It was recently announced that 75% of the original members of Van-Halen would be releasing a long-awaited new album and embarking on a new tour. In an effort to give some high level members of the media a taste of what’s to come, the band performed a set of songs in New York City at an invitation only event where new songs and classic hits were showcased.
Now I am someone who would have begged, borrowed and stolen to be part of such an experience. But since someone at VH1 dropped the ball and forgot to mail me my ticket I instead voraciously sought out any and every review of the showcase I could find. Hoping to hear not only about the new music but also tid bits of how everyone in the band was holding up physically as well. Because, let’s face it, the members of this band have been through a lot.
Eddie Van-Halen, a revolutionary guitar hero, had been diagnosed and treated for cancer and had recently completed a stint in rehab. I wanted to know how his health was. And then there’s Diamond David Lee Roth. Would he still have the crazy gymnastic moves in his arsenal? And what about the booze? Has the band finally rid itself of the alcohol demons?
So many questions and I wanted them all answered immediately. But alas, the only conclusion I drew while reading these articles was that the ones in attendance at the showcase would have been better suited wearing diapers.
Instead of focusing on one of the most influential bands in the last 35 years and whether this will be their final hurrah, many media reviews I read seemed to focus on the fact that original bassist Michael Anthony wasn’t in the group. “Micheal’s not there, it’s not the same”….was a theme I read often.
My response? “DUDE, you just saw VAN-HALEN playing in a club atmosphere and this is what you write about? Don’t you know that people would KILL to be in your shoes right now? Stop being a baby!”
Did the people who actually get into this event not know that Michael hasn’t been in that band for over a decade? Or worse still, even if they were already armed with this knowledge, why would they not focus on all the positive and instead bring up only the negative?
These are the same forty somethings who, having now attained their dream job of working as part of the entertainment media, will bitch and moan all day long that THEIR kind of music is becoming obsolete. Yet when given the golden ticket and being able to be part of a unique experience such as an intimate showcase with Van-Halen, still find reason to hate on them.
Here’s a suggestion: Next time you folks in the media get tickets to a VIP event such as this, please allow me to go in your place. At least I’d be able to report on what people really want to know and not why someone who hasn’t been in the band for years couldn’t somehow magically be there that night.
No takers? Hmmm, how about if I throw in a pacifier?