Was a Van Halen tour in the works last year?

The reunion tour that never was, and personal tributes from family and band members

October 9, 2020

As tributes from family and friends continue pouring in for the late guitar god Eddie Van Halen, new details are emerging about a dubious plan to reunite original Van Halen band members for one last tour.

Irving Azoff, Van Halen’s current manager, told Pollstar the original group members – Eddie, Alex Van Halen, David Lee Roth and Michael Anthony - attempted to reunite for a 2019 tour but ultimately canceled due to Eddie’s health issues. “We had lots of stops and starts, but there was every intention of doing a summer stadium tour,” Azoff said. “As the cancer moved around, [Eddie Van Halen] was physically unable to do it.”

The manager also hinted at a possible collaboration with bands like Foo Fighters and Metallica, in what would be considered a farewell tour. “There is no doubt in my mind that it would have been massive.” Azoff also meditated on Eddie’s life and legacy in rock n’ roll. “I probably can’t speak as well as others have spoken over the last 24 hours as to Ed’s musical genius, but Ed the human being, especially as he had to come to grips with being human, really shined. He was a great father.”

Once news broke of Eddie Van Halen’s passing due to cancer, messages of love and hope flooded the internet from every corner of the guitarist’s life. Brother Alex paid tribute with a short and simple tweet via the account @VanHalenNews. “We received this from Alex Van Halen… "Hey Ed.  Love you.  See you on the other side.  Your brother, Al.” An endearing black and white photo of the brothers accompanied his thoughts.

Ex-Van Halen members Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony recorded a video just one day after the guitarist’s death, after a rehearsal for Hagar’s birthday celebration. “For Mike and I, it was just like getting hit by a freaking Mack truck,” Hagar said. “It kind of took the wind out of the sails. I just wanna say that I'm kind of devastated. A Van Halen song never felt so hard to sing and play in my life.”

“What I felt playing especially a song like 'Right Now' that is so timeless, that I felt, 'Wow, thank God for this.’” Hagar continues. “We'll never play it with Eddie again, but thank God for this.”

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