There Would Be No New Van Halen Tour or Album Without Wolfgang in the Band, Says Valerie Bertinelli
Since her ex-husband Eddie Van Halen so far isn’t doing any interviews in support of his band’s new album and tour, Valerie Bertinelli called into WRIF Detroit’s Drew and Mike show to talk about how the band, and specifically their son Wolfgang, is doing out on the road.
The ‘Hot in Cleveland’ actress was proud to talk about her son’s skills – “Wolfie can definitely back up everything with his playing, you can’t deny that he is an excellent bass player and an excellent musician, his voice is amazing.”
She also addressed Van Halen fans upset that her son took over founding bassist Michael Anthony’s role in the band, and explained it’s the only way Eddie would be making musica publicly. “I loved Mike too, I thought he was a really nice guy, still do,” Bertinelli explains. “But the only way this tour is happening is because Eddie gets to play with his son Wolfie. Otherwise, this tour wouldn’t be going on, it really wouldn’t.”
According to her, the lure of playing music with their son is the main factor that convinced the guitar wizard to get the band back together: “This brings joy to Ed, and that’s what he wants to do now, just have fun playing. As great as Mike is, this wouldn’t be happening if Mike was still in the band.”
She also has a message “for any of the fans that are truly angry that Mike’s not in the band… at least they get to see a version of the band. You’re getting to see Dave and Ed and Al play together. I know I’m a little prejudiced but.. my son kicks ass! And Ed’s playing better than ever, you’ve gotta give him that.”
As to how the about-to-be 21 Wolfgang is doing on the road, well, shocker, “he’s having the time of his life. I try to tell him not to read the internet, but he reads some of the horrible things that people say, no matter what they’re not going to be pleased. I try to tell him, ‘you’re not going to please everybody, it’s impossible.’ Especially people who are so passionate about this band. But he’s having such a great time, I think those naysayer voices are fading quickly in the back.”
She also revealed that her son has been taking lots of vocal courses — “he does his homework!” — and got his high school degree just recently after missing much of the 11th grade due to being out on the band’s 2007/08 tour.
Did she have any words of warning for her former sparring partner David Lee Roth, about how to treat her child on the road? “No, Dave doesn’t need to have any words from me. He’s a grown man, he knows how to treat people. Everything with Dave is water under the bridge. I think he’s doing an amazing job. I run into him very infrequently, but when we do it’s always pleasant.”
As to why she’s so friendly with her ex and his bandmates: “With age comes wisdom, I guess. I always choose to look at the good side. These are really great people. This is my son. I just want him to be happy. And this is a dream come true for Ed.”
Jack FM welcomes Van Halen to the First Niagara Center tonight, and we will be holding a pre-show party at the cobblestone prior to the show. Tune in at 11 pm tonight (if you still have hearing) and listen to Jack FM play all the Van Halen that We Want after the show.