Ultimate Classic Rock has been doing some Van Halen Easter egg hunting!
A recent video uploaded to UCR’s YouTube channel brought attention to a handful of nods and subtle tributes Wolfgang Van Halen gave to Van Halen in his debut Mammoth WVH album and below are the five they came up with.
#1) The first Van Halen Easter egg is one the Van Halen News Desk and Van Halen fans had picked up on back in February when Wolfgang debuted artwork from the album on social media. As UCR‘s Matt Wardlaw notes in the video above: “The placement of the guitar, microphone, drums and bass reflect back to how the members of Van Halen were pictured individually on the cover for the debut record.”
#2) Wolfgang made sure his dad’s iconic Frankenstein guitar made not one but two appearances on his album. He revealed to Total Guitar last month that he played the Frankenstein on the guitar solos to the tracks ‘Mammoth’ and ‘Feel’.
“You feel the history. It’s kind of terrifying holding it,” Wolfgang told Total Guitar. “Just because arguably it is the most famous guitar in musical history. It’s definitely quite the thing to hold it.
“When we were pulling it out of its safe, Dad picked it up and he was just noodling with it for a second,” Wolfgang continued. “He’s like ‘Yeah, feels about the same’ and he tossed it onto the couch. Everyone just gasped when he did that. To Dad, it’s just a little piece of junk that he built himself, but to us it’s the most famous thing in the world.”
Listen to “Mammoth”
Listen to “Feel”
#3) There are two notable Eddie Van Halen Easter eggs in the opening track to Mammoth WVH – “Mr. Ed”. The first is the familiar harmonic tapping work on the guitar.
“Lyrically its not about my dad in any way,” said Wolfgang. “It was just a demo title because I harmonically tapped the intro and it just felt like a funny thing to call it but then it stuck so I just kept calling it that.
“The solo came about in the studio I think, or maybe right before,” he continued. “I was just having fun….’cuz it starts off with a harmonic tap following that line that goes up to the tapping part and so it was fun to try and explore how I did the intro and try and incorporate that into the solo.”
Listen to “Mr. Ed”
#4) The other EVH Easter egg in “Mr. Ed” is the appearance of the synthesizer on the track. Wolfgang used the original Electro-Harmonix Micro-Synthesizer Eddie used on Van Halen’s “Sunday Afternoon In The Park” from Van Halen’s 1981 album Fair Warning.
Back in January of 2015 Wolfgang posted a quick video of him playing “Sunday Afternoon In The Park” to his Instagram page.
Listen to “Sunday Afternoon In The Park”
#5) Last but not least on the Van Halen Easter egg list is yet another nod to the Fair Warning album and one many Van Halen fans quickly picked up on when this song was first released. The tail end of the Mammoth WVH track “Don’t Back Down” is the same as the ending to the Fair Warning song “So This Is Love”.
Listen to “Don’t Back Down”
Listen to “So This Is Love”
That’s all of the Van Halen Easter eggs in the Mammoth WVH album…or is it?