It must’ve been heart breaking for Wolfgang Van Halen to write his first song he intended to sing for himself.
Van Halen wrote it while his dad was dying. His father was iconic guitarist and rock star Eddie Van Halen, who died last month after a long battle with cancer. The son was preparing for his dad’s death. So he wanted to pay tribute to him while he still felt all the raw emotion a son deals with as his father leaves this earth.
Wolfgang Van Halen, who goes by Wolf, now has released the song and the video. The song is called “Distance.” In a statement, he said he’d been “imagining what my life would be without him, and how terribly I’d miss him.”
Wolf Van Halen Tribute to His Dad Is Emotional and Uplifting
The video, which was released Monday, is both uplifting and heart-wrenching. It’s all home movies. Some were shot by his mother, actress Valerie Bertinelli.
The video clips show the proud parents bringing their only child home from the hospital. There’s a clip of Van Halen telling his son how he’ll build him a studio. In another, Eddie is holding baby Wolf in his lap as he shows him the piano keys. Another clip is of Eddie on the floor, playing with his son.
It ends with a voice mail Wolf had saved. It’s difficult to hold back the tears as Eddie Van Halen says: “I’m just so happy to have you as my son, man. I’m so proud of you. I love you so much. Call me if you get a chance. I just want to hear your voice.”
There’s no doubt Eddie would be so proud of his son. Wolf joined his father’s band in 2008 for a reunion tour with David Lee Roth. He continued playing with them until the final tour of 2015.
Wolf released the song under the name Mammoth WVH. That’s a nod to his family. Eddie and Alex Van Halen’s band was called Mammoth until 1974, when Roth first joined it.