The original Van Halen singer – who appeared to have retired after announcing a run of final performances that were later canceled – once again remained difficult to lock down about his plans when he was interviewed by Fox News at Los Angeles International Airport earlier this week.
Asked if he was planning a return to touring, Roth said, “There’s always a tomorrow for a singer; not so much for a trombone player these days. … How many times did Rocky retire? Seven. I think number three was my favorite. How many times did Rambo have to come out of retirement in order to make the sequel?”
The topic of a Van Halen tribute project surfaced recently when artists including Michael Anthony, Joe Satriani and Jason Newsted discussed a suggestion that came from Alex Van Halen. When the reporter asked Roth to comment on whether he might be involved, the singer replied: “Yeah – I wrote the songs. … I was the one who named the band. … I’m only in the middle of my first retirement.”
He’d first addressed the tribute concept in a brief statement in April, saying, “In my mind, ‘Van Halen 4K,’ in the age of COVID is going to require two of us for every position. Satriani and [Steve] Lukather, Anthony and Newsted, Al or Tommy Lee.”
In September 2021, nearly a year after Eddie Van Halen’s death, Roth noted that “my guitarist passed away,” adding: “He’s either in heaven raisin’ hell. Or he’s in hell, consequently in heaven. Read into that as you wish. And he would have me say it just like that. And I carry on that spirit deliberately.” He also said he’d “just spoke” to Alex Van Halen, and that the pair was “about to celebrate our 50th year of ragging on each other.”
Van Halen Lineup Changes
Three different singers and two different bassists joined the Van Halen brothers over the years.