With the 2020 passing of guitarist Eddie Van Halen, Van Halen as a band came to an end, though tensions between the group’s surviving members have not at all passed away.
On Wednesday (1.24) via YouTube, front man David Lee Roth launched a broadside attack against Eddie’s son, Wolfgang Van Halen, who played bass with the group from 2007 to 2015 and is now enjoying success with his own band, Wolfgang WVH. In his video, Roth is repeatedly calling Wolfgang “this fuckin’ kid,” and a “schlemiel” (“fool” in Yiddish), berating him for benefiting from nepotism, as well as issues with Wolfgang allegedly ordering the removal of an accountant from a backstage area after supposedly mistaking her for Roth’s girlfriend.
The video rant starts with a vicious mock interview that paints Wolfgang (who replaced original Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony) as “Jesus Christ.”
“Bro, I want people to know I got this job because of my talent,” faux-Wolfgang says. “I would have this job anyway, even if my dad wasn’t God. I just want people to know I got this job because of my talent.”
Roth then mocks Wolfgang for supposedly claiming the singer didn’t pay enough attention to him onstage, and claims the bassist took revenge on Roth by throwing a woman out of two concerts. As Roth tells it, Wolfgang believed the woman watching the show from the side of the stage was Roth’s girlfriend, but she was, in fact, the accountant in charge of payroll for the whole tour, and the Van Halen family had allegedly failed to get her free tickets.
Though Eddie’s son has taken the high road by avoiding direct criticism of Roth, in a 2022 Rolling Stoneinterview he implied that the former lead singer singer was the reason a planned tribute concert for Eddie didn’t happen. “There are some people that make it very difficult to do anything when it comes to Van Halen,” said Wolfgang. “From my time in Van Halen, there was always some stuff that gets in the way from just making music and having a good time. And, I think that’s what happened…. The fact that in my tenure, in Van Halen, we managed to do three tours, put an album of original material and a live album out is a fucking miracle… Apparently, some people are too full of themselves to let other people have a good time.”
Wolfgang’s one-man band, Mammoth WVH (which has a touring line-up, and released its second album, Mammoth II, last year) is playing Jimmy Kimmel Live tonight. Friday (1.26) on would’ve been Eddie Van Halen’s 69th birthday.