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An Open Letter to Eddie Van Halen
On the Occasion of putting the final nail in the VH coffin

[please see update below]

MTV is reporting that next season's installment of Rock Star (the reality show that just placed a new lead singer for INXS) will be Van Halen. Apparently this was big news last night, as I received, oh, about 72 emails with various links to the many stories out there about this.

My first reaction? Ok, count to ten before you punch the wall. No, count to twenty before you hunt Eddie down and kill him.

[Deep, mournful sigh]

I'm just going to pretend to tell Eddie how I feel.

Dear Eddie:

Well, you're at it again. The road to ruin takes another detour as you try to find yet another way to hang on to your rock star status before you self implode and end up in an alley somewhere.

I love you, Eddie - in that rock-star god kind of way. I appreciate everything you brought to the genre and I am the first to bring up your name in "greatest guitar players" conversations. But come on, man. Stop wearing your ass on your hat, if you know what I mean.

I think any time a lead singer leaves a band, that band should not carry on with its original name. A new singer changes the dynamic, the entire face of the band. It becomes different. So I was a little taken aback when you all decided to carry on the VH name without Dave. But, hey - your band, your prerogative. And this really has nothing to do with Sammy or Gary Cherone.

Well, yes it does. It has to do with you (and we know it's you, Eddie, and not Michael Anthony or even Alex, who most people couldn't pick out of a lineup) and the way you have bastardized the Van Halen name ever since the first break up. I don't want to get into the whole Eddie v. Sammy/Gary thing, but it's just part and parcel of the bigger picture. The fact is, Eddie, that you have never thought of anyone but yourself, least of all the fans who bought your records, went to your show, lifted you to rock god status, and stood by you even when it was apparent that you had become a belligerent, drunken jackass.

I'm not sure what you're trying to prove by agreeing to do this show. Is it that you want to hang on to rock and roll lifestyle for a bit more? Or is that you are finally read to let go of the last shred of dignity you might have had and just go down in blazing flames finally? Really, this isn't so much about the band appearing on Rock Star as it is with your insistence on carrying on with the Van Halen name. Yea, it's your name. But how hard would be to change the band to Eddie Van Halen and the Nancy Boys? Well, that's just an example, but you know what I mean. To keep pretending to be something you are not - the Van Halen of old - just makes you look like an old man who sweeps those few remaining strands of hair over his balding scalp. You can look in the mirror and pretend you are VH all you want, it doesn't make it so.

People are laughing at you, Eddie. They are reading this article and talking about it many rock forums and the words being used the most are pathetic and washed-up and fucking asshole. And this isn't just DLR fans like me, but from the stalwarts who stuck with you even through the abomination known as Van Halen III, and even the newer generation of VH fans, the young kids like my son who recognize the band for what they were, not what they are now. How am I going to tell him? This will be worse than when he found out there was no Santa Claus, worse than when the Yankees lost to the Red Sox. Reality tv? Searching for a lead singer on a weekly show filled with drama, fighting between band members, wannabe David Lee Roth's and, jesus, man, Eddie Van Halen doing his guitar god thing on reality tv. It sounds like a joke.

You should have quit trying to resurrect VH a long time ago. You should have given the band another name and moved on. You have turned one of the most celebrated hard rock bands into an embarrassment. I would have rather seen VH appear on an episode of "What Ever Happened To..," than to have them brought to life again in this incarnation. Embarrassing, Eddie. For you, for VH fans, for everyone except the producers of the show who know damn well that everyone will be turning in to see this train wreck.

Thanks for killing whatever good name VH had left, Eddie. Why don't you just f-f-f-ade away like most rock stars?

Sincerely,

A former fan of yours

Update: Yes, I know this has been debunked and VH will NOT be appearing on the show. See my new post on that here.

Comments

What the hell is going on? We need VH back where they belong. I can just see the reality TV show rising on the horizon. Let's audition for Van Halen.Sheeeeez!

Just to go off on a tangent for a bit:

[ed note: don't do that again]

Truly pathetic. Can we see a weekend gig at the Sands in Las Vegas coming down the pike?

I guess we now know who's the ASV Rock & Roll Hall of Fame winner for "Biggest Sellout."
EVH: your trophy is out back, in the alley.

The thing about Eddie, and I'm not trying to be mean here, is that he's just not that smart. If you read interviews with him and stuff, it's pretty apparent that he's kinda dumb.Talented as hell, yes. Smart, no.

So, you know, dumb decisions and all that.

hey eddie! DLR was just at the Lane County Fair this summer! What are YOU doing?

heh

It's such a shame that Van Halen never put out any albums after 1984. I wonder what happened to those guys?

I dunno... INXS actually got a guy who was able to cut them a single right out of the gate that's selling on iTunes so I'm thinking it's better than people wondering if you've drank yourself to death yet. To be honest 'chele, if it weren't for you, I'd have no idea that he was still alive and I wouldn't much care.

