Eddie Van Halen’s son is speaking out in the aftermath of teen singer Billie Eilish’s recent admission that she never heard of Van Halen’s famous rock band. Wolfgang Van Halen, the 28-year-old son of Eddie and actress Valerie Bertinelli, took to social media to say that music is meant to bring people together.
Eilish, who recently made Grammy history as the youngest person to be nominated in the four major categories, revealed her lack of classic rock knowledge during an interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live! When asked by the late-night host to “name a Van Halen,” Eilish replied, “Who?” After the 17-year-old “Bad Guy” singer failed to name one of the members of the iconic rock band first formed in the 1970s, Kimmel joked that he was going to cry.
On Twitter, Eilish was blasted by some for not knowing the names of the “Runnin’ With the Devil” rockers or their music. Others noted that the teen shouldn’t be expected to know the classic rock band, with some claiming it would be “weird” if she did.
But Wolfgang, the current bassist in his dad’s iconic band, appeared to be the voice of reason as he took to Twitter to call out both sides of the debate.
“If you haven’t heard of @billieeilish, go check her out. She’s cool. If you haven’t heard of @VanHalen, go check them out. They’re cool too,” Wolfgang tweeted. “Music is supposed to bring us together, not divide us. Listen to what you want and don’t shame others for not knowing what you like.”
Wolfgang also posted his message to Instagram, which caused followers to chime in with more reaction.
“Consider her age and the lack of ‘activity’ from VH the last few years, it’s not a big surprise she isn’t aware of their music. I think she’s lying if she wants us to think she’s never even heard of them,” one follower wrote of Eilish.
“Anyone who is serious about music and or has not lived under a rock should know who Van Halen is,” another added.
Interestingly, “Hot for Teacher” rocker Eddie isn’t exactly schooled on music outside of his own band’s jams. In 2015, Eddie told Billboard that he doesn’t listen to any music he isn’t actively making himself. The guitarist revealed the last album he bought was Peter Gabriel’s, So, in 1986. He also admitted that he’s not familiar with fellow hard rock acts like Metallica, Guns ‘N Roses or the many other bands that have opened for Van Halen over the years.
“I couldn’t make a contemporary record if I wanted to, because I don’t know what contemporary music sounds like,” Van Halen said.
In other words, don’t ask Eddie who Eilish is.