by Casey Rea
Homeless man or Guitar God? Only his publicist/girlfriend knows for sure.
Geoff Boucher of the Los Angeles Times reports:
For Van Halen, the stars seemed aligned for a triumphant 2007. Next month, the group will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the plan was to follow that with a summer reunion tour that would feature David Lee Roth back at the mike for the first time since the Reagan years.
But, once again, the backstage soap opera of Van Halen is the story of the day.
The Van Halen tour has been "shut down," according to a top official at Live Nation, the huge concert promoter that finally surrendered in the face of the chaos surrounding guitar hero Eddie Van Halen. Roth, meanwhile, says he is unsure whether the mercurial guitarist will even travel to New York for the Hall of Fame induction on March 12.
"We have fragile politics in Van Halen; please accept that as a partial answer," Roth said. "But I don't know if the Van Halens are going to go....I hope they do, but right now, I just don't know. Hope springs eternal."
Eddie Van Halen declined interviews through his publicist and girlfriend, Janie Liszewski. [Casey's note: Guess we could say that "Janie's Cryin'!"] Conversations with the business team behind the tour paint a picture of a rock star who is somewhere between Axl Rose and Michael Jackson on the music industry scale of eccentric recluses. The result is that the Van Halen venture imploded before takeoff, even as The Police, The Eagles and Genesis have efficiently geared up for lucrative reunion tours.
"I cannot tell you how frustrating and completely nuts this has been," one key business figure in the tour said while asking not to be identified on the outside chance that the reunion might be salvaged. "Right now, I have to say, I don't see that happening."
I'm not much of a VH fan, but I find their inability to get their shit together incredibly amusing. A supposed "insider report" in the form of a blog comment stated the real reason for the tour breakdown was that Eddie is fighting with the Live Nation promoters, his own brother and — here's the funny part — his ex-wife, Valerie Bertinelli. She is, of course, mom to Wolfgang Van Halen, who has been appointed the new bassist for the group. The kid is only 15.
Perhaps Val doesn't want him falling prey to the "booze, coke and groupies" lifestyle that EVH has been known to indulge in.
Eddie struggled with cancer of the tongue not too long ago, which he claims to have beat with methods "illegal in the United States." Some have speculated that the *cure* involved the use of crystal meth.
Bet it helps him shred, too.