David Lee Roth: "Van Halen's finished”

(Image credit: Daniel Knighton/Getty Images)

As a band, Van Halen have been keeping a low profile since their rumored 2019 summer tour went south.

But front man David Lee Roth, who's been chatting up the media in advance of his 2020 Las Vegas solo residency, has let a few VH nuggets drop into the conversation.

During a recent interview with the Talkin’ Rock with Meltdown podcast from Detroit’s 101 WRIF, Roth, in response to a question about the aborted summer tour, proclaimed the band “finished.”

“It’s been cancelled a number of times and I think Van Halen’s finished and this is the next phase,” he said. “I’ve inherited the band de facto – whatever that means.”

Roth continued, “Van Halen isn’t going to be coming back in the fashion that you know. That being said, Eddie Van Halen’s got his own story to tell – it’s not mine to tell.”

While the news might be a let-down to longtime VH fans, those who crave hearing Roth’s voice alongside a superstar shredder might not have long to wait – in the same interview, the singer hinted that his long-shelved collaboration with John 5 (who also played on Roth’s 1998 album, DLR Band) will eventually see release.

He added: “There’s been a revision of things and I can start making real plans and start marching into the future and you’ll start hearing that material.

“This is material that we wrote variously for me solo and for Van Halen and it’s quite a bank of stuff.” 

Roth’s Las Vegas shows kick off at the House of Blues on January 8, 2020. He has yet to announce the musicians who will be joining him for the residency.

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.