Van Halen is considered one of the greatest bands in rock and roll. For over thirty years, they have produced album after album of chart-topping music and filled concert stadiums all around the world, and they continue to perform to this day.
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Van Halen – The Band with Nine Lives
The road to get to where they are today had its bumps along the way
The band was formed in 1974 in Pasadena, California. The group’s original line-up consisted of: David Lee Roth on vocals; Eddie Van Halen on guitar; Alex Van Halen on drums; and, Michael Anthony on bass. This line-up would exist for eleven years, between the years 1975 to1985.
In 1985, David Lee Roth was replaced by Sammy Hagar after differences in musical styles between Roth and Eddie Van Halen resulted in a wedge being driven between the two. Roth did not like the musical direction Eddie Van Halen was trying to take the group in, and Van Halen did not like Roth’s cheesy musical style. Reasons for the break-up have always varied, though, based on who was asked about it.
In 1996, Sammy Hagar left the band because of clashes with both the band, and the band’s manager. Hagar was replaced by Extreme’s front man, Gary Cherone, in 1998. Gary Cherone would have the shortest career with Van Halen. He left the group in 1999 after a poor showing of the band’s album, “Van Halen III”. He would be the only member of the group to depart on amicable terms with the other band members.
In 2003, Van Halen would reunite with Sammy Hagar for a world tour, but Hagar would leave the group for the second time in 2005 over creative differences. In 2006, David Lee Roth re-joined the band, but bassist, Michael Anthony, would be replaced by Eddie Van Halen’s son, Wolfgang. To-date, the group’s line-up consists of David Lee Roth on vocals; Eddie Van Halen on guitar; Wolfgang Van Halen on bass; and, Alex Van Halen on drums.
Album and Tour Success
Van Halen achieved their greatest success in the 1980’s with the release of their album, “1984”. It was to be their most successful album. The single from the album, “Jump”, was the only single to reach number one.
When David Lee Roth was replaced by Sammy Hagar in 1985, the band would have continued success. They had four number one albums over the eleven-year time frame that Hagar would be with the group. It would be with the group’s dismal success of their 1999 album, Van Halen III, that the band would take some time off to re-group before returning back out on tour in 2003 with Sammy Hagar.
In 2006, when Roth returned to the group, the band went back out on tour and had not only the highest-grossing tour of their careers, but the highest-grossing tour for that year. In 2012, the group released, “A Different Kind of Truth”, to both commercial and critical success. It was their first studio album since 1998 and the first album with David Lee Roth on vocals since 1984.
Award Show Appearances
In 1996, Van Halen made an appearance at the 1996 MTV Music Awards Show. It was the first time since 1985 that all four members of the original group had been seen together. There had been talk of a reunion, but it was not meant to be. Old tensions between David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen at the awards ceremony dispelled any hopes of a reunion.
In 2007, the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. All of the members with the exception of Gary Cherone were inducted; however, only Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony were in attendance to accept the award.
On March 24, 2015, a thirty-nine date tour was announced with David Lee Roth to be the group’s front man. The tour will begin on July 5, 2015 at the White River Amphitheater in Seattle, Washington and it will end on October 2, 2015 at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, California. Tickets for the tour will go on sale April 4, 2015.
Van Halen has been called one of the greatest bands in rock and roll. They could also be considered the band with nine lives because of their tumultuous past and numerous break-ups and reunions. But, no matter how you look at it, Van Halen is still a force to be reckoned with.
Official website: http://www.van-halen.com