Wednesday, August 15, 2007

van halen?

Since we started hearing the reborn pre-announcement rumors a few days ago, I have to confess we've been pondering going to see Van Halen. They' re-planning the tour with Roth but without Anthony that they cancelled when Eddie went into rehab this latest time.

Now, firstly, we both have a strong policy against going to see bands that are way past their prime/half dead (except the Allmans)/reformed with a new singer who sucks/never were good live anyway (etc.). There's nothing like that "Wow, dude really can't sing/play anymore" disappointment, and we've felt it too many times. Of course, there are always exceptions. We'll never see the Stones or the Who, it's just too late, but I don't regret going to B.B.King or Buddy Guy. And I will always see Dylan when I can no matter what. Whereas Bo Diddley was heartbreaking, more than anything.

However, neither of us ever saw VH with Roth, for one reason or another. (Which seems odd - I know J went to Monsters of Rock, but that must've been Hagar). Even though J started going to larger concerts way before I did (he's not a hillbilly). J saw them at least a couple-three times with Hagar originally, and then the two of us went to see 'em like a year and a half ago with Hagar. It was almost like the Police in that I felt I had to see them once, given the chance. And it was very much a mixed review. I mean, Hagar's Hagar, he still sang all right, it was fun, party party and all that, but Eddie was so very clearly in need of a successful rehab stint. Dude just really didn't have his chops anymore, and was drinking.

And the Eddie Van Halen story - whether you're a fan or not - is really horrible. It's like the prime example of an extremely talented cat actively throwing away and totally wasting all that talent. Yes, wealth, fame, hits, etc., but think of what he could have been doing all this time, in the studio, other projects, producing, actually being able to keep a good version of VH together, maybe writing and playing new material that was worth a crap ... but he couldn't and didn't, and it's horribly sad to me.

Now that he's been through rehab - and looks a lot better, I have to say - there's the enticing possibility that he might be able to play. If we went, it might wash away some of the bad taste from when we saw them last.

On the other hand, although it was totally appropriate in the 80s, David Lee Roth has never been anything but a parody of himself, and nobody can convince me that that cat has any pipes left at all. There's no freaking way he can still sing VH worth a crap. And, of course, he's old, so ... at least he was relatively easy on the eyes at one point, and relatively acrobatic, if totally not my type at all.

Then there's having your teenage son play bass. That just smacks of total desperation.

But still.

Maybe it depends on how much tickets are ...

In other news, we're most likely going to the Drive By Truckers at the Park West in Chicago in October. Their normal show is called "the rock show," but they also occasionally do a semi-acoustic, sit-down show called "the dirt underneath." J and I have been lucky enough to catch the rockshow, which is truly a marvelous thing, but it'll be a rare treat to be able to see a dirt underneath show. I only wish the friends we're going with had a chance to see the rock show. They haven't seen the truckers before and I think they'd like the rock show better. But this will be good.


Anonymous Communist said...

While it's nice that Diamond Dave is back with the group, not having Michael Anthony there leaves a reunion hollow.

I hope Eddie's better. He was looking rough a while back.

Do you think they'll eschew the post-"1984" catalog? I think that would have been worked out before Dave came on board as I can't imagine him wanting to sing "Love Walks In" and other unfortunate Van Hagar songs.

Occula said...

Yeah, I was never a big fan of the "hey, kids, let's have some jack daniels!" schtick particularly, but seriously, these guys couldn't actually reunite to save their buns.

Huh, you know, that's a really good question/point. I know there's been animosity as well as odd co-touring.

You've reminded me of two things: one, I have some notes and setlist from when I saw them before, so I might post that, and two: one of the times it was most feasible for me to have seen The Who was when I had a job as nerd camp counselor and couldn't go. (I say that as a former nerd camp attendee in my own right.)