Wolfgang Van Halen Reveals Why He Can Never Replace Dad Eddie Van Halen in Band

Wolfgang Van Halen says replacing father Eddie Van Halen in the band Van Halen would be "impossible" after the iconic rocker died at 65 on Oct. 6, following a lengthy battle with cancer. Wolfgang, 29, has his own musical chops but told Entertainment Tonight Tuesday that replacing his dad would "never happen."

"I think a message to the Van Halen fans [would be that] some things just really suck. I don't have a dad anymore, and I have to figure out how to process that and deal with it," he told the outlet. "And, that's the process that Van Halen fans need to go through and realize that you can't have the band anymore without Eddie Van Halen. The music will live on forever, but you can't have [the band] without him. Impossible."

Wolfgang added that his dad would likely be "really pissed off" at him if he took his place in Van Halen. "He'd probably be like, 'What are you doing playing my stuff? Go do your stuff,'" the musician noted. "He would've been really upset, like, 'You have all this music you're sitting on. Why wouldn't you go forward with that?'"

Wolfgang just released a song dedicated to his father titled "Distance" through his solo band, Mammoth WVH, which features a video compiled of old home movies, Eddie's voicemail telling his son how proud he is of him. Wolfgang said he cries every time he watches the video, especially during the conclusion. "He used to leave me messages like that all the time," Wolfgang said. "There wasn't a specific occasion that warranted that voicemail — that's just how loving and amazing he was. ...I thought that one was a really great way to cap the video off, to really show people how loving of a father he was."

Wolfgang added he feels blessed his father was able to hear his music before his death, saying Eddie frequently declared his son's music the "best album of all time." The young musician added, "I don't know what I would do if I was never able to hear him react to my music. I'm really blessed that I was able to experience that."


Looking back on his father's legendary career, Wolfgang said he believes his legacy will be as "the Mozart of our generation" when you put the same amount of time from the present as there is now from the famous composer. "[The way he played] was amazing," Wolfgang said of his father. "It rubbed off on me because that's all I wanted to do. That's all I'm going to do — play music."