So, Farmer Joe, you're saying that Eddie was the basis for Nigel Tufnel??

Michele, maybe this will work out for the best, I mean what if Dave trys out?

The point you guys are missing, here... and you, too, Michelle... is that VH was never about the front man. It was always about Eddie.

Consider the comparatively modest career paths that both DLR and SH had without VH. Both of 'em would have had perhaps one or two hit disks, and that would have been the end of it, ala Billy Squire, or somebody. Both pretty fair vocalists, make no mistake. But in Eddies mind, they were never the central focus of the band.

Hang on, hang on, hang on. The story probably isn't even true. The guy who runs Melodicrock.com contacted Van Halen's management yesterday, and they told him the "Rock Star" story was (and I quote) "nonsense."

Eddie's got his problems, for sure, but hopefully he's not THAT far gone.

Even if the story is not true, everything I said about Eddie still stands. Just minus the stuff about being on the show.

You said it, Michele! Even if they do that show or not, everything you said is valid. I gave up on VH after DLR left... it just wasn't the same.

Bithead, the point that YOU'RE missing is that VH is not and cannot be VH without the magic of Eddie and David together. Anything other than that is just taking a crap on a great band's memory, regardless of who owns the name.

Hmm: now appearing at Holiday Inn near you. Can you say "Catch A Falling Star?"

I know VH seemed to gain more commercial popularity with Sammy verse DLR, but to me...the band was never the same. When I think of VH, it's always the DLR version of VH. That music rocked! Sammy was a nice guy and I liked him as a solo artist, but the VH music without DLR...was unmemorable. I say that acknowledging that DLH is a flipp'in whacko.

Might as well jump....the shark.

(again)

(I hope it's not true.)

Dear Michele,

Thank you. Now please write a similar letter to James Hetfield. I was going to write one, but my fingers kept curling up into fists and I smashed two keyboards before giving up. I want to go all Tom Hanks in A League of Their Own on his ass:

"Are you crying? Are you crying? ARE YOU CRYING? There's no crying, there's no crying in metal. My manager called me a talking pile of pigshit. And that was when my parents drove all the way down from Michigan to see me play. And did I cry? NO. NO. And do you know why? Because there's no crying in metal. There's no crying in metal!" You know, I'm a big fan of sobriety, and I understand its challenges, but therapy? METAL IS YOUR THERAPY, YOU TOOL. CHANNEL YOUR RAGE AND PAIN AND PUT IT ON A CD AND MAKE ANOTHER MASTER OF PUPPETS.

See, there I go again.

first off, yeah, VH should never go on Rock Star.

that said... did you watch Rock Star INXS at all? i figured it'd be a stupid AI clone, but you know what? it was a really good show. i wanted to hate it, but got "into" it anyway. there's a lot of talented people on there, and i'm sure that more than one of them is gonna make it in the industry (Jordis, for one).

basically, it was everything that AI shoulda been, without all the shitty advertising and time-killing gimmicks. seriously, it was a good show.

VH on there tho? please. but really, once you've gone Cherone, you've already bottomed out, so....

Bithead, the point that YOU'RE missing is that VH is not and cannot be VH without the magic of Eddie and David together.

So what was that 5150 stuff, anyway?

As you know, the song is entitled NOT Fade Away. And come to think of it, what Rock Star has EVER faded away?

So, Farmer Joe, you're saying that Eddie was the basis for Nigel Tufnel??

Actually, I think another guitar savant, Jeff Beck, was the basis for NT. Pretty much the same story, though.

If the name was the group wasn't VAN HALEN, I could see your point. I don't see the point in changing the name every time they change the hired help.

Aw heck. I liked III, as well as pretty much all of Van Hagar. Everybody knew Van Roth would never last because the egos were too big. It's all just good music, even if eddie is a 3 year old in adult skin.

Let me try to put this in a better perspective. Who would you rather see try to revive their carrer, Van Halen or Vanilla Ice?

I didn't have a problem with keeping the family name on the band with Hagar. This isn't like that one or two remaining Beach Boys carrying on as a travesty of the original band, or the new "Lynrd Skynrd". It's more like Leno calling his show "the Tonight Show" - it may not be Carson, but it's still entertaining. I guess they could have gone and called themselves "The Van Halen Brothers Band," but who cares?

Granted, by now it's time to hang it up, and a reality TV audition would have been sad. But the Hagar years were more like "Tom Seaver, Cincinnati Red" than "Michael Jordan, Washington Wizard."

Ehhh... Think of it this way;
By the lights you guys are running by, Santanna wouldn't BE Santanna, follwoing the departure of Rollie and Shchon.

I mean, comin, guys.\