Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Van Halen planned reunion for farewell tour

Van Halen manager Irving Azoff has confirmed the band were planning a reunion of the original lineup as part of a farewell tour prior to the declining health and loss of guitarist Eddie Van Halen on October 6 after a lengthy battle with cancer.

“We had lots of stops and starts, but there was every intention of doing a summer stadium tour (in 2019),", Azoff tells Pollstar, "and as the cancer moved around, [Eddie] was physically unable to do it.”

Among the plans were for major special guests like Foo Fighters and Metallica to join the band in select cities.

“There is no doubt in my mind that it would have been massive,” adds Azoff.

The shows would have been the first with David Lee Roth and Michael Anthony since 1984; the bassist – who joined Van Halen in 1974 and appeared on the band’s albums and tours through 2004 – was removed from the lineup by Eddie in 2002 because he remained friendly with Sammy Hagar following his stint with the group and was unceremoniously replaced by the guitarist’s son, Wolfgang, in 2007.

Roth hinted about the tour in late 2018, telling Vulture: “Next time my rock band will be playing the same place that the Yankees play,” and when pressed to confirm a Yankee Stadium concert by Van Halen in 2019, he replied, “Yeah, but I can’t … If I say something on tape here and everybody goes, ‘Oh, this leaked…’ But, the band will be — I can’t say.”

Saying that Van Halen activity was “around the corner by a hundred days,” Roth continued: “Well, I don’t know how far this privacy actually goes. But the band is solvent. And I can say that I contacted colleagues about being part of the show – Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, Jason Aldean, the Foo Fighters, Eric Church, and Chris Stapleton. And they all said that, if everything happens, they would certainly be involved.”

Extreme guitarist Nuno Bettencourt shared some insight into the reunion during a recent tribute to Eddie.

"He was in great spirits. A proud dad, bragging about how Wolfie's new solo album is gonna blow minds, etc.,” revealed Bettencourt about his last visit with the guitarist prior to the pandemic. “What's cool though, was the last thing Eddie talked about. He said he was super excited about reaching out to Michael Anthony to finally put the original VH lineup back together. Saying that he wanted to do one final tour and have Van Halen go out the way they came in...Together... Guns Blazing!"

Last year, Anthony confirmed that he had been contacted by band management about the reunion series.

Inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2007, Van Halen have sold more than 80 million albums worldwide.

See also:

Jack White tributes Eddie Van Halen on Saturday Night Live
Alex Van Halen mourns loss of brother Eddie Van Halen
Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony salute Eddie Van Halen
David Lee Roth pays tribute to Eddie Van Halen
Eddie Van Halen dead at 65
Search Van Halen at hennemusic