One of the best-selling American rock bands of all time, Van Halen first became a household name in the United States with its self-titled 1978 album. The hits kept coming with multi-platinum efforts like Diver Down and 1984. Van Halen experienced even more monumental commercial success after Sammy Hagar joined the band in 1985, replacing founding frontman David Lee Roth. Even 1998’s Van Halen III, featuring vocalist Gary Cherone, earned RIAA gold certification. High-grossing reunion tours with Hagar in 2004 and Roth in 2007 further showed the multi-generational appeal of the quartet; the success of the 2007-2008 dates led to more runs with Roth in 2012 and 2015, in addition to 2012’s A Different Kind of Truth and 2015’s Tokyo Dome Live in Concert.
Things have been very quiet from the Van Halen camp since the release of 2015’s Tokyo Dome Live in Concert. Aside from some new merchandise and catalog reissues, brothers Alex and Eddie Van Halen have said little to the press within the last two years. However, the other members of Van Halen — past and present — have been considerably more active. In fact, the activity of those other members suggests that the band’s decision not to tour or record is likely the result of its guitarist and/or drummer.
In recent years, Sammy Hagar has expressed interest in another Van Halen reunion tour on many occasions. In an interview with Rolling Stone from June 2017, Hagar stated that he would give his earnings from such a tour to food banks. “I think it could happen in a second. I think there’s so much money involved that somebody will make it happen. Think of the promoters, managers, T-shirt guys, you name it… I really think it’s kind of inevitable.”
— Sammy Hagar (@sammyhagar) November 7, 2017
Fast-forwarding less than six months, when speaking to radio personality and podcast host Eddie Trunk, Hagar said he hasn’t heard from the Van Halen brothers recently. He did not get birthday wishes from the Van Halens for his recent 70th birthday, as celebrated with a multi-night concert event in Mexico. In response, Hagar noted, “all that says to me is that it’s over, man.” He added that he would “love to do it for the fans.”
Van Halen reunion or not, Sammy Hagar has kept busy in recent years on the musical front with a variety of projects. Hagar has proven to be one of music’s top entrepreneurs via his success with Cabo Wabo Tequila, the Cabo Wabo Cantina restaurant chain, and other ventures. In addition to studio albums released over the past few years — including 2013’s Sammy Hagar & Friends and 2014’s Lite Roast — Hagar has been touring with new supergroup The Circle. Hagar also launched a new spirit, Santo Mezquila, in collaboration with Maroon 5’s Adam Levine earlier this year.
Neither Eddie nor Alex Van Halen maintain an official website outside of the official one, which was last updated in July 2015 with a video of Minions (creatures from Despicable Me and Minions) performing “Eruption.” The official Eddie Van Halen Twitter account, which is rumored to be managed by a third-party, was last updated for Halloween but has had no recent band updates. Drummer Alex Van Halen has only posted twice since joining Twitter in May 2009, the last of which in November 2015 to highlight an Alex Van Halen tribute.
The only active Van Halen on social media as of late has been replacement bassist Wolfgang Van Halen. Wolfie posted a 10-second clip of a solo from his upcoming debut solo album in August 2017, although no further details have been made public about this full-length; the bassist had been a part of albums from Creed guitarist Mark Tremonti’s band Tremonti in 2015 and 2016. Simply put, stay tuned on this one.
[Featured Image by Emma McIntyre / Stringer]