To the surprise of a few, Van Halen announced on Friday that they're going to be postponing 31 summer dates. A few days ago, Rolling Stone reported through a source with knowledge of the tour said the band members “hate each other” and are “arguing like mad.” However, yesterday Diamond Dave released a video stating that the band simply “bit off more than they could chew with the scheduling.” Slick PR move by the band, or was the magazine's “source” full of crap? So far it's anyone's guess.
Anyone familiar with the tumultuous history of the storied rock band is undoubtedly surprised that the current rendition of the band made it as far as they have. However, that won't take away another tarnished page in the band's long legacy of crashing and burning.
When David Lee Roth rejoined the band in 2007 to the shock and surprise of many who thought that this would never happen, it seemed like all of the past problems were put to bed in order to make a couple of bucks. On their subsequent tour, they made a shitload of money, thus the need to continue. The only difference? There wasn't the calming presence of original bassist Michael Anthony to serve as a buffer of any potential problems between the brothers Van Halen and Roth. Replacing Anthony was Eddie Van Halen's son, Wolfgang, who has filled in admirably, but is no Anthony. Having the deck stacked against him was eventually going to do in the singer, and it seems like last week the relationship hit its breaking point.
As a lifelong Van Halen fan, I'm frankly surprised the relationship between Roth and Van Halen lasted this long (Sammy Hagar shares my sentiments). Add to that they even made an album – granted it was full of old stuff that was reworked and a few new tunes – showed that just maybe they'd get over their acrimonious split. The album, A Different Kind of Truth, actually sold pretty well by today's standards, something even Hagar will agree with. But in the end, Hagar was right that the Roth-Van Halen union would eventually sizzle, thought he hoped it wouldn't.
It's amazing that after all of these years that Dave and Eddie can't get along. Whether it's an ego thing or a money thing, Van Halen used to be about having a good time and kicking serious ass. Nowadays, the only thing associated with the band is messy breakups and bungled PR stunts. What seemed like a promising new chapter in these icons career is now by the way side. For one reason or another, none of which have been confirmed publicly, this version of VH may be done.
Strangely enough though, they haven't cancelled their upcoming area dates, perhaps to serve as their swan song. This is all strange and the timing is curious, especially since most of the dates that were nixed were almost all totally sold-out. This just goes to show that no matter how much money was on the table, there was no way that this version of Van Halen was going to work out. For those of you lucky enough to score tickets to the gigs at Staples Center and the Honda Center, congratulations on not having to deal with Ticketmaster for a refund. For everyone else in other cities, hopefully this is just a temporary setback and the dates will be rescheduled instead of cancelled. In the interim, we'll just wait and see while the deeply private band works (or doesn't) work things out internally.