From the LA Times:
Van Halen is back — withDavid Lee Roth
The band will launch its first tour with its original singer in 20 years this spring.
The mercurial Roth, who officially left Van Halen on April Fool’s Day in 1985, will reportedly reunite with his old band mates for a tour that kicks off in North Carolina in early May and includes June stops in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties, according to sources in the concert industry.
The band has been planning a splashy press conference in Los Angeles to announce the news, but word leaked out today. 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 Hagar, the on-again-off-again replacement for Roth is being inducted as well.
Hagar sang with the band on their lucrative tour dates in 2004 and 2005 and told The Times 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 public celebration of his band’s rekindled first marriage.
Hagar and Roth have feuded publicly and in 2002 when they turned their public animus into a tour of strange bedfellows, the venture dipped into soap opera almost daily.
It’s not technically Roth’s first return to the band; he appeared on stage with the band – which is guitar hero Eddie Van Halen, drummer Alex Van Halen and bassist Michael Anthony – at the MTV Video Music Awards in 1996. They recorded a few songs but then it was all off again.
Roth’s return will be met with exultation for fans of the band’s edgier and raunchier Sunset Strip metal roots and their remarkable six-album rise the top of rock stardom, which began with “Van Halen” in 1979, an album that has shipped more than 10 million copies to stores, according to Recording Industry Assn. of America.
Hagar’s entry into the lineup in 1985 marked a step toward a less aggressive edge and more mainstream sound. Fans have long debated which line-up truly rules and now Roth will get a chance to present his argument on stage for the first time since the Reagan administration.