Watch Wolfgang Van Halen play a solo acoustic version of Distance at a recent Mammoth WVH show

Wolfgang Van Halen performs Distance on acoustic guitar
(Image credit: Cramx3 / YouTube)

Wolfgang Van Halen performed an acoustic version of Distance on Wednesday night (March 30), after his band Mammoth WVH were left without their touring guitarist Jon Jourdan.

Mammoth WVH have already lost regular touring guitarist Frank Sidoris  to the current Slash tour, after they were forced to postpone their dates with Dirty Honey due to Covid. However, Sidoris’s replacement Jourdan was also unable to make their March 30 date. Who knew guitarists were so hard to come by?

The temporary lineup issue meant the rest of the band – completed by bassist Ronnie Ficarro and drummer Garrett Whitlock – had to think on their feet for their Sayreville, NJ show, performing as a trio and changing many of the song arrangements on the fly.

In a bold move, for Distance – a profound tribute to his late father, Eddie – Van Halen opted to take to the stage armed with nothing but a Taylor acoustic.

“I know, there’s some parts missing, but I’m doing my fucking best, man. I’m so sorry,” Van Halen told the audience. “When it comes to this next song, there were so many parts that I decided to strip it down. If you guys want to sing along with me, go ahead…”

As you can see from the fan footage, the new spin on the track seems to connect just as powerfully with the crowd and also proves a fine showcase for Van Halen‘s vocal talents. 

In addition, the band followed Distance with a cover of Foo Fighters’ My Hero, dedicated to the late Taylor Hawkins, which they’ve performed nightly since the news of Hawkins’ passing on March 26.

Elsewhere on the tour, the band’s setlist has leaned heavily on Mammoth WVH’s self-titled debut album, which was released last year. They also debuted a new track, I Don't Know It All, onstage in February at the start of the run. 

Mammoth WVH and Dirty Honey’s Young Guns tour continues until April 12. Head to the Young Guns tour site for tickets and information.

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Matt Parker

Matt is a staff writer for Before that he spent 10 years as a freelance music journalist, interviewing artists for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar,, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.