Wolfgang Van Halen has weighed in on the proposed all-star Van Halen tribute project, saying it “was already not happening” by the time Jason Newsted first publicly discussed it three months ago.
No progress has been made thus far on any possible tribute concert since April when the former Metallica bassist revealed to The Palm Beach Post that he was approached by Van Halen drummer Alex Van Halen about six months earlier about playing bass for the project.
Newsted would go on to say that that he agreed to go to California to jam with Alex and legendary guitarist Joe Satriani and see if it felt right, but he eventually realized that it would be impossible to do justice to the legacy.
In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Wolfgang was asked to elaborate on what happened to cause plans for the tribute concert to fall apart. He said: “What I can say is that there was an attempt at doing something. But, you know, I don’t like to speak negatively about people, but there are some people that make it very difficult to do anything when it comes to Van Halen. After being in Van Halen for a long time, I really have strived to have an environment where there is no walking on eggshells and there is no personality that you have to deal with. It’s just guys having fun making music and just having a good time. But, you know, from my time in Van Halen, there was always some stuff that gets in the way from just making music and having a good time. And, I think, that’s what happened.”
He said about the tribute tour rumor, “It was not a tour.” Newsted explicitly said it was a tour, as did Joe Satriani.
After this, we get a glimpse into why things just won’t move forward at all with the band.
He starts off: “I would love to just sit here and say everything and say the truth,” he continued. “There are plenty of interviews my dad did, where he straight up just said everything. And people hated him for it and thought he was lying. So I could just say sh*t, but people have already decided how they feel about things, facts or not.”
At this point, he would love to do something for his dad, but one person makes it almost impossible.
He says about the tribute falling apart: “Look at anything that’s happened with Van Halen,” he said. “And look how things have fallen apart. You know? The fact that in my tenure, in Van Halen, we managed to do three tours, put an album of original material and a live album out is a miracle. People love to pin every decision Van Halen has ever made on Dad, but Al’s the brain. Al has been the guy forever. He’s the dude. When it comes to Van Halen, Dad just wanted to play guitar. But, you know, Al’s mentality, and it’s the mentality that Van Halen took for the entirety of its band, is that there’s nothing worth talking about unless it’s happening.”