Rampant Rumors

NEW VAN HALEN ALBUM IN 2011?

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I had a blast when Vince and I saw the Van Halen/DLR reunion tour in 2007 — so much so that I actually considered forking over an obscene amount of money to go see the band on the second leg of the same tour, Fatty Ding Dongs Van Halen’s presence be damned. And yet, this rumor, first reported by VH fan site Van Halen News Desk, fills me with dread:

“It’s been a while since I reached out to one of my best sources of Van Halen info over the years, but it had to be done. And I got the information I was hoping for – independent confirmation from a long time source I trust that Van Halen are indeed working towards finishing recording of a long awaited new studio album with David Lee Roth, set for release sometime in the first half of 2011. A single is slated for release before the end of this year, but exact timing still remains very much up in the air. I’m told the relationship between Eddie and Dave remains as complex as ever, but there is a definite desire to get a new record completed.”

I have no doubt that this is really happening, ’cause, well, CHA-CHING! (And I have no doubt that “complex” is the nicest possible word you could use to describe the relationship between Diamond Dave and EVH — lest we forget, these two can’t even be in dressing rooms in close proximity to one another.) But why, if I had so much fun at the band’s concert, am I so terrified by the idea of a new Van Halen album?

Well, lemme ask you this: anybody remember “Can’t Get This Stuff No More” and “Me Wise Magic,” the VH/DLR reunion songs the band recorded for their 1996 greatest hits collection? Yeah, neither did I ’til I just re-listened to ’em — and I actually bought that CD the day it came it out just for those songs alone (no illegal downloading in those days, kiddies).

What about the three new songs the band did with Sammy Hagar for Best of Both Worlds in 2004? Those were pretty forgettable, too. Come to think of it, all Van Halen material has been forgettable since at least For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge — and that was nineteen years ago. (Fuck, I feel old.) PLUS, those songs were done with the great Michael Anthony — not Fatty Ding Dongs.

My point being this: sometimes, artists just burn out as they get older. EVH will always be a great guitar player, and I think it’s terrific that these dudes have stayed in good enough shape that they can still put on a killer live show more than three decades after their inception. But I don’t have a lot of confidence that they know how to re-create that old special sumpin’ sumpin’ in the studio.

Still, I’ve been known to be overly cynical from time to time, so who knows. It would be pretty incredible if we got an AWESOME new Van Halen record with DLR on vocals in 2011. I guess stranger things have happened…

-AR

Thanks to evh4lyf for the tip. I am guessing evh4lyf has no reservations about a new Van Halen album.

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