Watch Wolfgang Van Halen F—ing Play ‘Panama’ for Taylor Hawkins
Wolfgang Van Halen honored Taylor Hawkins last night by performing Van Halen's "Panama" during the second of two tribute concerts thrown for the late Foo Fighters drummer.
Last August, the Mammoth WVH frontman publicly responded to pressure from fans to perform his late father Eddie Van Halen's music by declaring, "I honor my dad by existing and doing what I do every day. I'm not fuckin' playing 'Panama' for you guys."
Soon after last night's performance, Van Halen tweeted a screenshot of that exchange with a humorous addendum: "*twice."
Watch Wolfgang Van Halen and Justin Hawkins Perform 'Panama'
Van Halen participated in the first Hawkins tribute concert earlier this month at London's Wembley Stadium, shocking and delighting attendees and virtual viewers around the world by covering a pair of Van Halen tunes. The multitalented musician strapped on a guitar and blazed through renditions of "On Fire" and "Hot for Teacher," nailing his father's breakneck solos with ease.
Van Halen was joined at both shows by Darnkess singer Justin Hawkins, Dave Grohl on bass and former Nine Inch Nails drummer Josh Freese. The quartet also played "Hot for Teacher" during last night's performance.
"It should come as no surprise that Taylor was a huge Van Halen fan," Grohl told the Wembley Stadium audience. "Remember those tights? We are lucky enough tonight to have with us a real Van Halen. Would you please welcome Mr. Wolfgang Van Halen to the stage right now?"
Van Halen has been touring rigorously with his band, Mammoth WVH, who released their self-titled debut album last year. Despite the gravity and excitement of the Wembley performance, Van Halen once again insisted that he would not be embarking on any sort of rumored Van Halen tribute tour.
In the week following the Wembley performance, Sleaze Roxx issued an op-ed titled "Van Halen should reform with Wolfgang Van Halen assuming the guitar duties." The multi-instrumentalist responded succinctly on Twitter, quote-tweeting the article with a meme of Bugs Bunny saying "no." He did, however, tell a fan that he was about to begin work on a follow-up to Mammoth WVH.
Van Halen has never taken cover songs lightly. Following Hawkins' death, Mammoth WVH performed Foo Fighters' "My Hero," which Van Halen said the band had prepared earlier in the day. "He was a hero to me, and a hero to all of us, and a hero to countless people, so we feel this is necessary," he told fans.