HomeEntertainmentWolfgang Van Halen Reflects on David Lee Roth’s Retirement

Wolfgang Van Halen Reflects on David Lee Roth’s Retirement

by Maria Hartfield
Credit: Daniel Knighton / Contributor/Getty Images

Musician Wolfgang Van Halen opens up about his admiration for David Lee Roth saying he will “always be one of the best”.

Wolfgang recently announced he will be retiring come January. “I’m throwing in the shoes. I’m retiring,” he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “These are my last five shows.”

Wolfgang is the son of rockstar legend Eddie Van Halen. At the age of 16, Wolfgang replaced bassist Michael Anthony joining his father, Eddie Van Halen on stage from 2006 to 2020. When asked about David Lee Roth’s retirement in an interview with Consequence, Wolfgang said, “Dave is a… he’s very much a one-of-a-kind [chuckles] sort of guy. We don’t really talk, if ever. We were always cordial on tour together, but it’s not like I’ve spoken to him at all in the last six years. But, I mean, he’s fucking David Lee Roth. I’m so happy for him and for everything that he’s accomplished. And he’s just phenomenal… He’ll always be one of the best.”

In describing his relationship with Roth, Wolfgang told Rolling Stone, “We’re cordial. But it was very business-related. You know, we were always cool, but we really only ever saw each other on stage.”

Wolfgang Van Halen Pranks David Lee Roth

Last year, Wolfgang divulged a funny prank he played on Roth during Van Halen’s final run of shows culminating in October 2015 at the Hollywood Bowl. In an interview with SPIN, he said:

“Throughout the whole tour, Dave had an issue whenever someone in the audience had a beach ball. Outdoor theater, summer concert, Southern California party rock, Van Halen — it’s not out of the ordinary. But every time he saw them, it would really upset him for some reason. And he would stop singing and then stand at the front of the stage and say, ‘Throw the beach ball up here, throw the beach ball up here, throw the beach ball up here’ eight times until it eventually got up, and he would stamp it out. Then he’d throw it off the stage. I guess he just really didn’t want that out there.”

“Before the very last show, the tour manager came up to my dad and me and whispered, ‘Hey, you’ve got a funny little surprise for all of you guys at the end of the show,'” he continued. “We’re, like, ‘What?’ And he goes, ‘At the very end of ‘Jump’, when you’re doing the ride out, we’re going to release 50 beach balls from the top of the audience. And we’ll just see what happens.’ But even if he gets pissed off, what was he gonna do? It’s the last fucking show. And sure enough, we get to ‘Jump’, and there was just a cavalcade, an avalanche of beach balls, and Dave was just, like, short-circuiting. He didn’t understand how to handle it. But we all laughed it off. And it was just really fun, almost like a fun practical joke. And yeah, that was a really fun memory of that show. As time went further and further by, the more I thought about it, like, ‘Wow, if that is the last show, what an amazing way to cap it off.'”

Legendary rocker Eddie Van Halen passed away in October 2020 after battling throat cancer.