Wolfgang Van Halen Reveals How He Honors Late Father Eddie During Every Concert

Born to Valerie Bertinelli and Eddie Van Halen, Wolfgang Van Halen grew up surrounded by the entertainment industry. With his father the guitarist for Van Halen, it seemed on fitting that one day, his son would follow in his footsteps. And that is exactly what happened as Wolfgang performed alongside his father from 2007 to 2020. Sadly, in 2020, Eddie passed away after battling cancer. Never forgetting his father’s impact on his life and career, Wolfgang recently shared the sweet gesture he makes after every concert. 

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Speaking with PEOPLE about his father and time on stage, Wolfgang admitted to pointing to the sky after each performance. The reasoning behind the gesture, “The reason I do what I do is because of my dad. So if I didn’t or at least think about him throughout the process, I’d be doing a disservice to my existence. So I think it’s very important to establish that to thank my dad every night, every time I’m on stage. Just to thank my father and to know that he’s always there with me every night.”

The Reason Wolfgang Van Halen Doesn’t Cover Father’s Songs

While loving the time he spent with his father and Van Halen, Wolfgang explained the reason why he doesn’t cover the band’s hit songs during his concerts. Appearing on the Talk Is Jericho podcast, the musician said, “I’m happy to be able to prove myself. 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.”

[RELATED: Slash & Wolfgang Van Halen’s Oscars Performance of “I’m Just Ken” With Ryan Gosling Rocks the Internet]

Not wanting to just cover songs, Wolfgang noted how his father also hated covering songs. “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’, 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’.”

 (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

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