Eddie Van Halen on David Lee Roth: ‘Act Like You’re 60′
Even David Lee Roth's most ardent fans understand that he and Eddie Van Halen aren't the best of friends, and it's easy to see Roth's reunion with Van Halen as a cynical business decision. But in a new interview with Billboard, Eddie says he didn't invite Roth back in the band for money — he did it for the fans.
After admitting that Roth "does not want to be my friend," he countered, "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. 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."
Naturally, this doesn't mean Van Halen is blind to Roth's flaws — or the obvious visual disconnect between the singer's ever-flamboyant image and the rest of the band. "How can I put this: Roth’s perception of himself is different than who he is in reality," mused Van Halen. "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."
Somewhat ironically, Van Halen attributes the dismissal of the group's third singer, Extreme frontman Gary Cherone, to Cherone's wardrobe choices. "We were getting ready to go on tour, and all of a sudden I see this John Travolta outfit — these big lapels and a crazy jacket," he recalled. "He’s like, ‘This is my stage outfit.’ That’s when I realized it wasn’t going to work. But I don’t dislike Gary at all."
Van Halen also reasserts his willingness to cut a new studio album with the current lineup, but sounds an ominous note regarding the possibility of getting another record out of the band. "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 shrugged. "That used to kind of work, but now Dave doesn’t want to come to the table."
Van Halen and the Top 100 Rock Albums of the '80s
Van Halen Albums: Ranked Worst to Best