My response to this latest Van Halen reunion is "who cares." David Lee Roth should have rejoined the band ten years ago, as was originally planned, and I would have paid good money to see that show. But Eddie's ego is too huge and he had to go and hire Gary Cherone as the "last" Van Halen singer ever. They were, like, brothers, man; you know what I mean? And the way they connected was, like, too difficult to describe. They were brothers until everyone called Van Halen a joke and their new music made them sound like a lame Vegas metal band.
Then there was the "reunion" a couple years ago with Sammy Hagar and, once again, they all claimed that "we're like brothers man. This is a new beginning". The new beginning came to a quick end when Sam and Ed couldn't get along and Ed became a screaming drunk.
Now we get this current attempt to make more money for Eddie Van Halen. He has kicked out originally bassist, Michael Anthony, and replaced him with his 16-year old son, Wolfgang. Everyone I know has always called Anthony a cheese ball. But now, having been removed from the band for which he provided the coolest backup vocals ever for a metal band, critics and fans alike are suddenly praising his musicianship. Van Halen isn't Van Halen without Mikey. Period.
Making matters worse, and more disgraceful, is the fact that the band has suddenly removed pictures of Anthony from their album covers at the Van Halen website home page. The Roth era albums are all present and accounted for when you log on to vanhalen.com. Once you highlight each cover you will discover that Anthony's photo on the cover of "Van Halen" 1 has been replaced by Wolfgang, and the original band photo from "Women and Children First" is gone altogether. Lame.
Anthony fell out of grace with Eddie because of his friendship to Hagar. And through Hagar (who has become a sort of hard rock Buffet), Anthony no longer needs Eddie Van Halen to provide him with job security. I believe that that is what pisses off Eddie the most. Roth? Dude's got nothing (unless you count his EMT career) and Wolfgang is his song. 'Nuff said. Alex Van Halen has the kind of loyalty that only brothers can share. It's fierce and unbreakable, even when Eddie is being a complete moron. As many times as Ed has taken the reins of "his band" and fucked up, Alex follows blindly, as if dependent on his virtuoso brother. This is a shame because if any musician in that band has continued to get better as the years progress, it is Alex Van Halen. The guy should be a session drummer. He shouldn't have to be a slave to his younger brother. Hagar and Anthony, on the other hand, don't need the Van Halen bullshit. Sure, the cash is nice, but they make a good living touring, and partying at their club in Cabo.
Like most people my age, I grew up on both Van Halens. I don't call the Sammy era Van Hagar because that diminishes what that version of the band accomplished (which is, they sold more records than the Roth era band and had a ton of hit singles... not too shabby). I will be shocked if this new reunion produces any music. I will be shocked if they manage to stick it out for the entire tour. I will not be shocked when, in five years, Eddie has regrouped with Gary Cherone for a new reunion. Because, they’re, like, brothers, man; you know what I mean?