Guess what’s almost certainly going to happen this summer? How about a Van Halen tour with David Lee Roth? Road trip! Are ya pumped, dudes and dolls?
Charles and I saw David Lee Roth in 2002, and it was not pretty. I mean, the guy was sloppy as hell even back in the day, but he more than made it up with vibe and energy. Five years ago, he was living in the Self-Parody subdivision on the outskirts of Suckville, and it wasn’t new construction. It would have been really good had it been your tenth-grade geometry teacher impersonating David Lee Roth at the Halloween carnival, gnome sane?
So we heard/watched half a dozen tortured classics, with mostly spoken vocals with Vegas revue phrasing, accompanied by an occasional pathetic knee-high sweep kick. Having already had our asses thoroughly kicked courtesy of Sammy Hagar and the Waboritas, we decided to beat the traffic.
The other weirdness is that Michael Anthony is no longer with the band. Not only is he an excellent bass player, but his backing vocal is otherworldly, and a critical component of the classic Van Halen sound. Instead, Eddie’s 15-year-old son Wolfgang is in on bass. Now true, I haven’t heard little Wolfie sing or play, but you’ll please excuse me if I can’t get excited about the prospect of a boy born in 1991 legitimately stepping in for Mikey. (Isn’t there a significant chance of his voice changing over the course of the tour?)
So, let’s review. I got to see Michael Anthony with Sammy in 2002 and 2006, and he was awesome. But he’s not going to be there. I got to see David Lee Roth in 2002, but he was rotten. And he is going to be there. I haven’t seen/heard Eddie play since 1992. He’ll be there, and likely still a force. So I’d enjoy watching and hearing him again. What’s it worth for me to do so?
Hmmmm. Well, he was great in ’92, and my memories of that show are pretty good. So maybe I’d go $30 and an hour round-trip in the car. Reckon that’ll get me in? I’m thinking it probably won’t pay for half of a cheap seat.