Van Halen press conference rant (with photos and video)

 Van Halen press conference 2007

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!

Well, almost.

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.

Ed and Wolfgang

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.

DLR and Ed

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.

DLR and Ed 2

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 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! 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

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!

You can watch the full press conference at

21 comments on “Van Halen press conference rant (with photos and video)

  1. I am a huge Van Halen fan, but I could care less about this. They are far past their prime and there’s no Michael Anthony. The only good that may come out of it is if they finally release a vintage show on dvd or print up vintage shirts. Shirts that I can buy outside of going to oneof their concerts.

  2. Eddie has always been the problem with VH. He’s a great guitarist, but has serious issues with other people’s opinions when the differ from his. I’ll probably go see the show because like you, I was 12 when they broke up.

    What they did to the album covers is total BS, but that’s Eddie.

  3. Metal Mark – Not having Mike Anthony is a crime but it’s the allure of Diamond Dave that has my interest. I’m passing on this one.

    Rob – In Boston it’s $125, $100, $75 with a no-name opener…..I’m out.

    Mike – I agree, Eddie’s the problem. No one likes to say it because he’s a guitar god but it’s obvious. At least they fixed the album covers on the website.

    Bill – I agree wholeheartedly!

  4. Pingback: Van Halen continues its quest to erase the existence of Michael Anthony

  5. I totally agree. Eddie may be the heart of the band, but Michael was the group’s soul. I will neither attend the concert nor buy the DVD.

    I predict DLR will be gone within 12 months, anyway.

    — david

  6. I totally agree. I’m a lifelong Van Halen fan, but Edward Van Halen is a jerk with major issues and Michael Anthony IS the backing vocal for Van Halen. Eddie’s should wear a sign that says: INSTANT A**HOLE, JUST ADD ALCOHOL. Trust me, this reunion is over after the tour. If you can’t get along with Sammy Hagar, you can’t get along with anyone. I’ll spend my money on the Hagar/Anthony tour.

    Sorry Eddie, you’re a genius but you’ve alienated your fan base. Grow Up pal.


  7. Diamond Dave with a receeding hairline and Eddie with new teeth. Looks like a money tour to me.

    Let’s hope some of the music is worth looking at on DVD but I won’t hold my breath.

    It won’t last. Guaranteed. Dave would hack me off after a couple of hours banging on and on…. me , me , me!!

  8. Ha Ha, i wonder how long “Van Money” is gonna last this time.
    I wish i could read their minds while posing for the photo.
    Yes, they are all smiling now, but for how long?
    I can’t wait for another match: Eddie vs Dave. Bring it on, boys!!

  9. How about some positive reinforcement ?
    I’ll miss Michael as well but, if I were Eddy, how could you not have Wolf in the band ? Could you leave your son out ? I think it’s a fresh re-start, to the band. We can all say that Ed’s a jerk and he’s the problem with the band ect…. but, he’s the front man and the boss. It’s his and Alex’s band. Van Halen !
    Give the guy and the rest of the band a break. Do any of you know how tough it is to be rock star ? How many bands are are still rockin after all these years ? Most all have changes in members including Metalica !
    I say, give them a break & be HAPPY, that Van Halen is STILL rockin !

  10. If DLR is in the band, he is the frontman…front and center being Diamond Dave. They added an extra 40 ft tractor trailer to the tour just to carry Dave’s ego. I am a fan from waaaay back (Dave played a guitar that looked like popsicle) and I payed top dollar to not see a reunion but at the miniscule chance that the Eddie vs Dave war might come to a hilt mid set when Dave breaks out the 8 ft inflatable microphone, rides it like an enormous rodeo dick an accidently knocks Wolfie 4th row,stage right…Fuck Yeah…Dave makes some comment about it being the first time a Van Halen has left the band, Eddie starts twitching in his left eye, breaks Frankenstein over his knee and like an angry chipmunk, trys to stab Dave with his wammy bar. Dave’s pent up rage of being kicked out not once but twice plus rage at being folicle challenged means hes ready with his Samuri sword and in his backswing accidently lops off Alex’s head ! Eddie is temporarily blinded by Daves HUGE white teeth but Dave notices a blond 46 rows back and starts posing and thrusting and in the middle of a split, Eddie golfs his head with a new guitar 8th row and I catch it and stuff it under my shirt to fend off the souvenier zombies and while people are stunned, I realize the show is now over and I stealth towards the exit. I auction Dave’s (actually mine) head on eBay after a roller coaster auction for $148.59 (hardrockhobokennj1) but the video I shot of me bowling a 300 game with it make me an internet sensation and while on David Letterman I meet Sean Penn and I ask him if he regreted spending the reward money on Van Halen playing his birthday and he said “strangly, he regreted saving Brooke Sheilds more because of her acting and he felt some how responsible.”
    Worth EVERY penny I paid for those tickets, yup, every penny.

