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‘I’m Not F***in’ Playing ‘Panama’ for You’

todayAugust 25, 2021 3

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Wolfgang Van Halen has made his stance against playing Van Halen covers in Mammoth WVH pretty well known, but that hasn’t stopped fans from asking. And in a series of tweets, the musician revealed a bit of his frustration with the requests.

Spotlighting a tweet he received, he showcased one such request to honor his father with a cover onstage, with the author suggesting that the time was right as the Wolfgang had “already shown you can stand on your own.” Captioning the exchange, “Y’all are never gonna fuckin stop are ya?,” he also showed his response which was, “I honor my dad by existing and doing what I do every day. I’m not fuckin’ playing ‘Panama’ for you guys.”

Later adding to the conversation thread, he reflected a bit of the conflicting messages sent his way over the years where it pertained to playing his father’s music. “Plays in band with Dad,” stated Van Halen, then showing the fan response, “That spoiled brat is just riding his daddy’s coattails.” He then added, “Plays in own band without covering VH,” before concluding, “Yo, why isn’t he riding his daddy’s coattails??”

The humor of his initial comment did give him an idea though, later suggesting, “Lol, I should get a shirt that says ‘I’m not fuckin’ playing Panama for you guys.'”

Wolfgang has been one of the more open musicians on Twitter, especially when it comes to the expectations that accompany his last name. Prior to releasing any music from his first solo album, Wolfgang addressed a fan question about whether his father’s legacy was a blessing or a curse.

“It’s really equally both. Being who I am, I think people at the least will be interested in what my work will sound like, which is very nice. 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,” he stated at the time. “I’m not trying to be my father, I’m trying to be me.”

Soon after he received praise by Eddie’s onetime bandmate Sammy Hagar, who stated, “The only way you will ever be happy and satisfied is doing your own thing the way you hear it in your head and feel it in your heart! You inherited genetically enough talent for 10 lifetimes use it the way you want.”

Since Eddie Van Halen’s death, Wolfgang has shot down rumors of fronting Van Halen and has been up front about not covering Van Halen’s music. Last November he addressed the topic with Eddie Trunk. When asked if he intended to cover the group’s music, he responded, “Absolutely not,” before adding, “If I do, I’d want it to be, like, really fucking different. I wouldn’t wanna just sit there and play ‘Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love.’ I’d wanna do a cool acoustic cover of ‘Little Guitars’ or some shit — something different. I refuse to tread the same ground as my dad. I need to forge my own path.”

He later reiterated to People magazine in June, “It’s very freeing to start this path now, rather than doing what everybody would expect me to do, to get out there and just play covers of Van Halen songs. I don’t think I’d ever want to do that. Ever.”

Wolfgang’s Mammoth WVH debut has been well received since its arrival in June and he’s taken his band on the road opening dates for Guns N’ Roses this summer. Check out their remaining tour dates here.

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