In an interview with Hustler magazine, famed guitar master Eddie Van Halen reveals that his playing skills were a bit rusty when the group convened to being practice for their last tour. Fortunately for him, his son Wolfgang was on top of things and was able to help his dad recall some long-forgotten licks – some of which he had not played for 25 years.
After that much time, it’s easy to understand how things like that could be forgotten. Add to that a few brain cells that fell victim to Van Halen’s well-publicized problems with the bottle and it makes it even more understandable that the 54-year-old forgot how to play some of his own music.
As Van Halen tells Hustler, Wolfgang was right there to help his dad when needed. “I’d start playing and Wolfgang would say, ‘Dad, you’re playing it wrong,’ he admits.
Although many fans were unhappy about the exclusion of original VH bass player Michael Anthony, perhaps having his son onboard was the kind of moral and technical support that Eddie Van Halen needed to get himself back on track enough to hit the road and make it through a tour.
So far I have not heard the details of Eddie’s alleged medical problems that had sidelined the tour for a while, and suspicions remain that it could have been due to substance abuse problems. The apparent secrecy surrounding the reasons for whatever treatment he needed only serve to add fuel to the fire regarding the speculation about a short relapse that may have lured him back under the influence of the bottle.
All accounts are that son Wolfgang is not the type of kid who is involved with drinking or drug abuse, and may be instrumental in keeping his dad on the straight and narrow. It’s impossible to know for sure, but it seems like young Wolfgang might be just what his dad needed at this point in his life.