Friday, January 17, 2014

Rock News Artist Of The Year No. 1: VAN HALEN

As part of the 2013 hennemusic Rock News Awards, the site is counting down the Top 10 Rock News Artists of the year.

Finalists for the 4th annual hennemusic Rock News Awards are chosen by readers: winners are determined by the combined total page views of the top 50 hennemusic rock news stories of the past twelve months.

Rock News Artist of The Year No. 1 – VAN HALEN

Van Halen began the year on hiatus from their “A Different Kind Of Truth” tour, which was shut down mid-way through 2012 following Eddie’s surgery for a severe bout of Diverticulitis.

The guitarist made an appearance at the NAMM (National Association Of Music Merchants) show in January, surprising one attendee who was testing out some EVH gear – see video here.

In early February, David Lee Roth shared audio of his first radio broadcast in Japan, where he had been living at the time (here).

Roth also made headlines in February when he delivered a state of the Van Halen reunion address in a new interview with Rolling Stone, expressing his disappointment with the band’s lack of touring and new material, and his wish for bassist Michael Anthony’s return to the band.

“What we have at our fingertips is arguably one of the greatest high tenor voices ever – that was in Michael Anthony,” said Roth. “In our tiny little corner of the universe, that voice is as identifiable as the high voice in Earth, Wind & Fire, as identifiable as the high voice in the Beach Boys. Van Halen is an indelicate house blend of both – that's intentionally. So I would always look forward to that reunion, and I would always look forward to writing a whole variety of material.” (read more of Roth’s comments here).

The band’s first new live date of the year was announced in February – VH would co-headline the inaugural Stone Music Festival at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium over the April 20 and 21 weekend. A few weeks later, the groups’ first US show of 2013 was announced – VH would play the Rock USA festival at Ford Festival Park in Oshkosh, WI in July.

Eddie Van Halen posted a mysterious photo from the studio on March 4, featuring an image of himself and an unidentified person sitting behind a mixing board – without comment or explanation (here).

On March 5, Eddie and ex-wife Valerie Bertinelli were on hand to see their son, Wolfgang, play his final show as touring bassist for Tremonti at The Roxy in Los Angeles; Wolfgang joined the band on the road in late 2012 during VH’s hiatus (see photo here).

Meanwhile, Roth continued to keep the VH name in the news with several media appearances, including The Adam Carolla Show (here) and The Joe Rogan Experience (here).

It was Roth’s March 11 appearance on SiriusXM’s Opie & Anthony Show that stirred up some headlines, with the singer saying the band were “going to be playing Europe. Probably 50-60 shows outside of the United States starting at the end of this year and then come back around the US.”(more here.)

Van Halen family manager Irving Azoff (Roth has his own manager) quickly shot down Roth’s comments, saying the band had no plans to play Europe or any other shows outside of the announced dates and rescheduled Japan concerts in June (details here).

On March 14, Eddie posted a photo of himself and LL Cool J in the studio, completing the puzzle created by the tease from the image a week earlier. The guitarist would play on two songs from the rapper’s album, “Authentic”, due at the end of April (see photo here).

Van Halen played the Stone Music Festival on April 20 – check out sample video here and the full show here.

The band kicked off their reschedule Japanese tour in Nagoya on June 18 (video here) and, later, the complete Tokyo show – shot from the front row – surfaced here.

In late June, A high-quality copy of the rare Van Halen video for the “Women And Children First” track “Loss Of Control” surfaced (see it here).

On July 24, Van Halen played the final date of their “A Different Kind Of Truth” tour at the California Mid-State Fair in Paso Robles, California (video here).

In September, Eddie was among the personalities featured in “The Life Of Man”, a new piece in Esquire as the magazine commemorates their 80th anniversary (here).

November saw VH inspire World Peace in an episode of South Park, as the band took over the focus of a meeting in Jerusalem between some of the world’s major religions, helping unite them with their music (watch video here).

Roth provided an update for fans on the band’s next album during a SiriusXM interview in late summer that surfaced in November, with the singer saying the project is likely about 18 months away (details here).

Eddie closed out 2013 with a surprise visit to music students at LA Unified School District's Foshay Learning Center on December 5; he donated one of his signature 5150III amplifiers to the school and presented students with gift bags full of gear (more here).

Given Roth’s prediction that new Van Halen music isn’t likely to surface before 2015, it remains to be seen what the band’s profile will be in 2014.

2013 Rock News Artist Of The Year – Top 10

04 – KISS

See also:

2013 hennemusic Rock News Awards announced
Van Halen dominate the 2012 hennemusic Rock News Awards
Van Halen win two hennemusic Rock News Awards
Guns N’ Roses named hennemusic’s Rock News Artist of The Year
Jimmy Page’s 2011 plans named hennemusic’s Rock News Story Of The Year