Thursday, January 15, 2015

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

As part of the 2014 hennemusic Rock News Awards, the site is counting down the Top 10 Rock News Artists of the year.

Finalists for the 5th 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.

2014 hennemusic Rock News Artist Of The Year – Top 10

06 – KISS
07 – AC/DC
08 – QUEEN

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

Van Halen have been off the road since the summer 2013 wrap-up of their “A Different Kind Of Truth” tour, so with fans starving for updates, it was little wonder the band made headlines early in 2014 when Eddie Van Halen made an appearance at the NAMM (National Association Of Music Merchants) Convention at the Anaheim Convention Center in January.

The event drew so much attention that it landed at year’s end as the No. 4 Rock News Story Of The Year as part of the 5th annual hennemusic Rock News Awards.

In February, Alter Bridge guitarist Mark Tremonti revealed Van Halen were working on new music,making it a challenge for him to line up schedules for his side project, Tremonti, which now includes bassist Wolfgang Van Halen.

The same month saw frontman David Lee Roth launch season 2 of his online series The Roth Show and perform with Beach Boys singer Mike Love at The Society Of Singers’ 21st ELLA Awards in Beverly Hills.

In March, upgraded vintage concert footage of Van Halen live in Fresno, California over two shows in 1978 and 1979 surfaced online and drew a great deal of attention from fans looking for quality video from the original band’s classic era.

Meanwhile, Eddie was spotted with Wolfgang at a Los Angeles Kings NHL game and at Six Flags Magic Mountain.

On April 6, Bruce Springsteen kicked off his performance at the free NCAA March Madness Music Festival in Dallas, Texas with a cover of Van Halen’s 1984 smash, “Jump.”

The same month, Roth revealed that he has been working on a secret Van Halen project, telling fans, “can’t announce anything or I’d have to come find you and swear you to secrecy.”

The singer has been living in Tokyo for some time and on April 20 he hooked up with New York a cappella group Naturally 7’s show there for an impromptu backstage performance of Pharrell Williams’ smash hit, “Happy.”

A rare sighting uncovered Eddie, Alex and Wolfgang attending Black Sabbath’s April 26 show at the Hollywood Bowl.

May saw Roth release video of an acoustic performance at the Yokohama, Japan studio of horishi tattoo artist, Horiyoshi III, where the singer had been getting some full-body artwork done; he followed that up with footage of “Ice Cream Man” and a blues tune recorded in a Tokyo studio.

Roth showed off his new tattoos when he returned to Los Angeles in July, with the footage landing as the No. 2 Rock News Story Of The Year.

A photo of Eddie Van Halen visiting a mastering studio in Los Angeles surfaced in July, fueling speculation about possible activity in the Van Halen camp; it went on to become the No. 10 Rock News Story Of The Year.

Rob Zombie guitarist John 5 revealed that he recorded a full album with Roth early in 2013. The axeman – who worked on 1998’s “DLR Band” record – raved about the project and hopes it will be issued at some point, saying “it sounds like just Dave from that 'Van Halen I' or 'II' or 'Women And Children First' era, in terms of his singing, and it's incredible, man.”

Manny Roth – founder of the New York City club Cafe Wha? and uncle to the Van Halen singer – died on July 25 at the age of 95; Roth posted a personal tribute on his website.

Things remained quiet until November, when Van Halen’s 1984 classic, “Hot For Teacher”, was named the Greatest Drum Intro of all time by readers of UK’s Rhythm magazine, beating out tracks by Rush, Guns N’ Roses, Led Zeppelin and others.

Late in the month, Eddie and Alex donated a signed guitar for a benefit supporting former KMET radio personality Pat "Paraquat" Kelley, who was diagnosed with Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis in 2003 and is now in the advanced stages of the illness.

Roth issued a holiday-themed song, “Talkin’ Christmas Blues”, in December and 2014 closed out with a photo of Eddie and Wolfgang jamming at the 5150 studios.

2015 opened with Roth releasing yet another video – this time a retrospective look back at 2014 – and, on January 10, he performed a pair of Van Halen classics with Foo Fighters at The Forum in Los Angeles.

In February, Eddie will be among those helping launch “What It Means To Be American”, a new three-year initiative by The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History and Los Angeles-based Ideas Exchange Zocalo Public Square.

Rumors continue to surface about possible activity inside the Van Halen camp, but the group remains quiet on all fronts, including the “secret project” Roth mentioned in the spring of 2014.

See also:

2014 hennemusic Rock News Awards announced
Van Halen and Pearl Jam top the 2013 hennemusic Rock News Awards
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