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Van Halen doing all the right things so far


Van Halen’s publicists should have worked for President Nixon.

If they did, you can rest assure that a Watergate scandal would have been duly avoided.

Getting any news from the band’s brass whatsoever is a Herculean task. Whether it was rumors of a new single or a performance at the music awards, most of the information you heard about Van Halen in 2011 was denied by the band and rarely confirmed.David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen. Photo: Vhnd.com

Well now it appears that the wait is over. Whenever Van Halen announce something, they usually go big, and they seem to be making up for lost time.

But it’s not just the group touring with David Lee Roth in 2012 that has the fans stoked. After all, the band did tour with him in 2007. Friends and/or contemporaries of the band have been leaking information in small bits over the last year or so that lead up to what is transpiring now.

Whether it was producer John Shanks and his Twitter messages, or David Lee Roth posting two simple words on his website (“Get Ready”), you knew something was about to go down, you just didn’t really know what.

Perhaps learning from missteps of years past, Van Halen kept their tour with Roth very low key as far as publicity was concerned back in 2007. With the exception of the brief tour hiatus for Eddie Van Halen’s medical issues, there was the occasional interview with Roth or guitar or drum magazine interview with the Van Halen brothers and that was it. However, there was no new album to promote back then.

So when Van Halen went searching for a new record label, Roth was reportedly the driving force behind the signing. Whether it was directing their videos or designing the tour programs, it’s no secret that back in their hey day Roth was the marketing machine of the band. In fact, the band was close to signing with Colombia Records, until Interscope stepped in and presented them with an extensive global marketing plan.

And so far, it shows.

Since last week’s video shoot of the current band performing their soon-to-be released single (overdubbed by three tracks from the 1984 album), Van Halen (yes, the actual band is doing this) has provided the Van Halen News Desk (THE number one source for up to the minute Van Halen information for decades) with new information every day. There's been new pictures, an account of employees from The Roxxy in Los Angeles talking about their experiences with the band while they rehearse for the upcoming tour, sound bites from Roth and Eddie and Alex Van Halen, and information regarding the unveiling of a Van Halen billboard in Times Square on New Year’s Eve.  In the following week and change, tour dates will be announced, the band’s new single and accompanying video will be released, and tickets for the tour will be on sale. And oh yeah, the new album comes out February 7th.


Finally, Van Halen fans are finally being rewarded for their patience. Is everything perfect? Having Michael Anthony would have really made the reunion complete, and it will be interesting to see how decent the caliber of background vocals will be in concert (as well as on the new album).

Not many acts in the music business get the chances Van Halen has been given. Despite the band's prolonged inactivity combined with some heavy band drama, their long lasting appeal has brought them to the forefront once again. Interscope has much invested in them and frankly, there is a lot on the line for the band.

But so far, what we are seeing is promising.

Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@philly2philly.com

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Photos courtesy of Van Halen News Desk