The most insightful article about “The Reunion Tour That Almost Was” comes from L.A. Times reporter Greg Boucher.
The Van Halen tour has been “shut down,” according to a top official at Live Nation, the huge concert promoter that finally surrendered in the face of the chaos surrounding guitar hero Eddie Van Halen. Roth, meanwhile, says he is unsure whether the mercurial guitarist will even travel to New York for the Hall of Fame induction on March 12.
Eddie Van Halen declined interviews through his publicist and girlfriend, Janie Liszewski. Conversations with the business team behind the tour paint a picture of a rock star who is somewhere between Axl Rose and Michael Jackson on the music industry scale of eccentric recluses. The result is that the Van Halen venture imploded before takeoff, even as the Police, the Eagles and Genesis have efficiently geared up for lucrative reunion tours.
“I cannot tell you how frustrating and completely nuts this has been,” one key business figure in the tour said while asking not to be identified on the outside chance that the reunion might be salvaged. “Right now, I have to say, I don’t see that happening.” …
Wolfgang, a precocious musician, was “the maestro” at the reconstituted band’s lone rehearsal, picking the set list and using his iPod to remind his father of the nuances of his solos on the old albums. Wolfgang was tapped by his father to play bass on the tour too, replacing founding member Michael Anthony, a jolting choice considering the child’s age and Anthony’s status as one of rock’s best backup singers and most relentlessly cheerful presences.
Eddie Van Halen remains, by all accounts, a gifted guitarist and rock auteur, but the decision to jettison Anthony in favor of a teenager may have been the first sign that the new enterprise was guided by creaky logic.
Click here to read the rest. There’s lots more good stuff, including some additional quotes from Diamond Dave—who, bizarrely enough, seems to have become the calm and steady voice of reason.