• Axl Rosenberg

captnyjc12403130422rock___roll_hall_of_fame_nyjc124.jpgSo last night Van Halen were, at long last, inducted into the Rock N’ Roll Hall Fame. The whole event was, quite frankly, more than a little anti-climactic. Easily my favorite moment of the evening was when Velvet Revolver first came on stage to induct the band: as Slash, Scott, Duff and Matt all walked to the podium, Dave Kushner got stuck behind them and briefly began to jump up and down in a very pathetic attempt to be visible. It really is sad how little anyone cares about the poor dude; no disrespect to Kushner as a musician, but if Izzy didn’t wanna join the band, they could have at least gotten Gilby Clarke. Still, the band must have felt that the guy in the audience screaming “THAT WASN’T VAN HALEN!” was a welcome relief from the usual “THAT WASN’T GUNS N’ ROSES!” and “THAT WASN’T STONE TEMPLE PILOTS!” cries they’re accustomed to enduring at their concerts.

Sadder still, then, was the complete absence of David Lee Roth or any member of the Van Halen family. As a matter of fact, there was no shortage of irony in Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony showing up to accept, since they’ve both been booted from the band by Eddie Van Halen himself. Both men came off looking classy and dignified as they graciously sent their prayers to Eddie in rehab, and Sammy proclaimed “I hope we get our brother back.”

Sure, the duo’s performance (with Paul Schaffer, of all people, on keyboards) was a little shakey, but at least they performed; Sammy and Michael may not techincally be in the band anymore, but they’re the ones who got to go to ceremony and and enjoy the accolades bestowed upon them. In the coming years, that’s what everyone will remember: that Eddie acted like a schmuck while Sammy and Michael were a couple of real menschs. Van Halen may have made dirty, sexy hard rock while Van Hagar made radio-friendly (but still perfectly credible) pop metal, but last night, it was Van Hagar that- once again- came out on top. I hope Sammy’s right, and Eddie does get the help he needs; for these to be our final memories of Van Halen is a thought too heavy to bear.


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