Fans of the iconic Pasadena, California-based heavy metal group, Van Halen, were saddened to hear of the passing of main songwriter and lead guitarist, Eddie Van Halen, at the age of 65 to cancer, this past Tuesday, October 6. However, before his death, Eddie Van Halen’s manager Irving Azoff confirmed plans of a reunion stadium tour to be held over the summer 2019, that would have featured the beloved band’s classic original lineup.
Van Halen, formed back in 1972, was originally comprised of David Lee Roth (vocalist), siblings Eddie Van Halen (lead guitarist) and Alex Van Halen (drums) and Michael Anthony (bass). Van Halen as a collective have recorded a total of twelve full-length studio albums and undergone various personnel changes that included vocalists Sammy Hagar and Gary Cherone and bassist Wolfgang Van Halen (son to Eddie Van Halen and actress Valerie Bertinelli). Van Halen’s death came just ten days after Van Halen’s founding bassist Mark Stone’s death, who also was battling cancer.
As previously reported in Spin, “In a Pollstar interview, Azoff said that the hoped-for tour was close to happening, but couldn’t due to the late Eddie Van Halen’s health issues.” Azoff close friend and manager to the late Van Halen spoke on the inner workings of putting the hope-for tour together, ultimately deterred by Eddie’s ailing physical condition, saying:
“We had lots of stops and starts, but there was every intention of doing a summer stadium tour (in 2019), and as the cancer moved around, [Van Halen] was physically unable to do it. There is no doubt in my mind that it would have been massive. But I’ve never seen anybody fight the fight that [Van Halen] fought over the last 10 years, fighting the cancer.”
As a close confidant to the late Van Halen, Azoff describes his relationship with Eddie and also gave insight, according to the above source, of talks of previously unreleased recorded material surfacing, although at this time stating it’s still too early to speak on the specifics, saying:
“We were always close, but the past couple of years, when he was really unable to record or play, it became less a client/manager relationship and more just as a friend. I really got to know him. He was an amazing guy, I can’t say enough good things about him.
Wolf and Alex will go up to 5150, the studio in Ed’s house, but there’s been a lot of recording over the years. I can’t predict that for sure there will be anything new, but for sure they’re going to look at it.”
A borage of musicians across a multitude of genres paid their respects to the late Eddie Van Halen, reacting to the death of the late legendary guitarist. As previously reported, here on mxdwn, “The music world has since reacted to the late performer’s passing, as multiple artists from across genres such as Muse, Anthrax, John Mayer, Evanescence, Primitive Race, Pete Townsend and Tom Morello.”