myself. #FuckTheGrammys pic.twitter.com/YRaX55WFWW— Eddie Trunk (@EddieTrunk) March 15, 2021
Tech and social media commentator Lance Ulanoff:
Extreme’s Nuno Bettencourt: