One of the biggest surprises of the Grammys’ new “In Memoriam” segment was that Eddie Van Halen seemed to be ignored as compared to other legends who died in 2020. Though not completely slighted — a guitar sat alone while 20 seconds of “Eruption” played with archival footage of Van Halen was shown in the background.
In a tweet on Monday afternoon, Wolfgang Van Halen revealed that the Grammys had bigger plans — including having him perform his father’s legendary 90-second thunderbolt “Eruption.”
“The Grammys asked me to play ‘Eruption’ for the ‘In Memoriam’ section and I declined,” the younger Van Halen said in a tweet. “I don’t think anyone could have lived up to what my father did for music but himself.”
“It was my understanding that there would be an ‘In Memoriam’ section where bits of songs were performed for legendary artists that had passed,” he continued. “I didn’t realize they would only show Pop for 15 seconds in the middle of four full performances for others we had lost.”
Even worse, Van Halen says, is that his father wasn’t mentioned in the intro with regards to the legendary artists who passed in 2020.
“I know rock isn’t the most popular genre right now (and the academy does seem a bit out of touch) but I think it’s impossible to ignore the legacy my father left on the instrument, the world of rock, and music in general. There will never be another innovator like him,” he said.
However, Van Halen added that his father probably wouldn’t have cared anyway.
“I’m not looking to start some kind of hate parade here, I just wanted to explain my side. I know Pop would probably just laugh it off and say ‘Ehh who gives a shit?’ He was only about the music anyway. The rest didn’t matter.”
He’s right. Van Halen concluded his statement by saying that he’d like to talk to the Recording Academy about his father’s legacy and rock as a whole.
As you can imagine, Twitter had a field day following the slight to the great Van Halen. Former Van Halen singer Gary Cherone chimed in, tweeting his dismay as well.
Maybe an Artist that reimagined how one plays an instrument, who continues to influence generations of musicians and, literally changed the course of rock ‘n’ roll deserves more than fifteen second at the Grammys? #LongLiveTheKing
— Gary Cherone (@garycherone) March 15, 2021