With tour, Roth is runnin' with Van Halen again

January 28, 2007|By Los Angeles Times

Give credit (or blame?) to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: David Lee Roth is back with Van Halen and planning to tour.

The mercurial Roth, who officially left Van Halen on April Fool's Day in 1985, will reunite with his old band for a tour that kicks off in North Carolina in early May, according to sources in the concert industry.

Joining Roth will be guitar hero Eddie Van Halen and drummer Alex Van Halen. But bassist Michael Anthony reportedly will be replaced by Eddie Van Halen's teenage son Wolfgang.

The band had been planning a splashy news conference in L.A. to announce the news, but word leaked out last week. There had been intense speculation that the reunion might happen after the announcement this month that the band would be inducted into the Hall of Fame in New York on March 12.

That induction ceremony at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel could be a study in awkward stage politics now, considering that Sammy Hagar, the on-again-off-again replacement for Roth, is being inducted as well.

Hagar sang with the band on lucrative tour dates in 2004 and 2005 and said a few weeks ago that he hoped the ceremony would be a good-spirited celebration of the band's legacy. Now he faces the prospect of playing the rock bridesmaid at the celebration of his band's rekindled first marriage.

Fans have long debated which lineup truly rules, and now Roth will get a chance to present his argument onstage for the first time since the Reagan administration.

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