Friction before tour?: Eddie Van Halen David Lee Roth
Published: June 20, 2015
Friction before tour?: Eddie Van Halen David Lee Roth, Guitar god Eddie Van Halen apparently has an axe to grind with his own lead singer.
The Van Halen guitarist unleashed an eruption of criticism in this week’s Billboard magazine cover story, saying the band’s on-again, off-again, on-again frontman David Lee Roth “does not want to be my friend.”
“How can I put this: Roth’s perception of himself is different than who he is in reality,” the 60-year-old rocker told the magazine. “We’re not in our 20s anymore. We’re in our 60s. Act like you’re 60. I stopped coloring my hair, because I know I’m not going to be young again.”
The broadside comes just weeks away from the July 5 start of Van Halen’s North American tour, with the longtime bandmates having to share the stage for 38 concerts.
The feuding between the dysfunctional duo is the stuff of heavy metal lore: Roth ditched the band at the height of its fame in 1985, only to return long enough to get fired in October 1996.
The “Panama” singer returned again in 2011 to help the band to a resurgence in popularity and seems entrenched behind the mic… for now.
“It’s hard, because there are four people in this band, and three of us like rock ‘n’ roll. And one of us likes dance music,” Van Halen told Billboard, alluding to his rock-loving brother, drummer Alex, and rock-loving son, bassist Wolfgang.
“And that used to kind of work, but now Dave doesn’t want to come to the table.”
But most of Van Halen’s disdain seems to be reserved for another original band member – ex-bassist Michael Anthony.
Over the years, there have been differing accounts as to whether or not Anthony left the band or was unplugged against his will. Either way, he’s probably not getting a holiday card every year from Eddie.
“Every note Mike ever played, I had to show him how to play,” Van Halen said in his newest interview. “Before we’d go on tour, he’d come over with a video camera and I’d have to show him how to play all the parts.”
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