David Lee Roth has continued taking jabs at Wolfgang Van Halen, apparently in response to the latter’s claim that the singer was the reason VAN HALEN‘s final album, “A Different Kind Of Truth”, is not available on streaming sites.
Last October, Wolfgang told SiriusXM‘s “Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk” that VAN HALEN‘s 2012 LP — the band’s only record Wolfgang played on — does not appear on streaming platforms because of “some people involved” who “do not like that record”.
“The contract ran out on putting it up on streaming services,” Wolfgang said. “So we’ve been working on getting it back, but there are some people involved who do not like that record and are not making it easy to get it back up.”
Asked if these “people” who are making things difficult “were involved in the record,” Wolfgang confirmed: “Yeah.” When host Eddie Trunk prompted, “Might that person commonly be known by three initials?”, apparently referring to Roth, Wolfgang replied, “Probably. I mean, yeah, you can put it together.
“I hate to say it, because people will think I’m making stuff up, but it’s, like, man, I’d love to have the record back up there, but [Roth] doesn’t like it and he’s not working with us to get it back up there,” Wolfgang explained. “So I hope people who like it have a physical version of it. [Laughs]”
A week after blasting Wolfgang for allegedly “throwing out” some of Roth‘s invited guests at a couple of the concerts during VAN HALEN‘s final tour, David has shared a new YouTube video titled “Family Therapy..” in which he starts off by mock-apologizing for “upset[ting] some people” and insisting that he “loves” his “old rock band” and misses VAN HALEN‘s late guitarist Eddie Van Halen, who was Wolfgang‘s father. He then proceeds to hold a mock therapy session between Wolfgang and a therapist in which Wolfgang complains that he has been unable to get any “streams” for his LP, presumably referring to “A Different Kind Of Truth”, with the therapist telling the former VAN HALEN bassist that his album was “DOA (dead on arrival)”, “KTC (kicked to the curb) and “a complete FP (faceplant).” The therapist tells Wolfgang: “Son, commercially speaking, you got your ass handed to you.” Roth then proceeds to imply that he and VAN HALEN drummer Alex Van Halen do not want to spend a lot of money on attorney fees to negotiate a better deal with the record company and streaming platforms for an album that is not one of the band’s finest moments.
“Do you remember Leon Spinks? How about Larry Holmes or Trevor Berbick?” the mock therapist asks “Wolfgang” in Roth‘s video. “Well, these were the last couple of Muhammad Ali‘s fights, and nobody wants to remember them because they were no fun… And your albums with VAN HALEN are a lot like those last two fights.”
With Wolfgang on bass, VAN HALEN embarked on lengthy tours in 2007, 2012 and 2015. The band’s final run of shows took place in the summer and fall of 2015. The North American trek included 41 concerts beginning on July 5, 2015 and ending on October 4, 2015.
Back in December 2021, Wolfgang, who joined his father Eddie Van Halen in VAN HALEN at the age of 16 for the band’s 2007 reunion tour with Roth, replacing Michael Anthony, was asked about David‘s retirement in an interview with Consequence. He said: “Dave is a… he’s very much a one-of-a-kind [chuckles] sort of guy. We don’t really talk, if ever. We were always cordial on tour together, but it’s not like I’ve spoken to him at all in the last six years. But, I mean, he’s fucking David Lee Roth. I’m so happy for him and for everything that he’s accomplished. And he’s just a phenomenal… He’ll always be one of the best.”
In November 2020, Wolfgang told Rolling Stone about his relationship with Roth: “We’re cordial. But it was very business-related. You know, we were always cool, but we really only ever saw each other onstage.”
In 2022, Wolfgang implied in an interview that David Lee Roth was largely to blame for a proposed Eddie Van Halen tribute concert never materializing. He told Rolling Stone at the time: “What I can say is that there was an attempt at doing something. But, you know, I don’t like to speak negatively about people, but there are some people that make it very difficult to do anything when it comes to VAN HALEN. After being in VAN HALEN for a long time, I really have strived to have an environment where there is no walking on eggshells and there is no personality that you have to deal with. It’s just guys having fun making music and just having a good time. But, you know, from my time in VAN HALEN, there was always some stuff that gets in the way from just making music and having a good time. And, I think, that’s what happened.
“I would love to just sit here and say everything and say the truth,” he continued. “There are plenty of interviews my dad did, where he straight up just said everything. And people hated him for it and thought he was lying. So I could just say shit, but people have already decided how they feel about things, facts or not. So I can say the facts. But that may not align with how certain people feel. I know how VAN HALEN fans get. They are very motivated by which specific people they like in the band. And it’s just not worth it. Just, we made an attempt, and some people can be hard to work with, and made it not happen.”
Wolfgang went on to say that he “would really like to do something” for his father, but that the tribute concert idea “never even got off the ground.”
“Look at anything that’s happened with VAN HALEN,” he said. “And look how things have fallen apart. You know? The fact that in my tenure, in VAN HALEN, we managed to do three tours, put an album of original material and a live album out is a fucking miracle.
“People love to pin every decision VAN HALEN has ever made on Dad,” he continued. “But Al‘s [drummer Alex Van Halen] the brain. Al has been the guy forever. He’s the dude. When it comes to VAN HALEN, Dad just wanted to play guitar. But, you know, Al‘s mentality, and it’s the mentality that VAN HALEN took for the entirety of its band, is that there’s nothing worth talking about unless it’s happening. So the reason that nothing has been talked about from VAN HALEN, the official channels, is because nothing’s happened. And I know how that will stir people up and piss them off. But that’s how the operation is run.”
Asked what he would say if someone were to assume that the main problem was a certain singer with three initials — referring to David Lee Roth — Wolfgang replied: “I would say ‘Do your research on the history of VAN HALEN, and come to your conclusions.'”
Eddie passed away in October 2020 at the age of 65. He had been battling throat cancer and died surrounded by friends and family at a Santa Monica, California hospital.
VAN HALEN had been inactive since it completed its U.S. tour more than eight years ago.
In early 2019, rumors were rampant that the classic-era lineup of VAN HALEN would reunite for the first time since 1984. It has since been revealed that a health setback involving Eddie was responsible for the tour not materializing.