Wolfgang Van Halen Explains Why He'll Never Cover Van Halen Songs Live

2021 Shaky Knees Festival

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Wolfgang Van Halen covered three Van Halen songs at last year's Taylor Hawkins tribute — "On Fire," "Hot For Teacher," and "Panama" — but don't expect the son of Eddie Van Halen to cover his dad's songs if you see his band Mammoth WVH live.

“It was wonderful. It was the exception where it was like, this would be the time to do it,” he recalled about covering Van Halen on Chris Jericho's podcast Talk Is Jericho. “Taylor was such a huge fan and to get my own satisfaction of doing a direct Van Halen tribute for dad, it felt like the right thing to do in that moment. I’m really proud of it.”

Why doesn't he want to cover Van Halen during his own shows? “I’m happy to be able to prove myself,” Wolfgang said. “The important key distinction is that I’m not doing what my dad did, I’m my own person, I’m my own musician… it’s why I don’t play any Van Halen music or have a plan to play Van Halen music during my sets."

“Even my dad hated doing covers back in the day, his quote resonates with me all the time where he says ‘I’d rather bomb with my own music than succeed with somebody else’s,’" he added, "and that’s exactly how I feel about playing Van Halen music. I’d much rather fail on my own than succeed heartlessly by playing ‘Panama.’”

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