Before Eddie Van Halen’s cancer took a turn for the worse, his son Wolfgang Van Halen said he convinced him to consider a “kitchen-sink tour” that could’ve included bassist Michael Anthony for the first time since 2004, with Sammy Hagar and David Lee Roth each taking turns on vocals. They even talked about bringing back Gary Cherone, who sang with the band on one album, Wolfgang told Howard Stern Monday.
That said, they never got as far as discussing the idea with Roth, Wolfgang said, because Eddie turned out to be too sick to go out on the road. Sometime in the last few years, Eddie had a motorcycle accident, and they learned that he had a brain tumor. “If only things had been better,” Wolfgang said, “it would have been amazing.”
Neither Hagar nor Roth immediately responded to Rolling Stone‘s request for comment.
Eddie had countless tapes of jams, riffs, and songs spanning decades in his 5150 Studios vault, but in the wake of his death in October, there are no immediate plans to start sorting through them for possible release, Wolfgang said.
“There’s a shit-ton of tapes that will take a very long time to go through,” Wolfgang told Stern as part of an interview debuting his first solo single, “Distance,” released under the name Mammoth WVH. “That’s not the priority right now. I can’t put a timeline on it. There will be a time we go through it. Not for the foreseeable future.”
Wolfgang also made it clear that his father’s band is over. “You can’t have Van Halen without Eddie Van Halen,” he said.
Eddie would’ve wanted his son to focus on his own music rather than immediately look back at his father’s past, Wolfgang said, adding that it would be “shameless” to immediately release archival material. Some of it, he said, is “ideas that probably aren’t out there for good reason,” although he added that “I’m sure there’s amazing shit in there.”
“I’ve got tons of music,” Eddie told Rolling Stone in December 2008. “Close to a million CDs, cassettes, boxes and boxes and boxes… “The stuff is gonna come out. Hopefully, people will enjoy the many sides of me. I trip on it myself.”