In a new interview with Finland's Kaaos TV, Wolfgang Van Halen was asked if he ever realized how much his father, legendary VAN HALEN guitarist Eddie Van Halen, meant to the music world. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH,NET): "Oh, yeah. I think there are only about three guitar players that influenced the instrument, and that would be Les Paul, Jimi Hendrix and my father. I feel like you can't really argue the monumental effect that they each had on the instrument."
Wolfgang also once again reflected on the way Eddie Van Halen was recognized at this year's Grammy Awards. The legendary VAN HALEN axeman was included in the "In Memoriam" segment at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards, where The Recording Academy paid tribute to musicians who died in the past year. At one point in the segment, Eddie Van Halen's name flashed across the screen over a clip of him shredding a guitar solo while a spotlight shone on his iconic red-white-and-black guitar.
"It was really different than what I thought it was gonna be," Wolfgang said. "But I think the only thing that really disappointed me was that he wasn't mentioned by name, at least in the beginning. I felt like he should have at least been brought up."
Wolfgang revealed in a social media post that he was approached by the Grammy producers to perform his father's signature guitar instrumental "Eruption" during the broadcast but that he declined. Asked why he chose not to appear at the event, Wolfgang told Kaaos TV: "I've been spending my life trying to be my own musician. Being asked to go up and be my dad is a bit of a tone-deaf ask, in my opinion. The people who've been criticizing me for not doing it, I don't think they really thought about how I would feel in that."
Last month, Grammy executive producer Ben Winston defended The Recording Academy for the way it recognized Eddie Van Halen at this year's Grammy Awards. He confirmed to Variety that Wolfgang was asked to appear on the program and he explained the reason Van Halen ended up not getting a longer tribute during the event.
Ben said: "We had a call with [a rep for] Wolfgang before the show, and I asked him if he'd be willing to come on and play. He felt he didn't really want to do that, and I offered up eight or nine guitarists who maybe could. But instead, he felt like we should play a video of Eddie himself, because nobody could play like him, so that's what we did."
He continued: "I would have loved for it to be longer than it was, but Eddie was the only person in the whole 'In Memoriam' to play their own music, with no other faces being seen. I felt that was an appropriate tribute to him, but if Wolfgang didn't, I'm sorry about that, of course.
"It's such a horrific thing to lose a parent. We did the best that we felt we could."
Eddie passed away in October at the age of 65.
VAN HALEN was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2007.
Rolling Stone magazine ranked Eddie Van Halen No. 8 in its list of the 100 greatest guitarists.