WOLFGANG VAN HALEN: Why EDDIE VAN HALEN Was A ‘Terrible’ Guitar Teacher
“He didn’t teach me” how to play guitar,” Wolfgang told “The Afternoon Program” on the 102.9 The Hog radio station (hear audio below). “He was a terrible teacher. He only taught me how to do power chords on a guitar, and then I taught myself. [Laughs] I would ask him how to play something, and then he would just be himself, which is be a legendary guitar player. He couldn’t really help me connect point A to point B; he would just do it and go, ‘Do this,’ because it’s so easy for him. And I would just laugh and be, like, ‘Okay.’ [Laughs]
“I guess it’s the same thing with [Albert] Einstein,” he added, referring to arguably the greatest scientist of all time. “[Einstein] couldn’t tie his shoes. There’s a saying where it’s, like, you’re such a genius that it’s hard to impart that to others; it’s just kind of what you are. [Laughs]”
Wolfgang, who played all the instruments on MAMMOTH WVH‘s upcoming debut album, went on to say that he picked up guitar when he was just 12 years old, “because I wanted to learn how to play ‘316’, the song [my father] wrote for me, at a talent show at my school. I think it was sixth grade.”
At the age of 16, Wolfgang joined his father in VAN HALEN for the band’s 2007 reunion tour with singer David Lee Roth, replacing bassist Michael Anthony.
When Wolfgang hits the road in support of MAMMOTH WVH‘s debut album, he will be accompanied by guitarist Frank Sidoris (SLASH FEATURING MYLES KENNEDY AND THE CONSPIRATORS), drummer Garrett Whitlock (TREMONTI) and bassist Ronnie Ficarro. Wolfgang will handle lead vocals and guitar at the shows.
Eddie died on October 6 at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, California. The iconic VAN HALEN axeman passed away from complications due to cancer, his son confirmed.
MAMMOTH WVH‘s first single, “Distance”, was released last month. Wolfgang wrote the song while his late father battled cancer, “imagining what my life would be without him, and how terribly I’d miss him,” as Wolfgang explained in a statement.
MAMMOTH WVH is a nod to family history — Eddie and his brother Alex Van Halen called their band MAMMOTH when Roth first joined it in 1974.