They said it couldn't be done in a million years, but somehow Van Halen actually finished an album, released it, and have been on tour in the US for several months now without killing each other. Go figure.
While they're certainly not as dysfunctional as Guns 'N Roses, Van Halen has absolutely been one of the longest running soap operas in rock history, with an enormous amount of baggage that ultimately derailed the band's career, and kept the mostly original line-up from finishing a new album and touring for well over a decade.
It's always important to remember with these guys that the other shoe can drop at any time, but as of this writing they're still together and touring and in fact, Blabbermouth.net announced that the band has added 18 more shows to their US tour. The tour, which is sponsored by Live Nation, will add up to 61 dates, and there will apparently also be "additional dates to be announced."
Where Kool and the Gang have been currently opening the tour, the next group of shows will have Ky-Mani Marley opening. The band has also debuted a brand new promo video for She's the Woman, a tune from their Different Kind of Truth album, which is actually an old song they played way back in the club days.
In addition, Eddie Van Halen also granted a rare interview to Esquire mag for the current May 2012 issue, which also features Robert Downey Jr. on the cover. In the story, Ed claims he's sober, telling writer David Curcurito, "I'm not a drunk anymore, but since they cut out my tongue, I sound drunk."
Because of a bout with cancer, Eddie reportedly had a third of his tongue removed, and he was also photographed smoking an electronic cigarette for the story. Unbeknownst to probably anyone until this story hit the streets, after Ed's first fight with cancer in 2000, Curcurito writes, "He was cancer-free until last year, when he got hit twice." Apparently Ed had cancer in his throat, and he had to get more of his tongue removed last fall, a subject he wouldn't discuss with Esquire.
Ed's clearly trying to leave the demons of his past behind, and he told the magazine he needs a new place to record. As any Van Halen fan knows, Ed had his own studio, 5150, where he recorded his music, but now he's looking for a new place where there aren't so many ghosts from the past. He also said that since he's reportedly stopped partying, he's been nervous playing in the studio, but someone should tell him that's not a bad thing. Like the saying goes, if you're not nervous, you're not ready.
Of course, many Van Halen song titles have come to mind about the band's ups and downs, and revolving door of members: Push Comes to Shove, One Foot Out the Door, Why Can't This Be Love?, etc. So paraphrasing another Van Halen song, could this be magic again? You never know with this band, but again, as of this writing, they're still together and touring, and the fans couldn't be happier.