There’s been an ~eruption~ of outrage from hard rock and metal fans following the Grammy Awards’ shithouse tribute to late guitar legend Eddie Van Halen.
ICYMI: the award ceremony featured a number of performances honouring music icons we lost in 2020, including John Prine, Little Richard, Kenny Rogers and Gerry Marsden. But it totally breezed over Eddie.
Instead of an allstar tribute performance, we got an EVH guitar positioned onstage below a video of the guitar god shredding for a couple of seconds. And yeah, that was it.
Perhaps the implication was that nobody could stand in for him? But taken in the context of the Grammys’ long and infamous history of disrespecting, miscategorising, not televising and just plain fucking over the heavy genres, right back to day dot when they gave the best metal gong to Jethro Tull instead of Metallica, fans were understandably pissed.
“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,” tweeted Gary Cherone (who you may remember did a brief stint fronting Van Halen in the late ‘90s when David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar were both MIA).
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
While metal pundit Eddie Trunk wrote: “How hard would it have been to have a guitarist rip Eruption?? Of course the major rock guy gets no tribute.. New lows. I am sickened beyond words. This is a joke even for the #GRAMMYs !”
How hard would it have been to have a guitarist rip Eruption?? Of course the major rock guy gets no tribute.. of course! or have @WolfVanHalen do Distance, a # 1 ROCK SONG!! New lows. I am sickened beyond words. This is a joke even for the #GRAMMYs !
— Eddie Trunk (@EddieTrunk) March 15, 2021
Eddie’s son Wolfgang has since responded to the backlash, confirming that the Grammys did in fact approach him to perform. But he turned them down with good reason, expecting that they would still organise a fitting tribute to his late dad.
“I declined. I don’t think anyone could have lived up to what my father did for music but himself,” Wolf explained in an extended Twitter post.
“I didn’t realise that they would only show Pop for 15 seconds in the middle of 4 full performances for others we had lost,” he continued.
“What hurt the most was that he wasn’t even mentioned when they talked about artists we lost in the beginning of the show.
“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”.
Wolf added that he hoped he would have “the opportunity to speak with The Recording Academy not only about the legacy of my father, but the legacy of the rock genre moving forward”.
You can read his full post below.
— Wolf Van Halen (@WolfVanHalen) March 15, 2021