VAN HALEN - More Rumours Than Albums
by Tim Henderson

Warner Bros. is said to have forced Van Halen to reunite with David Lee Roth. The band is still looking for a permanent replacement singer (Kelly Hansen gets his shot next week) and will tour under the moniker Van Halen with David Lee Roth but don't expect this to be permanent. After Cherone left the band, Sammy Hagar was approached but due to label pressure and their dual (with Roth and Hagar) tour idea, Sammy declined. The band then began their search for a new vocalist before giving into label pressure for the current David Lee Roth reunion. Leading candidates included Billy Squier, Chris Cornell of Soundgarden and forgotten Canadian Sass Jordan. The band was looking for a marquee vocalist who was not involved in anything else at present. Other singers talked about but never contacted include Eric Martin (Mr. Big), Patty Smyth, Mitch Malloy, Johnny Gioeli (Hardline), Louie Merlino (Beggars & Thieves), Danny Bowes of Thunder and Sebastian Bach .

Official confirmation and their first public appearance together are likely to be at the Grammy Awards February 23. A slot for the band to appear is being worked on at the moment. They hope recapture some of the spirit of the 1996 MTV Music Awards appearance (which ended in a new war of words between the members of Van Halen and David Lee Roth) .

It seems the idea of recording a full album of new material with Roth is not want the band want to do. Though they may have no choice if they wish to remain with Warner Bros. As Eddie Van Halen stated on many occasions in the past "Van Halen would rather move on than go backwards and that Van Halen is not a nostalgia band and wouldn't want to do a nostalgia trip." The band felt they could have picked up where they left off with Hagar but unfortunately Warner Bros. were firmly in favor of a reunion with Roth. Many feel that a Roth/VH reunion would be as big or bigger than the 1996 Kiss reunion tour (which was the highest grossing tour that year.) Sammy Hagar was interested in rejoining but would rather see the fans and the label get over the whole Dave reunion thing before he could even contemplate further talks. He is also ready to rejoin his longtime bandmates now that they have fired manager Ray Daniels (SRO management) with whom Hagar never saw eye to eye.

VAN HALEN - More Rumours Than Albums Page 2