Things were looking up for a moment late last year when reports suggested that classic bassist Michael Anthony would be welcomed back to the lineup for a big tour in 2019. Anthony confirmed he was contacted by Van Halen’s management but revealed that the “plug got pulled” before any substantive talks happened.
Now, in a new interview with Detroit radio station WRIF, Roth addressed the rumored Van Halen tour, saying, “That’s been canceled a number of times, and I think Van Halen’s finished, and this [residency] is the next phase.”
The vocalist went on to suggest that guitarist Eddie Van Halen is laying low these days, adding, “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 got his own story to tell. [It’s] not mine to tell it.”
A few weeks ago, Roth told Phoenix radio station KSLX, “I’m 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. And it’s not my place to guess. But we’ve been in touch. The fellows who I’m working with in terms of my road crew and the amps come from Van Halen.”
When asked if he was alluding to possible health issues involving Eddie Van Halen, the singer responded, “I hear all the same rumors that you do and it’s not my place to guess.”
In 2000, Eddie Van Halen was diagnosed with tongue cancer, but was declared cancer free a couple years later. In 2012, he underwent emergency surgery for the digestive disorder diverticulitis.
For now, David Lee Roth’s Las Vegas residency will kick off with a series of dates at the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay in January, followed by another set of shows at the same venue in March. The concerts will feature the singer performing Van Halen classics and his solo material.