  11. I went to the Honda Center on 12/20/2007 and the concert was the greatest. These guys can still rock and sound great. I dont care what they charge it was worth every penny we paid for the tickets. Who ever goes is guaranteeed a great concert. Van Halen forever.

  12. Im not sure why they took out Michael Anthony yet, but as the biggest Van Halen Fan ever, I can say this was a very bad move.No real VH fan will accept the revised album covers , we all know it is just crap. Yes the show will be great. Diamond Dave still has the energy and the voice, but replacing Micheal with Wolfgang only makes Eddie feel good. We dont want to see a 15 year old playing with our Old boys no matter how great Im sure he is. He is too young and to me throws an embarrasing feel into the band.Most VH fans are over 40 now and dont want to see a bass player thats younger than even we were when we began listening to Woman and Children First. Whats wrong with you Eddie, why couldnt you wait till Wolfgang was at least 20. He just doesnt fit man! I would rather see another sub for Micheal that is at least only 20 years younger than Eddie.I knew years ago when Wolfgang was born he would someday play with u guys, but common man ,15 ? Im all for a one time Wolfgang appearance, but not the entire tour.IM not against anyone becomming great at a young age, but its just too weird for most of us.For God Sake, bring in Michael, your already using his dam prerecorded voice for the show! From watching the press confrence, its obvious that David is bringing back the needed energy and Van Halen feel the band lost. David Lee Roth is Van Halen.Lets face it, Van Halen Is only Van Halen with all the origianl boys, David,Eddie,Alex and Michael.I will wait till the CD comes out because no matter how great they will sound, and they will, you guys really blew it for so many of us taking out Michael.Take a lesson guys from the Eagles, if your gonna make a comeback, make up and do it right! Very dissapointed.

  13. I like some of the thoughtful comments hah. well i thought i might be disappointed at the Chicago show, chyeah uhhhh NOOO!! THEY KILLED!!! so they dont have MA, big deal it doesnt matter one BIT!! and I can almost bet money its MA’s choice for not being on tour. So just live with it and quit saying “they” when it’s most likely “he.”

  14. Unfortunately, time changes ALL things….even the unthinkable — great bands and artists. OMG!! Deal with it all of you and get over all the negativity. I finally got to see them for the first time after Sammy joined up and aside from a few good songs, Sammy was “just another sub.” We are all very aware that Wolfie is NOT MA-it doesn’t take a flipping rocket scientist to figure that out people. Wolfie does however, play well. With that said it’s certainly more than you all can say about your talents in that area! Quit your crying, whining and complaining–grow up and be flipping thankful that this reunion has FINALLY HAPPENED! I never dreamed that I would ever see these guys live with Diamond Dave. What a absolute dream come true as they met and wildly exceeded all of my expectations, so much so that I’m seeing them for a second time. By the time they got to D.C. they were polished and performed their magic in pure VH style. Wolfie was shy but lost his nervousness — what the hell — he’s only going to get better. The rest of the guys were just over the top incredible. I just can’t wait to see them again in Baltimore. These guys are worth every single solitary penny– when I’m ninety I will always remember when I saw the band that would “never get back together” — and I’ll be rocking out to the end remembering that experience! Don’t be so quick to criticize you all — I find it highly unlikely to think than NONE OF YOU ever escaped making mistakes in life and that you all are above reproach with your quirks and personality deficiencies. Lay off Eddie! You have NO IDEA what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes until you do, so shelf the criticism. For those of you who refused to give them a penny, because of your pettiness, you missed out on the chance of a lifetime — I’m sure you’ve blown your money on thousands of things that will never come close to experiencing a phenomenal concert and you lost out on an extraordinary life and memory making event. Van Halen and Diamond Dave ROCK ON AND ON AND ON!!!

  15. I can’t stand DLR. He’s nothing more than a Purple peter puffer.
    I’ve seen Sammy by himself and I’ve seen him with VH. Sammy is the MAN. I’ll start listening to country before I listen to VH w/DLR ! Michael A. was smart to leave.

  16. After seeing DLR’s solo act live in the early ’90s, I walked away from the idea of any magic being left in that bloated, receded-hairline, Van-Morrison-look-a-like-(at-the-time)-with-much-less-talent gas bag. There might be a performance synergy with DLR and the VH brothers+MA that escaped that concert event, but I doubt it. Dave sucked hard and could barely keep his purple lycra pants up over his budding gut as he roundhouse kicked for the dumbasses there at the fairgrounds.

    Ed’s an ass, but if he’s happy and playing well with the other VH family members, I can only hope it’ll be worth the money to the fans attending. It’ll never be as good as it was folks (it never is), but if the folks paying are happy, then fuck the rest of us nay-sayers. I won’t attend, but then again, I won’t root against their success either…I still love the first 3 VH albums, after all. :)

    (Thank you and goodnight.)

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