“We came here to entertain you

Leaving here we aggravate you.”

Eddie Van Halen was this week described as a “rock star who is somewhere between Axl Rose and Michael Jackson on the music industry scale of eccentric recluses” and this being one of the main reasons behind the failure of the planned reunion tour.

The L.A. Times article also bizarrely shows Diamond Dave as almost the voice of reason in the band and Ed’s son Wolfgang, who replaced original bassist Michael Anthony, as the driving force.

The Van Halen tour has been “shut down,” according to a top official at Live Nation, the huge concert promoter that finally surrendered in the face of the chaos surrounding guitar hero Eddie Van Halen. Roth, meanwhile, says he is unsure whether the mercurial guitarist will even travel to New York for the Hall of Fame induction on March 12.

“We have fragile politics in Van Halen; please accept that as a partial answer,” Roth said. “But I don’t know if the Van Halens are going to go….I hope they do, but right now, I just don’t know. Hope springs eternal.”

Eddie Van Halen declined interviews through his publicist and girlfriend, Janie Liszewski. Conversations with the business team behind the tour paint a picture of a rock star who is somewhere between Axl Rose and Michael Jackson on the music industry scale of eccentric recluses. The result is that the Van Halen venture imploded before takeoff, even as the Police, the Eagles and Genesis have efficiently geared up for lucrative reunion tours.

“I cannot tell you how frustrating and completely nuts this has been,” one key business figure in the reunion effort said while asking not to be identified on the outside chance that the reunion might be salvaged. “Right now, I have to say, I don’t see that happening.”

It’s a disheartening situation for the fans who pine for a Roth-led lineup of the iconic metal band. Among those devoted is Wolfgang Van Halen, the 15-year-old son of Eddie and, according to Roth, a key force behind the reunion.

Wolfgang, a precocious musician, was “the maestro” at the reconstituted band’s lone rehearsal, picking the set list and using his iPod to remind his father of the nuances of his solos on the old albums. Wolfgang was tapped by his father to play bass on the tour too, replacing founding member Michael Anthony, a jolting choice considering the child’s age and Anthony’s status as one of rock’s best backup singers and most relentlessly cheerful presences.

Eddie Van Halen remains, by all accounts, a gifted guitarist and rock auteur, but the decision to jettison Anthony in favor of a teenager may have been the first sign that the new enterprise was guided by creaky logic. Now all eyes will be on the Hall of Fame banquet to see who shows up, who performs and how Roth interacts with old rival Sammy Hagar, the man who replaced him as lead singer in 1985 and who will be inducted as an equal. Geoff Boucher

Get the full article at the L.A. Times site.

Eddie does seem happy to get out and about to sell his new brand of EVH guitar gear, I suppose with the 300 replica Frankenstein guitars going for an expected $25-30,000 does help. But I’m sure the tour wouldn’t exactly be a financial loss.

I see another guitarist in one of those bands on a reunion tour has a Fender signature model with Andy Summers Telecaster.

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