Wolfgang Van Halen shared a touching tribute to his father Eddie Van Halen on the second anniversary of his death.
“2 years and not a single day has gone by where you weren’t on my mind,” wrote Wolfgang. “I’m trying to do my best and hold it together but it’s just not the same without you here, Pop. I love and miss you more than you could possibly imagine.”
Wolfgang released his first single “Distance” about a month following his father’s death at age 65 from cancer. The single served as a tribute to the late guitar icon.
Wolfgang said before the release of the track, “‘Distance’ is a song that was initially written for the debut album, but was going to be held for a later time. As my pop continued to struggle with various health issues, I was imagining what my life would be like without him and how terribly I’d miss him.”
He continued, “While this song is incredibly personal, I think anyone can relate to the idea of having a profound loss in their own life. I never anticipated ‘Distance’ would be the first song of mine that people would hear, but I also thought my father would be here to celebrate its release along with me. This is for him.”
Why I Miss Eddie Van Halen More Than Certain Dead Relatives of Mine
Like everyone else in the world, I’ve experienced my share of loss. Also, like everyone else in the world, I’ve experienced my share of what I’ll refer to as “complicated loss.” For the purposes of this article, “complicated loss” is that murky situation when a relative or other prominent figure in your life dies, but your relationship/feelings about said figure aren’t very “sunshine and lollipops.”
It’s the type of situation that reminds me of one of my favorite one-liners from comedian John Mulaney.
Years before he became one of the biggest draws in the world of stand-up, Mulaney landed his first comedy special: 2009’s The Top Part. In that special, he explores his love of Law & Order, his favorite TV show. As he’s funnily touching on all of the show’s various quirks and tropes, he makes his way to how much he enjoys the character Detective Lennie Briscoe played by the late Jerry Orbach. He then hits the audience with this blunt, yet hilarious, line:
“And I miss Jerry Orbach more than certain dead relatives of mine.”
It’s a line that always makes me laugh without fail, even though I know it’s coming. It’s also a line that is seemingly top of mind for me whenever a notable death occurs in pop culture. Sadly, when part of your living comes from covering news in the world of classic rock, you have to deal with death and loss far more than you’d really like. Alas, much like Hyman Roth in The Godfather: Part II, this is the business I’ve chosen. As a result, I have developed the morbid coping mechanism when having to deal with covering a notable death by seeing whether or not I actually miss the dead celebrity more than certain dead relatives of mine.
I’ve covered the rock music world for 8+ years now. Many deaths have hit me very hard, but the one that hit me harder than most was Eddie Van Halen. For me, his death was the perfect storm of being a massive fan, having it happen while still in the thick of the coronavirus pandemic and also still mourning the loss of my own brother who died six months prior. Add in the fact his innovative force truly changed rock and roll, it makes sense (in my mind, at least) why I would miss Eddie Van Halen more than certain dead relatives of mine.
If you aren’t sold yet by my reasoning, here are some other reasons to support my possibly bonkers headline.
Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock news blogger who's well versed in etiquette and extraordinarily nice.