Recently, the Van Halen rumor mill kicked into high gear when former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted claimed in an interview with the Palm Beach Post that he had been approached by drummer Alex Van Halen, who had also spoken to guitarist Joe Satriani, about joining in on a proposed Van Halen tour.
Not surprisingly, Satriani – who played plenty his fair share of VH licks in his stint alongside Michael Anthony and Sammy Hagar in Chickenfoot – was asked about Newsted’s comments during a recent interview on the Rock of Nations with Dave Kinchen podcast. And indeed, Satriani confirmed Newsted’s words, saying he had been involved in discussions about "a true tribute to Eddie [Van Halen] and the Van Halen legacy." Satch also took the story one step further, adding that David Lee Roth was involved in the talks as well.
"It's very complicated," Satriani told Kinchin. "And all I can really say about it is that if it does happen, I know we'll make it the greatest thing ever for the fans and we'll all celebrate together not only the great Eddie Van Halen but the legacy that that band created, the amazing amount of music and the goodwill and good vibes they created as a band."
Regarding Newsted leaking the news, he continued, "These things are always happening in the music industry, and you're supposed to keep very quiet about it, because sometimes they don't work out.
"There's usually about ten crazy ideas that float around and musicians are always, like, 'Okay, I won't say anything about this 'cause it may not work out. I don't wanna hurt this person's feelings or disrupt any other business plans.' So, yeah, we were all pretty shocked that Jason wanted to go public with it 'cause we were all sworn to silence.
"Like I said before, if it ever does happen, it would be a great honor and a terrifying challenge. Eddie, you can't reproduce what he did – you can't. You can learn the notes and you can be taught all the fingerings and get the gear and everything, but there was only one Eddie and he was the epitome of an original genius. But if it does happen, I know that Alex will make sure that it's the right way to do it."
Now, David Lee Roth himself has chimed in on the tour rumors, after the Van Halen News Desk reached out to him for comment. As to whether or not Roth provides any clarification is up for debate, but the singer stated in an email response:
When asked by the Van Halen News Desk site to chime in on the hypothetical tour, Roth e-mailed the following statement:
"IN MY MIND ‘VAN HALEN 4K,’ IN THE AGE OF COVID IS GOING TO REQUIRE TWO OF US FOR EVERY POSITION. SATRIANI AND LUKATHER, ANTHONY AND NEWSTED, AL OR TOMMY LEE. PROBABLY THE ONLY ONE WHO COULD DO MY JOB TODAY WOULD BE PINK.."
For what it’s worth, in his original interview, Newsted also stated that after he traveled to California to jam with Van Halen and Satriani, the project "kind of just all fizzled.”