Wolfgang Van Halen upset his manager by devising a practical joke as part of his upcoming Mammoth WVH album, Mammoth II.
While some fans have expressed hope that members of Van Halen might one day guest on a Wolfgang track, he told Guitar Interactive that it would only happen in a light-hearted manner.
“The one thing, like, that I did do was like a fun little joke,” he explained. “The song ‘I’m Alright,’ for that solo with the wah…I kind of got bored with the operation of it, so I had my uncle Patrick…do it. You’ll see on the back of the album: ‘All songs written and performed by Wolfgang Van Halen, except for wah operation on solo of ‘I’m Alright’ by Patrick Bertinelli.'”
He continued: “While I thought it was a funny joke…it actually held back the approval process for the album cover by one day, because we had to sign a work-for-hire and pay him $1. So my manager was a bit upset at me for that dumb joke – but I thought it was pretty funny!”
Van Halen reported that the idea had occurred to him before his dad Eddie Van Halen died in 2020. “I so badly wanted to do that at one point with Dad,” he said, “have him play, like, piano or cello or something that wasn’t guitar.” Referring to Van Halen drummer Alex Van Halen, he added: “I may have to have Al play the glockenspiel on a track or something!”
He also confirmed that he’d used a selection of his father’s guitars on the LP’s solos, and reported he’d also used one of his early-era amps on “Take a Bow.” He explained: “It was basically everything he used for those original classic albums, and you can hear that on certain bends. It’s kind of crazy – there are certain notes where it’s like, ‘Wow, that sounds like Van Halen I.'”
Mammoth II will be released on Aug. 4.
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