Wolfgang Van Halen, the son of the late famed guitar maestro Eddie Van Halen, said in an Instagram post that he is “blown away” by the response to his debut rock album.
“I’m blown away and eternally grateful for the support you’ve all given me. This is absolutely crazy,” he wrote. “Absolutely insane. You are all incredible.”
Wolfgang released his album Mammoth: WVH in early June. Since then, it reached Number-12 on the Billboard Top 200 Charts. It’s also earned Number-1 honors for Top Rock, Hard Rock, and Independent Rock Albums.
In November 2020, the album’s hit single “Distance” debuted at Number-1 on the Billboard Hot Hard Rock Songs. The song reached 826,000 U.S. streams and 13,000 downloads sold in the week ending Nov. 19. The following week, it had 1.6 million airplay audience impressions on the radio.
“Distance” also ranked Number-9 on the multi-genre Billboard Hot Rock & Alternative Songs list. It opened atop the Hard Rock Digital Song Sales and Rock Digital Song Sales rankings, too.
Wolfgang’s Album Waited a Lifetime to be Released
The success of Mammoth: WVH is especially sentimental for Wolfgang because the album’s release was delayed due to his father’s declining health.
According to a report by The Washington Post, the album could have come out three years ago. It was polished and mastered. Eddie’s ex-wife, Valerie Bertinelli, told the newspaper that Eddie was pushing Wolfgang to release the album. However, Wolfgang refused because he needed to care for his father.
The two had also planned to have one last Van Halen reunion tour beginning in late 2019. Unfortunately, COVID-19 stole the show, Wolfgang recalled.
If the pandemic hadn’t happened, maybe Eddie flies to Germany for more chemotherapy treatments. Maybe then Wolfgang would get to take the stage with his father one last time. These questions remain unanswerable now. Wolfgang told The Post that COVID-19 “stole” the answers from him.
A review of Mammoth: WVH by Riff Magazine says that Wolfgang really shows his multi-instrument talent on the album. It also mentions that his music is both “accessible” and “sounds professional.”
While it may not have the same earth-shattering impact that Eddie’s guitar playing had on Rock-n-Roll, the critic says many of those “unfair expectations” melt away after a couple of listens.
“Van Halen shows enough intrigue and ability to merit watching,” the album review reads. “The good news for him is that he can go in just about any direction he wants, not only because of his last name, but because he really is that good. He could be even better bouncing all that talent off a few contemporaries.”