I was glued to VH-1 Classic at 2:45pm Monday to see the big Van Halen press conference. Maybe it was the thrill of seeing Diamond Dave being Diamond Dave. Maybe it was the anticipation that this could blow up before it starts. Or maybe it was finally seeing what I never got to see in 1984 at age 12…..the original Van Halen!
Everyone must know by now that Michael Anthony is out and Eddie’s son, Wolfgang Van Halen, is in. So it’s not the original band. I could probably live with that.
In the fifteen minutes they had on stage, David Lee Roth commanded the audience that gathered. He did 90% of the talking, he did 90% of the boasting, and he did 100% of the performing. You could just tell that he was eating it up knowing that he had thumbed his nose at the critics again and was going to get a huge payday when it’s all said and done. I love DLR so I’m all for him playing in Van Halen and basking in the glory. I can live with that.
Eddie Van Halen goes on to say that the band is now BETTER than it was in the past and how this is going to continue. The band was plainly asked why Michael Anthony is not involved and they skirted around the answer by praising Wolfgang’s talent at sixteen years old. All respect due to Wolfgang but there is no way he’s better than Mike Anthony! And later it’s revealed that they are probably going to use pre-recorded backing tapes to compensate for the backing vocals when they could have Mike at the mic. I’d have a hard time swallowing it but, if it means seeing Dave live with Van Halen, I could learn to live with it.
Today I started looking for the onsale dates and ticket prices for the Boston, MA show…..October 30 but no prices. The first show in Charlotte is fetching $125, $75, and $55. The last tour with Hagar stopped at the Worcester Centrum (outside Boston) and commanded a range of $75 up to $150. That’s a bit expensive but I could charge it and pay the bill later, I can live with it.
Of course, my concert search leads me to Van-Halen.com. That’s when I see the disturbing thing: the albums covers for VAN HALEN I and WOMEN AND CHILDREN FIRST have been changed to wipe out Michael Anthony’s image! The debut has Wolfgang where Mike should be and WOMEN has only the background color and titles, no picture. It’s like they are trying to erase the past! Idolator.com has a post on this with pictures of VAN HALEN I. This I can’t live with! It’s one thing to replace a member and it’s one thing to not like a guy but to try to erase him from the band’s history is just not right. The fans have been all over this on message boards and mailing lists all over the Net. I belong to a few newsgroups and this was the hot topic in my inbox today.
(UPDATE – It’s early Wednesday morning, 8/15, and the album covers have been restored to their original state at Van-Halen.com)
Let’s see if we get this right:
- Dave was booted in 1985
- Sammy left in 1995
- Dave was booted again in 1996
- Gary was let go in late 1999
- Sammy left again in 2005
- Michael was kicked out in 2006
What is the common denominator here?
- Wolfgang? He’s new.
- Alex? He does what his brother tells him.
Answer = Eddie Van Halen
Say what you want about his guitar playing but it’s obvious he’s brought Van Halen down from the top where Metallica, Aerosmith, and Bon Jovi live right down to the bottom.
I’ve made my decision…..I’m not giving them my money. As much as I’d like to see this concert, it just seems shady. I’m sure the shows will be great. I’m sure DLR and Eddie will enrapture an audience that will be half diehards and half casual fans, most in attendance won’t even realize Michael Anthony is missing.
I’ll wait for the DVD!