David Lee Roth: “Van Halen’s Finished”

  • Axl Rosenberg

Van Halen have been quiet since concluding their last tour in 2015, despite Eddie Van Halen saying at the time that once that trek had concluded, the band would “probably hunker down and do a studio record.” And although last year rumors began to circulate that there’d be a 2019 summer stadium tour bringing bassist Michael Anthony back into the fold, with Anthony even confirming that he’d been contacted about a reunion. But that obviously didn’t happen.

So when will we finally see some version of Van Halen again? According to frontman David Lee Roth, never.

Roth has a nine-date residency in Las Vegas (presumably to ensure that this never happens again) split over January and March of next year. And while promoting those shows on Detroit’s 101 WRIF, the singer revealed that the latest reunion has “been canceled a number of times and I think Van Halen’s finished,” adding that “Van Halen isn’t going to be coming back in the fashion that you know.”

Now, before freaking out that Van Halen might actually be dunzo, you should keep these facts in mind:

  • Roth is promoting a solo show during which he will perform many Van Halen classics. It is not in his best interest at this time to allow consumers to believe they will soon be able to see those songs performed with the actual Van Halen and not DLR’s solo band.
  • Roth recently admitted that he and the Van Halen brothers “always hated each other.” So it’s unlikely they’re in close contact on a regular basis, even if they are in a band together.
  • Nothing is ever written in stone. Just because Van Halen is done today doesn’t mean everyone won’t change their minds tomorrow.

In other words, I see no reason to actually take Diamond Dave at his word here, lovable scamp though he may be.

And if Van Halen really is finished? Well, they went out on a high note. Their career lasted close to forty years, during which time Eddie Van Halen changed rock guitar forever and David Lee Roth inspired an entire generation of imitators, some of whom went on to be as famous or almost as famous as he is. All the various legs of their reunion tours were successes, both financially and creatively, and their last album, 2012’s A Different Kind of Truth, was better than it had any right to be. It would have been nice to get Michael Anthony back in there, but they still went out with more original members than Slayer will. So it would be sad if they were really done for real, but not nearly as sad as it could be. We should celebrate their career, not mourn it. I have to believe that’s what Eddie would want, and I know that’s what David Lee fuckin’ Roth would want. That dude hasn’t felt melancholy a day in his life.

[via Rolling Stone]

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