Rock fans that watched Sunday's (March 14th) 63rd Annual Grammy Awards were surprised at the brevity in which iconic guitarist Eddie Van Halen was honored during the “In Memoriam” section. A 15-second clip of Van Halen performing his signature instrumental “Eruption” played while a spotlight shone on his legendary “Frankenstrat” guitar — and that was it.
One-time Van Halen frontman Gary Cherone tweeted: “Maybe an Artist that reimagined how one plays an instrument, who continues to influence generations of musicians and, literally changed the course of rock 'n' roll deserves more than fifteen seconds at the Grammys?”
Wolfgang Van Halen also took to social media and posted:
The Grammys asked me to play 'Eruption' for the 'In Memoriam' section and I declined. I don't think anyone could have lived up to what my father did for music but himself.
It was my understanding that there would be an 'In Memoriam' section where bits of songs were performed for legendary artists that had passed. I didn't realize that they would only show Pop for 15 seconds in the middle of 4 full performances for others we had lost.
What hurt the most was that he wasn't even mentioned when they talked about artists we lost in the beginning of the show. I know rock isn't the most popular genre right now, (and the academy does seem a bit out of touch) but I think it's impossible to ignore the legacy my father left on the instrument, the world of rock, and music in general. There will never be another innovator like him.
I'm not looking to start some kind of hate parade here, I just wanted to explain my side. I know Pop would probably just laugh it off and say 'Ehh who gives a s***?' He was only about the music anyway. The rest didn't matter.
I'd love to get the opportunity to speak with The Recording Academy not only about the legacy of my father, but the legacy of the Rock genre moving forward.