In Monday’s edition of the bizarre realm of 2019, a conversation about Billie Eilish not knowing who Van Halen is, and whether people should care about that, dominated the discourse on Twitter.
During a recent appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” the 17-year-old singer was grilled by the host on 1980s pop culture ― specifically, 1984, the year that Kimmel himself was 17.
“Do you know who Madonna is?” Kimmel asked. Eilish did.
“Can you name a Van Halen?” he followed up, to which Eilish replied, “Who?”
Little did either of them know that more than a week later this would spark a Twitter controversy between boomers and Gen Xers and those who “OK” them ― and send “Van Halen” to the No. 1 trending topic on the platform.
It began with the folks who were legitimately bothered by the fact that a teenager had not heard of a band that was formed in 1972 and last released an album in 2012 (when Eilish was 10).
Next came the much bigger response from those who said a collective “OK boomer” ― a viral internet retort used by millennials and Generation Z to dismiss attitudes pushed by older people that are perceived as outdated and close-minded.
Wolf Van Halen, the band’s 28-year-old bassist and son of acclaimed lead guitarist Eddie Van Halen, joined the conversation to tell everyone to grow up.
Eilish can hardly be blamed for not knowing the famous band when its iconic frontman David Lee Roth has gone as far as to say the band was “finished” in more recent interviews, according to Rolling Stone. Roth, however, is launching a residency in Las Vegas in the new year.
Perhaps something good will come of all this and people will get a Billie Eilish-Van Halen collaboration.