Wolfgang Van Halen has paid tribute to his father Eddie Van Halen, saying the legendary VAN HALEN guitarist is the inspiration he needs to "keep moving."
The 29-year-old's end-of-year message came less than two months after the release of "Distance", the first single from his solo band MAMMOTH WVH. Wolfgang wrote the song while Eddie battled cancer.
On Thursday (December 31), Wolfgang took to his Instagram to share a collage of photos of his father, and he wrote: "Fuck 2020.
"I'll never be the same person I was before this year. Hopefully I can figure out how to process it all, but only time will tell I guess.
"Some wonderful things did happen that I'm very thankful for, but it's all so bittersweet. I wish he was here.
"It's very hard to keep going and at this point I still don't know how. Time keeps moving regardless and you somehow find a way because you don't have a choice. As much as I'd like to just crawl in a hole and stay there for the rest of my life, my father would be so disappointed. I've gotta keep moving. If not for me, then for him.
"It's been such an awful fucking year for a myriad of reasons. All things considered, I hope everyone is staying safe and well.
"Here's to hoping things start looking up in 2021.
"I'll see you all there".
"Distance" is an open letter to Wolfgang's father — one he was fortunate to play for his dad and would become a favorite of Eddie's — declaring "no matter what the distance is, I will be with you." The video for the song is created from a collection of family home movies through the years and offers an inside look in to one of music's most notable personalities. Chronicling the family through the years, the video ends with a touching voicemail left from Eddie to his son.
Wolfgang played every instrument and sang each and every note on the MAMMOTH WVH LP, which is tentatively due in early 2021 via Explorer1 Music Group/EX1 Records. The group's touring lineup will feature Wolfgang on guitar and lead vocals, Frank Sidoris (SLASH FEATURING MYLES KENNEDY AND THE CONSPIRATORS) on guitar, Garrett Whitlock (TREMONTI) on drums, and Ronnie Ficarro on bass.
In November, Wolfgang confirmed that he asked his father for permission to use the MAMMOTH WVH band name for his solo project. MAMMOTH WVH is a nod to family history — Eddie and Alex Van Halen's band was called MAMMOTH when singer David Lee Roth first joined it in 1974.
Wolfgang joined his father in VAN HALEN for the band's 2007 reunion tour with Roth, replacing Michael Anthony.
Eddie died on October 6 at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California. The iconic VAN HALEN axeman died from complications due to cancer, his son confirmed.
Photo credit: Travis Shinn
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