Wolfgang Van Halen Slams Back At Fan Who Said Slash and Him Are Sellouts

Wolfgang Van Halen Slams Back At Fan Who Said Slash and Him Are Sellouts | I Love Classic Rock Videos

via YouTube @WeAreRockHard

The recent Oscars ceremony brought a surprising yet electrifying performance. Guns N’ Roses’ iconic guitarist Slash and Mammoth WVH frontman Wolfgang Van Halen joined forces on stage for a live rendition of “I’m Just Ken” from the hit movie Barbie.

This unexpected collaboration left some fans scratching their heads. Was this a departure from their hard rock roots? Not according to Wolfgang himself.

Taking to X, the musician fired back at a fan who criticized their participation in the ceremony. It seems Wolfgang wasn’t about to let anyone question his or Slash’s dedication to rock and roll. 

Wolfgang called the opportunity “Sublime!”

The 2024 Oscars saw a surprising collaboration take center stage. Rock veterans Wolfgang Van Halen and Slash joined forces with actor Ryan Gosling for a high-energy performance of “I’m Just Ken”. The song, led by Gosling in his portrayal of Ken, quickly became a highlight of the ceremony.

Taking to social media after the event, Wolfgang expressed his enthusiasm for the experience. He shared his gratitude to music producer Mark Ronson and songwriter Andrew Wyatt, acknowledging their role in both the Barbie soundtrack and the Oscars performance.

Van Halen described the opportunity as “once-in-a-lifetime” and expressed his honor to have contributed to “something so incredible.”

Not everyone was thrilled

While the performance garnered a lot of buzz, it wasn’t universally loved. One fan took to social media to express their disapproval, suggesting that Wolfgang and Slash were compromising their artistic integrity by participating in a song from a mainstream movie like Barbie.

Their commenter wrote: “Looks like they just sold their souls to the devil, er I mean Hollywood. These two playing on a ‘Barbie’ song is like DaVinci agreeing to paint the ceiling of a gas station bathroom.”

Wolfgang, however, wasn’t fazed by the criticism. In a witty response, he pointed out the irony in the fan’s statement. He highlighted the fact that the person criticizing them was themself involved in the world of advertising within Los Angeles, a place often associated with commercialism. The playful response effectively shut down the negativity and showcased Wolfgang’s ability to handle criticism with humor.

From skepticism to shredding

“I’m Just Ken” isn’t just a catchy song from the Barbie movie; it boasts a rock pedigree thanks to the contributions of legendary musicians.

Slash and Wolfgang brought their guitar skills, joined by Foo Fighters drummer Josh Reese and Jellyfish keyboardist Roger Manning. This stellar lineup reflects the film’s own success, having garnered a whopping nine nominations at the 96th Academy Awards, including the coveted Best Picture.

Interestingly, Slash initially wasn’t sold on the “Barbie” project. In an interview with Brooke Marsden, he revealed his surprise at the request. However, the involvement of acclaimed producer Mark Ronson and the creative challenge of the song ultimately won him over.

“He sent me a demo. It was the kid song, and I was like, ‘Huh.'”

Slash recently shared that he admitted to initial surprise when contacted by Ronson: “Yeah, I did [play on the Ken song]. It was Mark Ronson. He wrote and produced music for that, and he called me up and said I would play on something. And I was like, ‘For Mark, I would do anything.'”

Slash went on to describe his open-mindedness towards the project: “I wouldn’t mind, so I just said, ‘Yeah, what have you got?'” However, the demo song initially came as a bit of a curveball: “And so he sent me a demo. It was the kid song, and I was like, ‘Huh.'”

The “I’m Just Ken” performance at the Oscars ultimately paid homage to the film’s central themes. Replicating a scene featuring Gosling’s Ken surrounded by numerous other Kens, the live rendition became a memorable highlight of the ceremony.