Wolfgang Van Halen’s song for his dad Eddie is number one on iTunes

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Wolfgang Van Halen is still reeling from losing his dad, Eddie Van Halen, who died from lung cancer last month. Wolf is a musician in his own right, having learned at the feet of his father and eventually touring and recording with Eddie and his band, Van Halen. Wolf has his own band, Mammoth WVH, and was recording solo music when Eddie’s cancer came back. He paused his solo work when his father’s health declined but has just released the first song, Distance, which is a tribute to his father. The song hit number one on iTunes, which it was probably destined to do because of the sentimental quality to it, however, Wolf has his father’s musical ability and Distance is an excellent debut. The significance of the song performing so well has, of course, meant the world to Wolf.

“Distance”, the first music from Wolfgang Van Halen’s solo band MAMMOTH WVH, has topped the iTunes Top 100 Songs chart chart. The chart list countdown contains the hottest and most popular music hits and singles from all musical genres downloaded from the Apple iTunes music store, including today’s hot pop, rap, rock, and country songs.

Wolfgang reacted to the news on social media, writing: “#1 on @iTunes . Not just rock, but overall. I’m speechless.

“The response to Distance has been mind-blowing and I’m so thankful for each and every one of you.

“Know that the weight of this moment is not lost on me.

“Thank you.

“Wish you were here for this, Pop.”

Wolfgang had been preparing to release music from his solo band MAMMOTH WVH for some time. That plan was altered when his father and guitar icon Eddie Van Halen called him and told him his cancer had returned. Wolfgang decided to put everything on hold to be with his father through his battle. During that time, Wolfgang was writing material for his upcoming solo album, for which the first single “Distance” would be born.

“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. While the song is incredibly personal, I think anyone can relate to the idea of having a profound loss in their life,” Wolfgang explained.

[From Blabbermouth]

Wolf said he did not intend for Distance to be the first song released but this is how the journey led him. I’ve posted the song below and when you listen to the lyrics, he’s saying that no matter where his father is, he knows he can hear him, which is fitting for his first song. I have no idea how Wolf can get through singing that without breaking down, I can’t get through listening to it without reaching for some tissues.

While speaking to Howard Stern, Wolf said he’s not doing well, overcome with grief over losing his father. I hate to hear how much he’s suffering but it is also refreshing to hear someone admit publicly that loss hurts. Sure, we’ll carry on, but it takes time to mourn and it really is okay to say that. Also in that Stern interview, Wolf said that when the cancer came back it was aggressive, but through treatment, they were given three extra years with Eddie, “At the end of 2017, he was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer and the doctors were like, ‘You have six weeks. And then he went to Germany. Whatever the f— they do over there, it’s amazing because I got three more years with him.” I know it’s not universal, but it really is amazing when treatment can buy you time. My father-in-law was given four years when he’d been given six months. My mother was given four months just four weeks ago and we think we just bought a year plus with last week’s surgery. I know Wolf misses his father but it’s beautiful that he sees the gift he was given with those extra years

Here is the music video for Distance. Both CB and I really like it. The video is poignant, it’s home movies of Wolf and Eddie, showing how much they adored each other. It’s emotional on its own, but watching it as I sit with my mother battling with cancer during the longest stretch I’ve ever been away from my kids, I haven’t stopped crying.




Photo credit: Getty Images, YouTube and Instagram

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18 Responses to “Wolfgang Van Halen’s song for his dad Eddie is number one on iTunes”

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  1. Fran says:

    Sending you a million virtual hugs and strength, Hecate. And thank you for still writing from the temple of Hecate even though your heart must ache terribly.

  2. Chill says:

    Yeah, I’m crying.

  3. Dina says:

    Thinking of you Hecate, sending you so many hugs.

  4. Insomniac says:

    Sending you and your mom lots of strength, Hecate.

    And this song and video made me a sniffly mess last night. I was a teenage Van Halen fanatic, and I’m still kind of in shock that Eddie’s gone.

  5. Mely says:

    I feel his pain. My dad was initially diagnosed with lung cancer and given 4 months this time last year. Unfortunately we found it had spread to his pancreas and he was gone in 6 weeks. 2021 started out bad and has just gotten worst. I am glad my dad passed quickly and we didn’t have to worry about coronavirus with him. But it still sucks. I’m glad Wolf got those extra years with his Dad, I’m sure those memories are so precious. I’m not sure I can listen to that song quite yet.

  6. Nikki* says:

    Wow Hecate, your post made me cry. I hope your mom confounds all the expectations, and I know y’all will appreciate every day you get. Sending you love.

  7. Renee says:

    I’m so sorry you are going through such a painful time Hecate. It is heartbreaking. I’m sending you many virtual hugs and prayers.

    I heard this song the other day from Wolfie and loved it. I love that he had such a close relationship with his dad (and mom Valerie Bertinelli too).

  8. LahdidahBaby says:

    Hecate, I can’t even imagine the pain you’re going through, the weight of it even harder to bear at a time like this when just getting through each day without contracting this killer virus is almost more than most of us can bear. Sending you my best good thoughts through the air and the distance, for whatever it’s worth.

  9. mellie says:

    I’m so sorry, thinking of you…big hugs and good thoughts your way. #Cancersucks

  10. Mumbles says:

    Echoing the sentiments here about Hecate and family. I am very sorry you are going through this.

    I listened to the interview and I was quite taken at how brave it was for Wolf to be so honest and vulnerable. Grief is not discussed in our culture, and it is admirable that a young man put himself out there. And Howard was very good too, sensitive and kind but not avoiding the topics that Wolf brought up. And the song is really good.

  11. Jules says:

    This is a really beautiful song and the video is so touching. And wow he has a really good voice. Anyone who has suffered loss can relate to this.

  12. IDidn'tDoIt says:

    What a beautiful tribute. His musical talent is so apparent. I have never heard Wolf sing before. I will be buying this. So moved.

  13. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I’m bawling. It’s beautiful. And I wish I had words Hecate, but I’m the worst when it comes to dealing with tragic loss or the pain of watching a monumental someone in your life succumb to health decline. I can tell you to breathe. And to concentrate on that breathing, because everything else knocks the wind out of you. If you’ve been given more time, hang on for dear life. Experience everything with full emotional range.

  14. GuestwithCat says:

    I’m so sorry for all you’re going through, Hecate. I hope this lovely community that has given me so much comfort through stressful times gives you some strength and positive energy, too. I can’t thank you enough for all you’ve done for us. Be well and strong.

  15. paddingtonjr says:

    A beautiful song and such a wonderful tribute to his father and their relationship. Eddie seems like he was a truly involved father and was very proud of his son. Wolfie definitely inherited his father’s musical talent. I hope that he and the rest of Eddie’s friends and family find peace.

  16. Abbess Tansy says:

    I’m so sorry you are going through this with your mom. Peace and blessings to you.

    I’ve been through this twice with both parents (not cancer though) and they are gone now. It’s been a few years but it still hurts.