Can Van Halen hold it together?
There's been tons of speculation since Van Halen's reunion tour ended years ago about when the band would finally record a new album with David Lee Roth and hit the road again.
Rumors would circulate furiously on the 'Net, then get denied as fast as they got out. But now apparently it's official that the band's going to be on the road again, and tickets will go on sale for upcoming shows on January 10.
Before all this, there was speculation a new single would be released to the world (which didn't come to pass), and then there was news the band would announce their plans at the Grammy nominations concert. Again, nothing, although Recording Academy President Neil Portnow told Reuters, "In the world of creativity, everything is fluid." Like Guns N Roses, stories kept swirling, and no word in response to any of them.
But then Van Halen signed a new deal with Interscope in November. This reunion has been a long time coming, especially considering it was supposed to happen all the way back in 1996. Attempts to get back with Roth since have blown up every time, and who knows if this tour can hold together. As we've mentioned here before, there's an awful lot of baggage between Ed and Dave that will probably never be resolved, otherwise this reunion would have been a done deal a long time ago.
Now for the Van Halen fanbots out there, please read the following SLOWLY so there's no misunderstanding. I was a Van Halen fan, saw 'em twice back in the eighties, still love their music (including with Hagar, 5150 was a great album), and will never deny the impact Ed had on guitar. I had just started playing guitar myself the first time I saw the band, and watching Eddie's stand alone guitar solo when he was still on top of his game was wroth the price of admission alone.
But like many, I'm thoroughly disgusted by how childish the band has behaved throughout their history with their nonstop bickering, and how Ed has been killing himself with his "extracurricular" activities. (Not to mention for a band that gets such loyalty from their fans on the 'Net, they sure don't treat them particularly well).
Van Halen is now on its three billionth chance where most bands are lucky to have one, and one would hope they would be aware of this and not blow it yet again. It's also unfortunate that bassist Michael Anthony won't be onboard either, but it seems like he's having a good time with Hagar in Chickenfoot. As he recently told Premier Guitar, "At this point in my life and career, I'm so happy with what I'm doing and I want to have fun making music. The whole drama thing in Van Halen, the way it ended up, I'd rather make no money having fun playing music than make a sh*tload of money tearing my hair out. I want to keep my sanity."
As this blog post was being finalized, Blabbermouth reported that more tour details will be released on January 3, with the new single and video premiering January 10, and a new album, the first with Diamond Dave in 28 years, to drop on February 7. Will it all happen according to schedule? Will any of it happen? We'll find out soon enough.