4/2: VAN HALEN
Getting tons of reaction to Van Halen’s recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmell. The response is very different from person to person it seems. Some thought it was awful, others loved it. To me it was pretty much what I expected. Much of the talk these days when it comes to VH centers around David Lee Roth and his vocals. As I have said countless times if you ever thought DLR sang well live and like the albums then you never saw DLR even back in the day! He was NEVER a strong live singer! Look at the US festival! He didn’t even sing half of the first song! Dave was always a showman first, and on record was perfect for the band and the brilliant albums they made. If you are looking for a powerful singer in VH then that would have been the Hagar years. Incredible vocals were always a hallmark of Hagar’s ability and amazingly he can still do it. But if you are a Roth VH guy (I like both versions of the band) you know what you are seeing and hearing is not new. If you saw VH on the tour for the last album you know this is exactly what you will get from DLR at this stage in his life. As i say all the time you vote with your wallet. So if you don’t like it don’t go to the shows or buy the albums. But if you are cool with it enjoy. My point is this isn’t a case of a guy who was a once great live singer falling apart, this truly always was what he was about. Sure maybe a bit rougher and not able to hit the high squeals like he used to, but in my view he’s trying harder now at least (and thankfully lost the headset!). Alex was Alex and for those hoping for Michael to come back forget it. I love Mike but do you think EVH is ever going to fire his son? Wolf does a fine job but it is kind of silly we have 3/4 of original VH and Mike is the odd guy out. But it is what it is and they have their reasons right or wrong. Most importantly Eddie is playing great, looks good and is smiling and sober! If you saw him on the reunion tour with Hagar you know it was NOT good. To see Eddie in this form now for a few years is great to see! As for the live album I hate re recorded live records as most are. So I give them credit for releasing a live album that is truly live for better or worse. I haven’t heard the entire thing yet but will soon. This is VH with DLR in 2015. It isn’t going to suddenly get better overnight. DLR is not going to suddenly become Freddie Mercury. To me the ultimate scenario as a fan is a tour with half a set DLR, half Hagar, and Michael back in. VH has a HUGE catalog of massive hits that will never be played by them again without Hagar since DLR could never dream of singing like that. Split the sets and you get the “best of both worlds” and both singers don’t have to work as hard every night. Now that would be special! But also it’s about as likely as me replacing Letterman. So enjoy VH for what it is now and the amazing songs and one of the worlds all time greatest guitarists back in top form. But if you have been given another fair warning of what to expect live between the TV show and the new live album. If you DON’T like that then don’t buy a ticket and then complain about it. That would make no sense as a now educated consumer.
PS: I have asked VH to do TMS every single season. So far they have done a TV performance but continue hardly doing any interviews at all (notice no sit down on Kimmell). Their press decisions and refusal to do interviews with just about anyone is baffling and goes all the way back to the release of A Different Kind Of Truth. Clearly Kimmell and Ellen are way bigger mainstream shows than TMS but I doubt more rock/VH fans are watching them. EVH is pretty much our number one requested guest. I’ll keep asking but don’t hold your breath.. they seem to just not do interviews these days outside of extremely rare events