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- Posted on Aug 13th 2007 6:25PM by Steve Baltin
After several recent furtive tries, the reunion between the Van Halen brothers Eddie and Alex and former frontman David Lee Roth has been one of the most anticipated in rock since the Roth departed the group after 1984's eponymous album and subsequent tour. Now that the threesome have announced they will rejoin forces to embark on a tour that kicks off Sept. 27 in Charlotte, N.C. -- along with Eddie's son Wolfgang, who will be playing bass in this lineup -- Roth clarified, "This is not a reunion; this is a new band."
That was just one of several memorable quotes that emanated from an L.A. press conference Monday morning where Roth, whose shtick may not have played on radio (as his jokes about his failed stint as an on-air personality revealed), reminded those in attendance why rock 'n' roll is a better thing with his color and bravado back in the scene.
Walking in with Eddie, Alex and Wolfgang to the strains of the band's 1984 smash 'Jump,' Roth waved to the assembled press and, like the most skilled of politicians, shook hands on his way from the back of the conference room to the stage. Serving as the band's and the conference's emcee, he welcomed everybody, got in a couple of quick jokes and then said, "I'd like to start with this" before hugging Eddie, to the delight of many in the room.
For all Diamond Dave's humor, which included jabs at Bono, Michael Jackson and the Police, the crowded room was ultimately gathered to receive news of the impending tour, after all. Roth promised that the reunited Van Halen would not disappoint. "The bar is set unbelievably high," he said. "We know what your expectations are. Are you prepared for it to be better than it ever f***ing was?"
Maybe the most surprising sentiment came from Eddie Van Halen after Roth spoke about the band's upcoming plans. After Roth said, "Saving the world is Bono's job. We just want to save a hundred cities; then we want to save Europe; then I want to talk to you about Hong Kong. Then we make an album; lots of big dreams here, lots of ambitions." Eddie simply added, "Just know this: We are a band; we will be continuing."
As for what fans can expect on the tour, Roth says it will be vintage Van Halen. "We've got 25 of your greatest hits, all the favorites that you've been hearing tearing out of the back of a pickup truck at the Burger King drive-thru for how many summertimes?" he spieled. "It's all very well intact; the same s***ty attitude with a whole new look, stereo sound in hi-fi style."