David Lee Roth has weighed in on reports that he has been in discussions with Alex Van Halen and Joe Satriani about taking part in an all-star VAN HALEN tribute project.
Earlier today, Satriani confirmed to the “Rock Of Nations With Dave Kinchen” classic rock show that the trio has been in regular contact over the past year “about doing something — a tour, something like that — that was gonna be a true tribute to [late VAN HALEN guitarist] Eddie [Van Halen] and the VAN HALEN legacy,” he said.
The 65-year-old guitarist addressed the rumor just days after former METALLICA bassist Jason Newsted revealed to The Palm Beach Post that he was approached by the VAN HALEN drummer about six months ago about playing bass for the project. Newsted told the Florida newspaper that he agreed to go to California to jam with Alex and Joe and see if it felt right, but he eventually realized that it would be impossible to do justice to VAN HALEN‘s legacy. “How could you?” Jason said. “There’s nobody that can top it, so how do you show it honor? I didn’t want it to be viewed as a money grab. And then it kind of just all fizzled.”
When asked by the Van Halen News Desk site to chime in on the hypothetical tour, Roth e-mailed the following statement: “IN MY MIND VAN HALEN 4r, IN THE AGE OF COVID IS GOING TO REQUIRE TWO OF US FOR EVERY POSITION. SATRIANI AND LUKATHER, ANTHONY AND NEWSTED, AL OR TOMMY LEE. PROBABLY THE ONLY ONE WHO COULD DO MY JOB TODAY WOULD BE PINK..”
Three months ago, Roth canceled the remaining farewell shows he was set to play at the House Of Blues at Mandalay Bay. Just three months earlier, the legendary VAN HALEN singer announced that he was ending his career with his Vegas concerts during the first weeks of January. “I am throwing in the shoes. I’m retiring,” Roth told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “These are my last shows.” He added: “I’m not going to explain the statement. The explanation is in a safe.”
Last June, Eddie Van Halen‘s son Wolfgang Van Halen, who joined his father in VAN HALEN for the band’s 2007 reunion tour with Roth, replacing Michael Anthony, told SiriusXM‘s “Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk” it would be “great” to eventually organize an Eddie Van Halen tribute show. “It’s not in the immediate plans, ’cause that’s a lot of moving parts that you’ve gotta corral to get that to happen. But I definitely think it should happen. Absolutely,” he said.
Asked how he envisions the tribute concert taking place in terms of which musicians should be involved, Wolfgang said: “I have no idea. All I know is that the focus should a hundred percent be on Pop. While it could be a celebration of VAN HALEN and the band’s history, I think more than anything, it should be focused on him… It’s a tall ask and a big thing to figure out. But I do think it should happen at some point.”
In February 2021, former VAN HALEN singer Sammy Hagar told Kyle Meredith that he will make every effort to take part in the Eddie Van Halen tribute concert.
“I have nothing to do with the [Eddie Van Halen] legacy,” he said. “That’s their business — that’s Wolfie, Alex Van Halen; they’re family members. Whoever wants to call me up and say, ‘Here’s the date,’ I will be there. I don’t care where I am. I’ll cancel a [solo] show [if I need to]. [Laughs] [That’s] something VAN HALEN would never do. I always make that joke — canceling a show was [out of the question with] VAN HALEN. I went out sick without being able to sing, Eddie went out with a crutch, Alex went out with a fucking neck brace — we wouldn’t cancel shows. But I will cancel my show for a tribute to Eddie any day.”
Eddie died in October 2020 at the age of 65. The legendary VAN HALEN guitarist passed away at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, California.
Eddie was diagnosed with mouth cancer in 2000 and had tongue surgery. He later battled lung cancer and had been receiving radiation treatment in Germany. Things took a turn for the worse in early 2019 when Eddie got in a motorcycle accident. He was subsequently diagnosed with a brain tumor, and received gamma knife radiosurgery to treat the illness.