The history of Van Halen as a band has many chapters. For a long-time Van Halen fan, these are familiar stories. The early days, when the band was Dave, Eddie, Michael, and Alex, and when Van Halen was at that top of their still-young game, are often considered the Golden Years of Van Halen.
But then there were the Sammy Hagar years. Derided by some as the "Van Hagar" period, this is actually the band's most commercially-successful chapter. They got their first Number One. They sold millions. They got really rich.
We don't talk about the Gary Cherone years.
Now that David Lee Roth is back and the band is working again, things are still not what they once were. Bassist Michael Anthony, whose vocal stylings were as much a part of the signature Van Halen sound as Eddie's guitar, has been gone ever since Hagar left. so Eddie's son Wolfgang has been handling bass.
By pretty much all counts, Wolfgang Van Halen holds his own just fine in the band. In fact, when he is not playing with Van Halen, Wolfgang plays bass with Tremonti, the band formed by former Creed and Alter Bridge guitarist Mark Tremonti.
Tremonti has a new album called Cauterize. They will be touring behind that album. But Wolfgang Van Halen will not be with them on that tour. There is a schedule conflict between his Tremonti schedule and the upcoming Van Halen dates. Wolfgang knows where his bread is buttered.
"I am still part of Tremonti and very excited for the release of Cauterize," Wolfgang said in a statement, "but unfortunately am unable to participate in the upcoming dates due to my prior commitment with Van Halen for the summer tour in support of the Tokyo Dome Live In Concert album. Look forward to seeing all of the Tremonti fans on the road as soon as my schedule permits!"
Tremonti has to understand. I'm sure that, given the chance to play with Van Halen, Mark Tremonti would quit his own band.
That live album that Wolfgang mentions will be supported with an extensive North American tour. The album was recorded in Japan during the 2013 tour in support of the David Lee Roth-comeback album A Different Kind of Truth.
The band will perform tonight on Jimmy Kimmel Live to kick things off.