Wolfgang Van Halen on the Prank Pulled on David Lee Roth at Final Van Halen Show
Wolfgang Van Halen touched on a funny prank pulled on David Lee Roth during Van Halen’s October 2015 show at the Hollywood Bowl, which was the band’s final show on their last tour before Eddie Van Halen’s death last month.
Speaking with Spin, Wolfgang said, “Throughout the whole tour, Dave had an issue whenever someone in the audience had a beach ball. Outdoor theater, summer concert, Southern California party rock, Van Halen — it’s not out of the ordinary. But every time he saw them, it would really upset him for some reason. And he would stop singing and then stand at the front of the stage and say, ‘Throw the beach ball up here, throw the beach ball up here, throw the beach ball up here’ eight times until it eventually got up, and he would stamp it out. Then he’d throw it off the stage. I guess he just really didn’t want that out there.”
With this in mind, Wolfgang said the band’s tour manager approached him and Eddie before their Hollywood Bowl show and said he had a “funny little surprise” at the end of the show. That surprise? Releasing 50 beach balls into the audience.
“But even if he gets pissed off, what was he gonna do? It’s the last f—ing show,” said Wolfgang. “And sure enough, we get to ‘Jump,’ and there was just a cavalcade, an avalanche of beach balls, and Dave was just, like, short-circuiting. He didn’t understand how to handle it. But we all laughed it off. And it was just a really fun, almost like a fun practical joke. And yeah, that was a really fun memory of that show.”
Wolfgang added, “As time went further and further by, the more I thought about it like, ‘Wow, if that is the last show, what an amazing way to cap it off.’ That’s exactly how dad would have wanted it.”