How Does Wolfgang Van Halen's 'Hot For Teacher' Solo Compare To His Dad's?
By Andrew Magnotta @AndrewMagnotta
September 7, 2022
Whether you watched the Foo Fighters' Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert over the weekend or saw clips of it afterwards, you probably came across Wolfgang Van Halen's epic intro guitar solo on a rendition of Van Halen's "Hot for Teacher."
Wolfie was joined onstage at the concert by Josh Freese on drums, Dave Grohl on bass and Justin Hawkins (no relation to Taylor) on lead vocals. The quartet pulled off a pair of supercharged Van Halen covers — "On Fire" and "Hot for Teacher" — in honor of Taylor. But Wolfie stole the show with a near note-perfect renditions of his father's "Hot for Teacher" solos.
Wolf's intro lead was so stunningly close to the version his father recorded for VH's 1984 that some genuinely wondered how it was possible.
Music instructor/producer Rick Beato addressed those questions in a new video uploaded to his YouTube channel. Beato pointed out that while Wolfie is more or less a self-taught musician, he probably saw his father play guitar up close more than anyone. Whether it was by nature or nurture, Wolf clearly inherited his father's keen musical timing.
But people may be overlooking the most important aspect of Wolfie's life as a musician.
"Wolfgang Van Halen started playing in Van Halen when he was 15," Beato said. "...He's known for being able to play everything. He's played 'Hot for Teacher' probably hundreds of times in Van Halen! Did you notice that his vocals were exactly dead-on? Well, maybe it's because he sang the background vocals with Eddie when he was replacing Michael Anthony."
Whatever questions Wolfie's performance raised, he's probably taking them as a compliment. He's already accomplished so much with his Mammoth WVH solo band that people are forgetting that he was also in Van Halen!
Beato adds that Wolfie, just like his dad, grew up with the drums being his primary instrument. Good drummers tend to be more than solid when they turn to other instruments because of their good sense of time.
While lots of guitar players can play what Eddie played on "Hot for Teacher," fewer can sound like Eddie on "Hot for Teacher." It makes good sense that his son is an exception.