The book's highlight is the band's nadir: a blow-by-blow account of the atrocious debacle that was Van Halen's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction back in March. The boys couldn't get it together enough to appear onstage together: Eddie wound up in rehab again, and only Sammy and Michael showed up to accept the award, jamming onstage with Paul fucking Schaffer and leaving the Roth-era tribute to the helpless, atonal Velvet Revolver. It was devastating. "Yeah, that was a disaster," Christe concurs. "It was so sad. I kept expecting Roth to come jumping out of the wings. That's a perfect example of how the absence has just hurt them so much."
Who's the ray of hope here? Wolfgang. Christe sees a poignancy in Van Halen's resurrection involving a teenager, someone to represent both the childlike glee of original fans and the new generation that has yet to discover the band's majesty, but he needs to learn. When the tour hits, Christe will be there. Michael will not, but it could've been worse. It often has been. Let's hope this won't totally suck.
And the cradle will rock? Yeah, dig that new bassist. Photo courtesy of Getty Images/Kevin Mazur.