It was just about this time last year that Van Halen, minus original bassist Michael Anthony, put out their first album with Roth since 1984, A Different Kind Of Truth, and went on a sold-out headlining tour.
More dates were eventually added to the tour, but as we’ve seen throughout the band’s history, things didn’t get far before the band started hitting the usual speed bumps.
The additional dates were cancelled, reports of band infighting surfaced once again, and Ed was fighting recurring health issues. As usual, the band wasn’t able to get far without coming apart, and David Lee Roth recently vented about the band’s never ending dramas in a recent interview with Rolling Stone, beginning with the under-statement, “Our story is one of a whole lotta Shakespeare going on.”
Actually, “vent” is how Rolling Stone described it in their story headline, and considering Roth’s comments, it’s not hard to discern there’s trouble in the VH camp once again, to the point where even Roth is getting frustrated. What’s especially surprising in the interview is how much he laments the loss of Anthony in the band, yet he sure didn’t protest it publically when Mike was canned from the group nearly ten years ago.
As Roth points out, Anthony’s back up vocals have been a crucial component to Van Halen’s sound. He called Anthony “arguably one of the greatest high tenor voices ever…In our tiny little corner of the universe, that voice is as identifiable as the high voice in Earth, Wind and Fire, as identifiable as the high voice in the Beach Boys. Van Halen is an indelicate house blend of both – that’s intentionally.”
Roth also said he wants to write new material with Ed, and he admitted that with last VH album, “Almost all of the music was written and demoed before the first album. I would certainly look forward to writing a whole list of songs with Ed, but we haven’t found the time to do that. Truth be told, Edward and I haven’t written a new song in 20 years.”
So once again, it looks like the problems that have always plagued Van Halen’s reunion attempts in the past sure haven’t gone away with time.
As Roth “vents about Van Halen’s future,” you wonder how much of a future they really have at this point.