Is Van Halen's 2012 Reunion Album and Tour Actually a Reunion?

Categories: Concerts
Does this name still mean what it once did?
Van Halen's reunion with David Lee Roth has officially kicked off. There's a tour coming up, and there's the first DLR/VH album in 28 years, A Different Kind of Truth, dropping February 7. It'll be easy going for rock journalists to dig into their list idea spreadsheets today: Top Three Van Halen Singers, David Lee Roth's Lady Gaga Mixtape, or Ten Most Unlikely Artist-Venue Pairings. (Ready, go!)

From Village Voice's Maura Johnston: "Last night Van Halen tried to blow away any last traces of the rancor and bad blood that arose again and again in the years since Roth's long-ago departure for a solo career, and it mostly succeeded." And if you're wondering about the Gaga reference above, definitely read about Roth's lengthy monologue during the set in the review linked above.

After all of this time, turmoil, and Gary Cherone, should this 40-year-old band really still be called Van Halen?

Some would argue that this is the most "Van Halen" the band has ever been. Guitarist Eddie Van Halen and his drummer brother Alex have been the backbone of this band since 1972. With Eddie's son Wolfgang stepping in, the name quotient alone is at an all-time high.

Even with David Lee Roth on vocals, two key components of Van Halen's longevity and success are notably absent. From Rolling Stone: "Michael Anthony's backing vocals were sorely missed. They need them now more than ever, and as talented a bassist as Wolfgang clearly is (especially for a 20-year-old), it was a real lame move to push Anthony out of the band." And, I'm sure some VH purists will be pissed to hear this, but the Sammy Hagar era is too damned important for this to ever feel like a full group without some choice OU812 and 5150 cuts in the set -- which will not be there.

Plus, we're already hearing that many of the components of Another Kind of Truth could be based upon old-ass demos from when Roth was still in the band. Not that Sammy Hagar doesn't have his own agenda.

The other, greater issue is just the overall feeling of any reunion. Even if David Lee Roth is far more ready to reconcile with Eddie Van Halen than Valerie Bertinelli would be at the moment, the old wounds of a divorce -- even an artistic one -- never fully heal. It's hard to control the urge of seeing Dave and Eddie back together forever, but this type of re-formation always has an odor of "temporary money grab" gripping tighter to it than a pair of snakeskin pants.

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Chris Lockhart
Chris Lockhart

I will tell you why they should not play any Van Hagar. Yes it was an important era, but VH had too many hits with DLR they dont need to play Sammy's music. Its not needed. I saw the 2007 tour and it was amazing. Michael Anthony, to my knowledge wasnt neccessarily pushed out of the band. It was apparently a mutual agreement. I mean look at the 2007 tour. Michael anthony appeared at one of the shows and came out and picked up wolfgang and took him off the stage. It was a joke of course but it shows there is no bad blood between them. I have not heared anyone say they miss Anthony's backup vocals cause again not really needed. It seems to me this article is just nitpicking on frivolous issues. VH is back for a tour. Take what you can get, cause I know I am going to love this concert. I have my 2nd row tickets and it will be the greatest show I have ever been to. I just know it. I have also told so many people to go see this tour because it could be the last VH tour we se.

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