Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction...
To the soul's desires the body listens...

And no matter what you say or do...

Just when you think things can’t get worse for Van Halen, they do.

For one, they haven’t put out a studio album since I was still an undergrad in college putting it sometime before 1997. Yeah, they had that Best of Both Worlds hits collection a year or so ago with a few new songs, but that’s been about it. Three songs does not a new studio album make.

For years, we Van Halen fans suffered through a prolonged will they/won’t they complex in which we battled amongst ourselves about whether the brothers Van Halen and their bassist Michael Anthony would rehire original vocalist David Lee Roth or second vocalist Sammy Hagar as their singer, record an album, and hit the road. A few years ago, they did rehire Hagar, albeit briefly, for a tour and the three new tracks on BOBW.

Soon after, Sammy returned to his own solo band, The Waboritas, and VH returned to their perpetual state of professional silence.

This morning, at the gym, I opened up a copy of RedEye, a subsidiary tabloid-style newspaper put out by The Chicago Tribune, and found a snippet about VH in the “Whoville” section on page 75 (that’s how much merit stories about Van Halen warrant anymore). Here’s the text of the article…

A Family Affair
Van Halen is becoming a family band. Eddie Van Halen has tapped his 15-year-old son, Wolfgang, to replace Michael Anthony as bassist, reports.

It is unknown who will serve as the band’s vocalist for the 2007 tour, but rumors continue to swirl that David Lee Roth will be back in the fold for the first time in more than 20 years.

The ever-articulate Roth said he thinks a reunion is “absolutely as an inevitability.”

“To me, it’s not rocket surgery,” Roth said. “It’s very simple to put together. And as far as hurt feelings and water under the dam, like what’s-her-name says to what’s-her-name at the end of the movie ‘Chicago’ – ‘So what? It’s showbiz!’ So I definitely see it happening.”

Three letters for ya here… WTF?!?!

Not just about Wolfgang on bass, but “absolutely as an inevitability”?!?! What does that mean???

“Rocket surgery”?!?! Huhwhudda???

“Water under the dam”?!?!  Oooooohhhhh… my brain hurts.

How much colloquialism mixing can this guy manage in one interview? Rocket Science + Brain Surgery as well as Water Under the Bridge + Water Over the Dam. What’s next? Is he really the best answer for Van Halen? What about having a incoherent, rambling ass like that around your teenaged son? I’m sure Valerie’s loving it right now.

Oh VH, how I loved thee. What the hell happened to you?


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All I can really say to this is: Sammy, Sammy, Sammy!


Well, that what you get when you change horses in the middle of the bridge that you crossed when you came to it, or something.

As for me, Vh died when David Lee Roth left.


Well, that what you get when you change horses in the middle of the bridge that you crossed when you came to it, or something.

As for me, VH died when David Lee Roth left.


I was never much into Sammy. For me, VH has always meant David Lee Roth.


Hilly, that was accompanied by a scolding tone, right?

francesdanger, when Diamond Dave left was when they became great in my mind.

Dagny, I can understand that. However, Sammy was the beginning of when they actually hit a creative high for me. They stopped releasing cover songs on albums (in concert is fine, but on albums is a cop out) and tried new things with their instruments. More creative solos, acoustic tunes, more balladry, etc. So, yes, while Dave was the heart of the party-era VH, Sammy was their soul.


I COMPLETELY disagree with you. Yes, Sammy was great, and they had some great songs, but to refer to him as the SOUL of Van Halen is grossly overstating. David Lee Roth was the reason they had appeal for the masses. He was a superstar. Sammy took them in a different direction, which was fine... some great songs, but they really didn't sell any more albums with him than Dave. Sales were about equal. If Van Halen had originally started with Sammy, I don't believe they would have ever become as big as they did by 1984. That's about the time that Eddie began going nuts, and destoying his band. Sammy tried to salvage them, and they made some great music together, but even a brilliant business man like Sammy couldn't make Eddie see how stupid and self-destructive he's become.


Rory, perhaps I should've specified "creative soul." And I will grant you that VH would've been nothing without Diamond Dave finding them an audience. Even toward the end, they still put out chart toppers, but I seriously think they all would be, literally, dead if they continued with that lineup. Sammy did a damn fine job with them creatively and I also agree that they did not have nearly the level of album sales, but that means very little to me. They still sold well. Maybe not platinum status records, but still good. And, thankfully, no more cover songs. I need only refer to Diver Down as an example of how bad they got with covers (nearly 1/3 of the album is a cover). I really am stoked to see what kind of music VH could put out if they record some new tracks with Sammy. God knows, if they kept Dave, it would all wind up being throwback trash to a bygone era that none of those band members should legitimately be a part of (except maybe Wolfie in five years) much like the three new songs on BOBW.


I think you misundertood me... I didn't say they sold more with DLR... I said sales were about Equal. If you look up album sales, you'll see that they sold almost the same amount of albums with each singer Dave/Sammy (not Gary). I certainly don't disagree with you about Sammy being great... The songs with Sammy were awesome, I really liked them all, and bought those albums as fast as the DLR VH albums (ha ha) but I sincerely feel that it was just never the same as the original RAW VAN HALEN rock that blew us all away... We were all glad it was Sammy (who else could successfully have pulled it off? No one.) but it became a new band entirely (my opinion) when Sammy took over. Van Halen died, and Van Hagar (sorry for the tired worn-out pun) was born.

I'm not a Sammy hater, I love his music, before and after Van Halen as well... He's brilliant.

Here's some info from a link I'll include for you...
The David Lee Roth era remains Van Halen's most critically successful period, having influenced many eighties rock musicians who followed. The band's top selling albums to date are their 1978 debut and "1984". Both albums have reached diamond status, having sold over 10 million copies each, and are both regarded as milestones in rock and roll music, ushering in artistic innovations that were widely emulated throughout the 1980s (The Van Halen track "Runnin' with the Devil" and 1984's "Jump" are listed as two of the top 500 most influential songs in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame). The band's second and third productions, Van Halen II and Women and Children First, each reached #6 on the charts. After this, every subsequent Van Halen album would breach the top 5 spot on the pop charts.

That's from this link...

Lotsa good info there if you're interested. Thanks for your email. Rory.


Thanks for the info. They really sold roughly equal numbers of albums between Van Halen and Van Hagar? Wow. I really always thought their Van Halen days blew away their Van Hagar ones. Learn something new every day. Yes, raw Van Halen is great stuff. No question. I listen to it to this very day. But there was something about the refinement of the Van Hagar era. Always struck me as more thoughtful and I liked that maturity. It showed a great level of professional development on the part of the boys of VH. It was definitely a whole new band. No question. That's why most fans do divide it up as Van Halen and Van Hagar (and leave out Van Cherone for obvious reasons). It's not quite like AC/DC where the vocalists were so similar that it took obvious concentration sometimes to discern between the two.

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