Wolfgang Van Halen Names His Favorite Solo By Eddie Van Halen

Wolfgang Van Halen, son of Eddie Van Halen and the current leader of Mammoth WVH, singled out his all-time favorite guitar solo recorded by his dad. Wolfgang, who also played bass guitar in the final incarnation of the band, appeared in Chris Jericho’s show “Talk Is Jericho” recently where he was asked about what’s his favorite lead guitar part by Eddie. He replied (via Guitar World):

“I like all of it, so take this with a grain of salt. A solo I think is really fun is the solo on ‘Amsterdam,’ which is on ‘Balance.’ That’s just a wacky, fun solo and I think that’s worth another look if you haven’t listened to that song in a while.”

Released on the 1995 album “Balance,” which also marks the band’s final one with Sammy Hagar on vocals, “Amsterdam” is not exactly the most expected choice for a favorite. On the other hand, it would be odd for Eddie’s son to name a cliché choice like “Eruption” so a deeper cut does kind of make sense. You can check it out in the embedded player below and the solo starts a bit after the 2:20 mark.

Van Halen - Amsterdam

Of course, during the chat, Wolfgang also discussed his band Mammoth WVH and their second album “Mammoth II.” Released on August 4 this year, the record featured a song called “Take a Bow” which was also released as a single which features a lead guitar part recorded on his father’s legendary Frankenstrat, as well as his old Marshall rig.

And it was exactly this solo that Wolfgang picked when he was asked about his own solos that he’s the fondest of. He commented:

“Right now, ‘Take a Bow’ is something I’m really proud of. It’s a different sort of solo for me – very long-form in comparison to anything I’ve done before.”

Mammoth WVH - Take A Bow (Official Lyric Video)

Further on, Wolfgang also discussed the differences between his and his late father’s musicianship and what he feels sets them apart. The young Van Halen explained:

“When it comes to Mammoth, focusing on everything and playing everything is definitely my specialty. I guess I see myself as more of a songwriter than a musician on any instrument. I focus more on the entirety of the song because I have to.”

In another recent interview, Wolfgang Van Halen reflected on being Eddie’s son and how some people have criticized him online with the usual “nepotism baby” approach. Asked about whether he feels any pressure for “upholding the family name,” Wolfgang responded:

“I won’t lie. I don’t think my emotional and mental well-being have been any lower. It’s a thing that is incredibly tough to fight. In the absence of Dad, and everything that has happened, it’s very difficult.“

Mammoth WVH - Better Than You (Official Audio)

“The lucky thing is I have a wonderful support system surrounding me. I have my mother, my uncle Patrick, my fiancée Andraia, so many wonderful people I can lean toward, because I certainly don’t have the emotional strength. There’s many times when I don’t have the strength to do anything, and more than not, that seems to be the case.“

“But you’ve got to find the things that give you life. For me, that’s music and being able to wake up every day and think about how I’m going to create this second album. It’s stressful, but it’s also very exciting, and it’s what I put all my thinking into.“

Going more into some of the criticisms from random online users, he added:

“When it comes to dickheads on the internet, that’s always there. Everyone deals with it. Sure, it hurts a lot when it’s directed toward you, but you’ve got to realize the place it’s coming from.“

Mammoth WVH - Miles Above Me (Official Audio)

“I like to pick my battles. I like to find the right time to chirp and say something funny, but sometimes you do feel that need to be like, ‘Fuck off.’ And you can do that every now and then.“

“But all in all, it says so much more about them than it does about you that they go out of their way. You can point them out, too, because you’ll see their profile and you can almost always predict what’s going to be filling their timeline.“

“When it comes to people who feel the same way I do, dealing with depression and anxiety, you never really are alone. Unfortunately, it’s like we’re all alone together, because so many of us feel this way.“

Mammoth WVH - I'm Alright (Official Music Video)

“I work through a lot of it through music, and I have a lot to work through this time around. I’m cautiously optimistic and also dreading it at the same time, because I have to go to a lot of places emotionally and mentally to get to the other side of this album and have a finished, complete thing.”

“But I think it will be good for me because that’s the same thing that happened with the first album. It was a very therapeutic, cathartic experience.” 

Photo: Thomson200 (2021 Shaky Knees – Mammoth WVH (1) Wolfgang Van Halen (cropped)), Abby Gillardi (Van Halen-8597 (20643101375))

  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at Ultimate-Guitar.com, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor and brands like Sam Ash.

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