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Rockfest 2007, Van Halen, Rush Updates
Friday, February 16, 2007


    World famous Rock-Fest in Wisconsin, USA has announced the first details of some of the acts appearing at the festival this year:
    Thursday July 19 - Dennis DeYoung, The Mick Fleetwood Band, Deep Purple, Boston.
    Friday 20 - Uncle Kracker, Grand Funk Railroad, Godsmack.
    Saturday 21 - Cross Canadian Ragweed, Collective Soul, Chicago.
    Sunday 22 - Corey Stevens, 3 Doors Down.
    More acts and details to be announced. Keep up to date at:


    Two new Van Halen related interviews have found their way online today. Eddie Van Halen is interviewed in the upcoming Hit Parader magazine, the text of which has already appeared in multiple places online. So if you haven't seen, here goes:
    "EVH is easily one of the top 5 in guitar virtuosos of the 20th century. This only makes the last several years of the band's existence seem tragic. With so much talent kept on hold because no singer could get his act together to work with Eddie, much time has been wasted. Now, Van Halen fans can rejoice the original band (with one minor adjustment) is returning this summer for a North American amphitheatre tour. We spoke to Eddie about what fans can expect."

    Hit Parader - So how does it feel to be back?
    Eddie Van Halen - Back where? I haven't gone anywhere.
    HP What have you been up to since your 2004 was tour with Sammy Hagar was cut short?
    EVH Oh, just writing, recording. Jamming with my kid and Al (Ed. Alex Van Halen, Eddie's brother and Van Halen's drummer). My son Wolfie, the kid's a natural. Started on guitar. Moved to bass last year, and we've just been jamming it up.
    HP Did you know from the outset that you would be getting Dave back in the band?
    EVH Y'know, it didn't really matter who it was. It could be Dave. It could be someone else. We actually had a couple of people come up to the house and sing. It could have been them.
    HP Or Hagar?
    EVH Nah. After the last tour, I realized that was sort of a mistake.
    HP What happened?
    EVH We just wanted to play. Couldn't get it together with Dave, though we'd sure tried. So Sam called Al and that set into motion. I was the last one. I said sure. Then we got Sobolewski in, though I didn't really want to (Ed.- Sobolewski is bass player Michael Anthony's real last name). Anyway, it just fell apart. Nobody was on speaking terms. And Hagar and the bass player were just using the press coverage to sell tequila or hot sauce. It was below the belt.
    HP So no chance on getting Anthony back in the band?
    EVH Why? He hasn't played on a Van Halen record in years. We've not spoken. I don't mean to slight him, he's a good player. But there hasn't been that vibe or closeness for years. Plus now he's off playing with the enemy. (laughs)
    HP You mean Hagar? Their band, "The Other Half"?
    EVH Yeah, what's with that? They're out there selling hot sauce and tequila and playing all the songs I wrote. It's kind of sad.
    HP So how did Roth enter the picture? I've been under the impression that you two haven't gotten along for years?
    EVH We wanted to play music again. Wolfie came to me last year and told me how much he loved those old songs. They were easy to learn and fun to play. So we've been jamming them for ages now, and I just sort of looked at Al and said, "Forget it, get Dave in here!" So we called him.
    HP Just like that?
    EVH No, it wasn't just like that. There were lots of lawyers and things to go through. (laughs)
    HP Did Anthony contact you?
    EVH No, but my agent, who is also my girlfriend, told me she'd heard that Hagar was trying to contact me. I don't know what the hell he wants.
    HP So cancer-free, going into the Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame, a tour with Roth? That's a big turnaround.
    EVH Yeah, it's great. But I don't think we're all going to play at the Hall of Fame. I can't imagine us all trying to share the stage together. Frankly, I don't want to play with everyone.
    HP What about a new album?
    EVH Yeah, maybe. I've got so much music. The name Van Halen, the family legacy, is going to go on forever. Passed on. My kid is a natural. I'm going to have him play on a solo record at some point.
    HP And new music with Roth?
    EVH Well, that's what we hope. We all sound great. You have no idea. And there's more than enough new music. But one thing at a time. We haven't even rehearsed that much yet.

    David Lee Roth has also spoken out - this time to Rolling Stone. From Rolling Stone:
    Van Halen recently announced that they'd be touring together with their original frontman David Lee Roth for the first time in twenty-three years. Roth spoke exclusively to our Brian Hiatt about burying the ax with Eddie, playing the old favorites with a different attitude and the possibility of a permanent VH reunion. He also dropped more metaphors than we ever thought humanly possible.
    Read highlights from the interview, which will appear in its fully-realized form in the next issue of Rolling Stone, which hits stands everywhere February 23rd:
    On his first post-reunion jam with Eddie: "Eddie and I wrote the songs, every note, every syllable, as if we invented a language that only we can speak. It was an easy, natural thing…When you speak a language that you both created, it's natural to go, “I know you.” So it was very easy. There wasn't any stumble at all. I just showed up, and twenty minutes later, it was the usual, “How's the wife, how's the kids, let's play.” When you're born to do that language, you speak it naturally. I never forgot it."
    On how rehearsals are going: "The chemistry is combustible. There's an explosive sound there that is, I think, perhaps…unless you were there, which most folks weren't, than you may have forgotten. This is really sophisticated, smart stuff. Everybody's at the top of their game in terms of…it's not just intangible things. My voice is arguably better than it was when I left the band back when. I love what I do, perhaps for some different reasons now than I did, more so than I did. It's a privilege to do what I do for a living."
    On whether or not the reunion will be permanent: "God willin', and the creek don't run dry, just like Grandma Roth used to say. Barring any act of God or Ferrari…yeah. I have hope and faith, and that's more than just the name of a couple of strippers from Albuquerque."


    Anthem/Atlantic recording group Rush has unveiled details of its upcoming new album, entitled Snakes & Arrows. The renowned rock trio's first new collection of original material in nearly five years, the album will be released on May 1st.
    Snakes & Arrows was recorded in the fall of 2006 with Grammy Award-winner Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Velvet Revolver) and Rush co-producing. The album's first single, Far Cry, will impact at rock radio outlets nationwide in mid-March.
    Rush - Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart - will trumpet the release of Snakes & Arrows with a full-scale North American tour, the band's first since 2004's "An Evening with Rush 30th Anniversary Tour." Further details about this summer's tour dates will be announced in the coming weeks.
    Since releasing its self-titled debut album in 1974, Rush has been universally regarded as one of the most inventive and exciting groups in rock, famed for Lee, Lifeson, and Peart's virtuoso musicianship, epic soundscapes, and dramatic lyricism. The band's extraordinary body of work - which includes such acclaimed works as 1976's 2112, 1981's Moving Pictures, 1996's Test For Echo, and 2002's Vapor Trails - has achieved worldwide sales exceeding 35 million units.
    For additional information, please visit:

    PS. No arguments here with any of the above, but the guys omitted one album from their discography highlights - Hold Your Fire. That record folks, is another masterpiece!

    posted by Paul Dickinson at 9:17 AM | Email Us
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