Van Halen: Is/Was There a Tribute Tour in the Works?
Ever since the untimely passing of Eddie Van Halen in October 2020, there have been all sorts of rumors about a tribute performance. However, this past week is the first that fans have heard of a potential tribute tour of sorts.
In an interview with The Palm Beach Post published on April 14, former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted said he was contacted by Alex Van Halen for a “possible Van Halen tour.” Newsted also said Joe Satriani was selected by Alex to play guitar.
The Palm Beach Post wrote, “Newsted said he agreed to go to California to jam with the guys and see if it felt right, but, in his heart of hearts, thought it would be impossible to do justice to Van Halen’s legacy. The outlet then quoted Newsted saying, “How could you? There’s nobody that can top it, so how do you show it honor? I didn’t want it to be viewed as a money grab. And then it kind of just all fizzled.”
In an episode of Rock of Nations with Dave Kinchen published today (April 18), Satriani said, “I’ve been talking with Alex and Dave for about a year about doing something — a tour, something like that — that was going to be a true tribute to Eddie and the Van Halen legacy…For me, it was a terrifying prospect of doing something like that, but I realized that it was something that would be a real labor of love for me. I was just so honored to take on the challenge.”
Satriani added regarding Newsted’s recent comments, “These things are always happening in the music industry, and you’re supposed to keep very quiet about it because sometimes they don’t work out. There’s usually about ten crazy ideas that float around, and musicians are always like, ‘Okay, I won’t say anything about this, because it may not work out. I don’t want to hurt this person’s feelings or disrupt any other business plans. So yeah, we were all pretty shocked that Jason wanted to go public with it because we were all sworn to silence.”
It’s still unknown whether this tour will actually happen and whether the likes of David Lee Roth, Sammy Hagar or Michael Anthony will be involved in any fashion.
Hagar said back in January 2021 regarding a tribute performance, “It’s gotta happen. Of course, it’s gonna happen. No one’s really connected all the dots with everyone involved, but I have been told, and I have read interviews with various people involved — with Wolfie [Wolfgang Van Halen] and Valerie [Bertinelli] and Eddie’s wife [Janie] that he was married to at the time — they all said as soon as this is over, we’re gonna get everybody together and do a tribute or whatever. Just a ‘thank you,’ a goodbye, a send-off.”
Hagar adamantly added, “And that’s an absolute must. I don’t care if it takes 10 years — that will happen. And if we’re available to do it, we’ll do it.”
Hagar would later say in a February 2021 interview, “Whoever wants to call me up and say, ‘Here’s the date,’ I will be there. I don’t care where I am. I’ll cancel a show — something Van Halen would never do. I went out sick without being able to sing. Eddie went out with a crutch. Alex went out with a f—in’ neck brace. We wouldn’t cancel shows. But I will cancel my show for a tribute to Eddie any day.”