Wolfgang Van Halen: ‘I’m Not F—in’ Playing ‘Panama’ for You Guys’
Wolfgang Van Halen is once again pushing back against fans asking him to perform his dad's music, this time telling an online fan that he's "not fuckin' playing 'Panama' for you guys."
Van Halen, whose new band Mammoth WVH are spending the summer opening for Guns N' Roses as well as headlining shows of their own, has been steadfast in his refusal to play Van Halen songs in concert.
The latest in his often-funny online interactions occurred after a fan wrote to suggest Van Halen play more than songs from Mammoth WVH's self-titled debut album in concert: "Wolfie, I like your stuff. I just think the time to honor Dad is now. You've already shown you can stand on your own!"
"I honor my dad by existing and doing what I do every day," Van Halen said in response. His father, Eddie Van Halen, died after a long battle with cancer in October 2020. "I'm not fuckin' playing 'Panama' for you guys."
He then noted on Twitter that he "can't win" with some fans, who also accuse him of "riding his daddy's coattails" by serving as Van Halen's bass player from 2007-15.
Before the release of his debut album, Van Halen said he was prepared for negative reactions to his music. "Being who I am, I think people at the least will be interested in what my work will sound like, which is very nice," he explained. "But on the other hand, if it's not exactly what they want to hear, or if I don't try to sound Van Halen-y enough for them, they'll hate me and won't give me the time of day. I'm fully prepared for a wave of hate when my music releases because it won't be what people think it'll be. I'm not trying to be my father, I'm trying to be me."
Mammoth WVH are scheduled to be on tour with Guns N' Roses through Oct. 3; they will also be playing a handful of headlining shows and festival appearances. You can find complete tour details on their website.