Note: This edition of Vie’s Verses was written before the release of A Different Kind Of Truth
Originally I was going to title this edition of Vie’s Verses “Van Halen Is Coming…Do You Care?” I was planning to refer to the high ticket prices, the new single that fans seem to dislike (or, in some cases, hate), and the fact that Michael Anthony is still not in the band leaving the brothers Van Halen to call all the shots. I was going to go on a tirade about how this tour would flop, how David Lee Roth and the Van Halens would clash, and how this would be the last time that we saw any incarnation of Van Halen.
Then I did some research on the concerts. I was really surprised to find out that most of the concerts have sold out, including the Madison Square Garden dates where tickets were $160 each. I guess the economy is doing better than the media portrays. Either that, or fans are willing to pony up the big bucks to see the legendary Van Halen. Which led to the changing of the title for this post—apparently you do care. It appears that Van Halen is in high demand and a new tour with a new album and new songs to perform has everyone excited.
And I guess when I get past my bitterness over ticket prices and the fact that Michael Anthony got screwed by his longtime band mates, it makes sense. Van Halen isn’t getting any younger, and this could be their last hoorah. Yes, there are several bands that play well into their 60s recording new music that is grand, but look how many years it took Van Halen to come up with new music. And reports are that a lot of the “new” music is just rehashed outtakes from the 70s.
So, yes, this could be the end. This could be the last chance to see Van Halen live with David Lee Roth. And while adding Mr. Anthony back into the mix would be a reward to the fans, that isn’t going to happen. First, Van Halen doesn’t seem to care about their fans, and second, I don’t think Michael Anthony would come back even if he was asked to. There is just too much bad blood.
I happen to be a fan of the new single, “Tattoo,” and while, lyrically, it’s not very advanced, it is Van Halen with David Lee Roth. I don’t find it as great as “Me Wise Magic,” or “Can’t Get This Stuff No More” (from the 1997 Greatest Hits album), but it does offer hope for the new record, which I think is going to be solid. Sure, it may not be their best record ever, it may not even be in the same league as their early material, but I’m sure it will be good. Most of what David Lee Roth does is enjoyable. Almost everything that Eddie Van Halen does is enjoyable (yes, I was a fan of VH3), so I have hope. As for the concerts, well, I’m on the fence. They’ve survived one tour, but can they do it again, especially with new songs to remember? I guess only time will tell, but one thing’s for certain, Van Halen is back and the fans do care.
Post Script: I have now had a chance to listen to the new Van Halen disc, and I must say that it is amazing. I still think that “Me Wise Magic” and “Can’t Get This Stuff No More” are better than most of the songs on A Different Kind Of Truth, but that doesn’t mean this album is bad. It is an exceptional record and one of the best Van Halen recordings to come out in decades. This could be their best record since Women And Children First. Add me to the list of fans that care.
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