Wolfgang Van Halen has released a brand new song, along with an accompanying music video that features old home movies with his late father, Eddie Van Halen. The song, which serves as the debut single for Wolfgang's new music project, Mammoth WVH, is titled "Distance." The video for the emotional tune is a montage of clips from Wolfgang's life with his father, who was the iconic guitarist for legendary rock band Van Halen.
In a statement, 29-year-old Wolfgang — who is Eddie Van Halen's son with actress Valerie Bertinelli — explained the origins of the songs, and revealed that it was never supposed to be his debut single. "As my pop continued to struggle with various health issues, I was imagining what my life would be like without him and how terribly I'd miss him," he wrote. "While the song is incredibly personal, I think anyone can relate to the idea of having a profound loss in their life, I never intended 'Distance' to be the very first piece of music people would hear from me, but I also thought my father would be here to celebrate its release. This is for him."
Eddie Van Halen died in October after a long battle with cancer. Wolfgang confirmed the news in a social media post, writing, "I can't believe I'm having to write this, but my father, Edward Lodewijk Van Halen, has lost his long and arduous battle with cancer this morning. He was the best father I could ever ask for. Every moment I've shared with him on and off stage was a gift. My heart is broken and I don't think I'll ever fully recover from this loss." Wolf ended his statement by writing, "I love you so much, Pop."
Shortly after his death, sources close to the Van Halens told PEOPLE that very few people must have known how serious Eddie's cancer had become. "During the quarantine, everyone around Eddie was even more cautious about his health and his family truly protected him," one source said. "He had throat cancer for years but it spread — it was in all his organs." The source added, "The last three days it was a rapid decline. Sadly, the hard-partying lifestyle physically takes its toll on you eventually."
A separate source went on to say that "everybody knew that he had cancer," but almost no one knew how bad it was. "He's had it for years but nobody knew it was this serious." Eddie was 65 years old at the time of his death.