In a new interview with Meltdown of the Detroit radio station WRIF, David Lee Roth says Van Halen, as we know it, is finished. He also said Eddie Van Halen has his own story to tell about the current state of the band and discussed his upcoming Las Vegas residency, which is due to begin in January. Earlier this year, rumors were rampant that the classic-era lineup of Van Halen would reunite for the first time since 1984 and possibly embark on a co-headline tour of baseball stadiums with Foo Fighters. There were even tour posters leaked to press. It’s unclear why the tour didn’t happen, though there has been online chatter that a health setback involving Eddie Van Halen might have been responsible. Roth also spoke earlier this summer with podcaster and comedian Marc Maron on his WTF show and claimed he and the Van Halen Brothers have “no relationship.. and never have”.
Asked if he was “bummed out” that he couldn’t tour with Van Halen this past summer, as had been rumored several months ago, Roth responded: “That’s been canceled a number of times, and I think Van Halen’s finished and this is the next phase. I’ve inherited the band de facto — whatever that means. I think it means if you inherit it, carry this proudly. Van Halen isn’t gonna be coming back in the fashion that you know. And that being said, Eddie’s [Van Halen] got his own story to tell. [It’s] not mine to tell it.”
Roth’s latest comments echo those he made earlier in the month when he told the Phoenix radio station KSLX that he was “the face of Van Halen from this point on, most likely. I’m not sure what’s happening with Ed, but he’s probably not gonna answer the bell this time,” he said. “And it’s not my place to guess.”
Asked if he was implying that Eddie Van Halen had been dealing with some health issues as of late, Roth replied: “I hear all the same rumors that you do and it’s not my place to guess.”
The guitarist was treated for tongue cancer in 2000, resulting in surgery which removed a third of his tongue. He was declared cancer-free in 2002.