Wolfgang Van Halen teases name change to Wolfgang Led Zeppelin following accusations he’s trading on the Van Halen surname

Wolfgang Van Halen jokes he will change his name to Wolfgang Led Zeppelin
(Image credit: Gus Stewart / Getty)

Wolfgang Van Halen has responded to an online accusation that his music career is trading on the family reputation by running an online poll to select a new name. The winning selection? Wolfgang Led Zeppelin.

The amusing move was sparked by a provocative statement from a Twitter user. “If a person wants to make a name for themselves they wouldn’t take advantage of their famous father’s last name and band name,” reads the tweet.

“His father and uncle didn’t have that. Everyone in the band didn’t have that. Matter of fact, majority of current and former bands and singers didn’t have that.”

The multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, who performs his own music with his band – which it’s worth noting are called Mammoth WVH – responded succinctly.

“Van Halen is literally my fucking name you grape,” he wrote, in a series of tweets.

“You guys understand Van Halen is literally a name. Like way before it was a band. Right? That good ol’ American rock and roll you love so much was written by a Dutch immigrant named Edward Lodewik Van Halen, not some dude changing his name to sound cool and ‘rock n roll’ and shit?”

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Amusingly, Van Halen then followed-up with a poll, asking his followers, “Guys, what should my new name be?”

Options presented included: Wolfgang AC/DC, Wolfgang The Who, Wolfgang Paul McCartney and Wolfgang Led Zeppelin.

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The poll received a total of 32,181 votes, with Wolfgang Led Zeppelin coming out as the top choice, with a vote share of 35.6%. Followers and celebrities have since piled in with other suggestions, including Wolfgang Duran Duran, Wolf Gangs Of New York and Wolfgang James Gang – the latter causing WVH to comment, “Fuck that’s good.”

You have to feel for Van Halen, who has been accused of both not carrying the torch for the family name (by eschewing Van Halen tunes in Mammoth WVH sets) and, now, trading on the reputation of the family name.

A he fact he later pointed out, stating: “Either you be a Van Halen Jr. and people get pissed at you for riding coattails, or you DON’T and you’re disrespecting the legacy. It’s bonkers... I’m just doing my thing man.”

He’s trod the line admirably – only busting out the EVH chops on behalf of others, such as his killer performance of Panama at the Taylor Hawkins tribute show. Nonetheless, if WVH feels it’s time for a change, we support that: welcome to the world, Wolfgang Led Zeppelin.

Yesterday, Wolfgang revealed the first taste of his second Mammoth WVH record, Another Celebration at the End of the World, which showcases his razor-sharp tapping chops.

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Matt Parker

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