VAN HALEN: ROTH IS IN AND TOUR IS ON
Rock legends Van Halen have confirmed they are reuniting and launching a 50-date tour with founding singer David Lee Roth. The announcement was made Monday, August 13, at an 11 a.m. (PDT) news conference at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles.
"This is not a reunion. This is a new band," said Roth as the conference got underway, adding, "This is not 'rockers with walkers'."
The group’s new lineup includes guitarist Edward Van Halen, drummer Alex Van Halen, and Edward’s 16-year-old son, Wolfgang, on bass, replacing founding bassist Michael Anthony.
The tour begins September 27 in Charlotte, North Carolina, and is currently scheduled to continue through December 11. Full details are below. Tickets go on sale August 18 through LiveNation.com.
Though the group does not have a new album in the works, Roth said, "We're plotting and planning." For now, he said, Van Halen's focus is on reinvigorating the band and the hard rock scene. "Bono can save the world," Roth said, referring to U2's singer. "We just want to save 100 cities."
Added Edward, "We don't want to give you anything less than our best, and we are
at our best."
WE DON'T WANT TO GIVE YOU ANYTHING LESS THAN OUR BEST, AND WE ARE AT OUR BEST."
—EDDIE VAN HALEN
Despite past enmity between Roth and the Van Halens, all seemed to be forgotten as Edward hugged Dave and referred to him as "my new brother."
Much attention was also given to young Wolfgang. Asked what groups he listens to, the youngest Van Halen replied, "I listen to AC/DC, Tool, and the White Stripes."
Van Halen had planned a reunion tour earlier this year. That fell through when Edward entered rehab in March. His treatment also nullified an opportunity for the group to reunite at its Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction that month.
Watch the entire Van Halen press conference!
Roth, now 52, left Van Halen in 1985 to pursue a solo career. The group carried on successfully with guitarist and singer Sammy Hagar as frontman, but Hagar and Van Halen parted ways in 1996. Roth returned briefly to the fold that year, and the newly reunited group appeared at the MTV Video Music Awards. A few weeks later, however, the group announced that Roth was once again out of the band. A fresh start was attempted with former Extreme singer Gary Cherone, in 1997, but the band split up in 1999 having released one album, 1998’s Van Halen III.
Van Halen reunited with Hagar for a tour in 2004. He subsequently left to work with his band, the Waboritas, with whom Michael Anthony has occasionally made appearances.
Watch GuitarWorld.com for more details as news of the Van Halen reunion and tour unfolds.
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