JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

The return of Van Halen

Well, Rolling Stone reports that Van Halen is preparing a new album—with David Lee Roth at head vocals.

Not 100 percent sure how I feel about this one. On the one hand, I’m an enormous fan of comebacks, as well as an enormous fan of DLR-era Van Halen. I’m not one of those purists who rips on Sammy Hagar’s contributions—I actually think 5150 is a helluva album. But the band was never the same after Crazy Dave departed, just as Crazy Dave was never the same after exiting.

The thing is, these guys are old. O-l-d. Which is no biggie—except I’m not sure anyone will care. There’s barely an audience for contemporary CDs anymore. Will anyone out there really wanna plunk down $12 for Van Halen VII, or whatever the disc will be called? And what if it sucks? Very few old rockers maintain their mojo. Actually, it’s similar to old athletes. All the blather about relying on experience and knowing more now and being in incredible shape—it’s usually crap.

Hmmm … the jury’s out.