Van Halen to Rock On With Roth
Van Halen’s tour with David Lee Roth ended last July with one final triumphant version of “Jump” — but if Eddie Van Halen gets his way, that’s not going to be the end of the reunion. “We are a band — it wasn’t just a one-off tour we did,” says the guitarist, who plans to meet with Roth this summer to play him demos of new songs. “We had a lot of fun on the tour — Dave was a blast. And next time we go out, we’re going to have some new stuff, too. I’m looking forward to getting on it.” The 75-date tour, which began in September 2007, grossed more than $93 million, making it the most lucrative of the band’s career.
June will be a busy month for the Van Halens: Eddie will marry Janie Liszewski, his girlfriend and publicist; and 17-year-old bassist Wolfgang Van Halen (“a permanent part of Van Halen,” according to his dad) will graduate with his high school class after taking a year off for the tour. “Wolfie had it the toughest,” says Eddie. “He had three or four hours of tutoring every day and then the gig.” And after that, Eddie hopes to start recording what could be the band’s first new studio album since 1998’s Van Halen III (with short-tenured lead singer Gary Cherone) and its first with Roth in 25 years.
“I’ve got tons of music written, such a variety of stuff,” says Eddie, who thinks some of it may surprise fans. “The essence of me is obviously there, and those drums, they’re always recognizable. But people expect a certain thing from Van Halen, and this isn’t exactly bang-your-head-against-the-wall stuff.”
Roth is keeping busy too — he lives part time in New York, where he works as an EMT, an unlikely passion he began pursuing in 2004. His spokeswoman said he couldn’t be reached for comment on his future with the band.
[From Issue 1072 — February 19, 2009]