Iconic guitarist Eddie Van Halen is just weeks away from the start of his band’s North American tour; which means he’ll be playing 38 dates with his brother Alex, son Wolfgang, and his on-again, off-again frontman David Lee Roth – the latter of whom, as it turns out, is going to be a bit of a prickly one to share the road with.
“He does not want to be my friend,” Van Halen told Billboard in an exclusive cover story, adding, “Roth’s perception of himself is different than who he is in reality. 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.”
He continued with more stinging words about his bandmate: “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,” he says. “And that used to kind of work, but now Dave doesn’t want to come to the table.”
The question remains, then – why does Van Halen voluntarily choose to work with someone he clearly does not get along with? As he explains, it’s all for the fans.
“I think it’s now built into people’s DNA, that it just won’t be Van Halen if it’s not Roth’s voice,” he notes. “You make music for people. Otherwise, just play in your closet. And how do you reach the most people? By giving them the band that they know. To do it any other way would be selfish.”
Lest Roth feel slighted by Van Halen’s comments, the guitarist also had disparaging words for his former bassist, Michael Anthony, who left the band in 2006 and is currently replaced by Van Halen’s son Wolfgang. “Every note Mike ever played, I had to show him how to play…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,” he says.
He additionally remarked on Roth’s ‘80s replacement Sammy Hagar –who famously depicted Van Halen as an isolated, violent drunk in his 2011 autobiography – but kept his commentary curt. “That’s him painting a picture of something that never happened,” he says of Hagar’s narrative.
Van Halen’s 2015 tour kicks off July 5 in Seattle.
Shoutout: Yahoo Music