Van Halen stopped by The Ellen DeGeneres Show to promote their upcoming summer tour. Unlike their recent performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, where David Lee Roth split open his nose while spinning a baton during the first song, they got through “Jump” without shedding any blood. It was their first time playing daytime television with David Lee Roth. “This is our Ed Sullivan Show,” Roth said. “This is James Brown on Ed Sullivan; this is the Beatles.”
The band’s upcoming tour will focus on their vast catalog of hits with Roth, though in a 2013 interview with Rolling Stone, the singer expressed some frustration with the current state of the band. “We’ll always be able to play our hits,” he said. “And keep in mind we have more hits than Beethoven, we have more hits than Tony Soprano – so getting onstage and playing that is glorious, and certainly getting onstage with the brothers will always be an excitement for me. But in terms of taking the music past where we found it, I’m not sure where that’s going to go.”
He also said he’d welcome original bassist Michael Anthony back into the band. “What we have at our fingertips is arguably one of the greatest high tenor voices ever – that was in Michael Anthony,” he said. “In our tiny little corner of the universe, that voice is as identifiable as the high voice in Earth, Wind & Fire, as identifiable as the high voice in the Beach Boys. Van Halen is an indelicate house blend of both – that’s intentionally. So I would always look forward to that reunion.”
Van Halen kick off their 39-date American tour on July 5th in Auburn, Washington. Fans of the Sammy Hagar-era of the group can catch Sammy Hagar & The Circle on tour this summer. The new group, which features Michael Anthony, drummer Jason Bonham and guitarist Vic Johnson, are doing numerous Van Hagar songs in addition to tunes by Led Zeppelin and Montrose.