David Lee Roth has addressed rampant rumors that Van Halen will perform at next year's Super Bowl halftime show. In an open letter posted on the fansite Van Halen News Desk, Roth says, "That honor has not been bestowed upon us at this time, though it is one we would accept in a NY minute." Here is the complete text:
An Open Letter
I'm compelled to address the now-rampant rumors that Van Halen is playing the Superbowl. First of all let me say this — be still my pigskin heart. That honor has not been bestowed upon us at this time though it is one we would accept in a NY minute.
Having heard VH blaring through stadium speakers on any given Sunday – more like every given Sunday, the idea of playing there live would be like – ‘okay, now we're in the game'.
Van Halen's collective memories are – and with all due respect to each and every one of these memories, teeming with been-theres and done-that's, but none include playing at the Superbowl. Playing at the Superbowl is a veritable holy grail of musical recognition, a highly prized rite of passage for (game-changing) artists. Not a spiritual rite with snake pits or Hebrew school or anything, but it's up there.
We are not on Commissioner Goodell's dance card at this time, but we would be most honored to dance the halftime away in New Orleans.
It's an honor to be considered and for that we would like to thank the rumormongers all over the World Wide Web.
Van Halen recently cancelled an entire leg of their reunion tour, but in a recent interview with USA Today, Eddie Van Halen said the group wasn't breaking up. "We bit off more than we could chew," he said. "This record took a lot out of us. And we went on tour earlier than we wanted to so we could play Madison Square Garden (in March, before a renovation), and that threw the schedule out of whack."
The guitarist also said that the band will tour Japan in November. "In the new year we'll possibly do something special," he said, "but I can't talk about it." That statement only served to fuel rumors that the group was playing the Super Bowl.
If Van Halen plan on touring next year, playing at the Super Bowl would be an excellent way to increase ticket sales. Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen and Madonna have used the halftime show to promote tours in recent years with great success.
The NFL has moved slightly away from classic rock performances at the past two halftime shows (the Black Eyed Peas, Madonna), but the 2000s have been dominated by classic rock acts like the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney and the Who. Rumors often swirl about halftime acts months before the actual announcement, but it is highly unusual for one of the rumored acts to chime in like this.