Today we are hearing some very interesting things that explains why, to the disappointment of many fans, Van Halen didn’t appear at the Grammy nominations concert last night. There’s a pretty good reason for this, and it’s that Van Halen wasn’t the mystery band in the first place!
Immediately after the show last night, the L.A. Times spoke to their sources close to the show who said that the mystery band was actually the Beach Boys (who’s 50th anniversary reunion tour this summer is one of the worst-kept secrets in the music business right now), and that things fell apart with the Beach Boys and the Grammys within the 48 hours leading up to the nomination show. The Grammys are still hopefull that the Beach Boys will still be available for the Feb. 12 Grammy Awards.
Then today, Rolling Stone agreed with the L.A. Times by saying that they are “extremely confident that it was supposed to be the Beach Boys” and that according to industry sources they’ve spoken to, Van Halen were never – at any point – lined up to appear at the Grammys special.”
On top of all this, today we at the VHND heard from one of our own sources very close to the band that what Rolling Stone and the L.A. Times are saying is 100% correct and that Van Halen was never in the picture and was never slated to appear at the Grammys.
What about that tweet that the Grammys made? Rolling Stone says, “Many people thought that Van Halen was supposed to be the band, largely due to the fact that the Grammys sent out this not-so-subtle Tweet on November 3rd: “Who do u predict the reuniting band will be @ GRAMMYnoms? Does this hint make u wanna ‘Jump’ & ‘Dance The Night Away?'” This seemed to confirm beyond any doubt that Van Halen was the band, but what many people missed is that the Tweet also linked to a Hitfix story that guessed it was Van Halen. The fine folks at the Grammys merely sent out that Tweet to get people talking, and the Van Halen song titles were a reference to the HitFix prediction. They wanted to open up a whole Twitter-wide guessing game.”
Neil Portnow, chairman of The Recording Academy, which controls the Grammys, declined to confirm speculation that Van Halen was the mystery band that was to make an appearance, but told reporters last night that those concerned were not ready to go public.
“In the world of creativity, everything is fluid … there was the expectation that the artist involved and we would be ready to announce, but the artist was not quite ready”, said Portnow. Apparently he was talking about the Beach Boys.
So who’s to blame for the disappointment? It seems that the Grammys kind of took the bait from Hitflix’s guess and tweeted that clue to fuel the Van Halen rumor for the publicity. After all, thousands of Van Halen fans tuning in couldn’t hurt the ratings, right? Perhaps the Grammys didn’t expect there would be quite the amount of backlash from upset Van Halen fans. Then, after the show, Portnow was careful not to mention Van Halen’s name and let people assume that the mystery band was them, so that they’ll never get blamed for their misleading tweet.
Is Van Halen to blame, as well? Van Halen was very irresponsible for never publicly denouncing the rumor.
Or did they?
Over two weeks ago, Rolling Stone did indeed report that Van Halen would not appear at the Grammys. But many fan sites ignored this news, including VHND. We noticed that the Rolling Stone article contained a couple minor errors, and we remembered how they misinterpreted what a Van Halen rep told them last year. So we were skeptical of their info, and we chose instead to believe the Grammys. In hindsight, Rolling Stone was correct and got their info directly from either Van Halen or their management. So the band did indeed try to shoot down the rumor.
Even though the band was completely innocent of having anything to do with the creation of the rumor, after seeing it spread like it did, we sure wish they would have taken it into their own hands and tried harder to dispel the rumor.
But most of the disappointment is the fault of the Grammys. When given an opportunity by Rolling Stone to set the record straight when Rolling Stone flatly asked them if there was any truth to their Van Halen rumor, they declined to comment, instead letting the rumor grow to booster their own ratings.
After all this drama, we can report that we have something to look forward to. We’re hearing that as of two to three weeks ago, Van Halen decided on late January as the time when they will finally officially announce their 2012 album and tour. We will likely not hear any major VH news until then.