David Lee Roth says he’s mounting his upcoming solo Las Vegas residency because Eddie Van Halen‘s “probably not gonna answer the bell this time.” The singer says that leaves him as “the face of Van Halen from this point on, most likely.”
Roth made the comments during an interview with Phoenix’s KSLX, after being asked if the upcoming shows would focus on his solo and Van Halen days, rather than the big band approach and cover songs featured on his 1995 Las Vegas run.
“Oh you bet it is, and I take it very seriously. I’m the face of Van Halen from this point on, most likely. I’m not sure what’s happening with Ed, but (he’s) probably not gonna answer the bell this time. It’s not my place to guess.” Apparently referencing his as-yet unnamed new bandmates, he added, “I’ve got some 25 year olds, we carry the torch here.”
When asked, “are you implying that Edward is dealing with some health issues?” Roth answered, “I hear all the same rumors that you do,” then repeated, “it’s not my place to guess.”
Late last year, Roth hinted that Van Halen would mount a summer 2019 stadium tour, which would have been the band’s first shows in nearly four years. Former bassist Michael Anthony, who was replaced by Eddie’s son Wolfgang in 2007, revealed that he had been approached about his interest in participating at these shows. But it never materialized, with Anthony later saying he was never told the reasons why the tour didn’t get beyond the discussion stage.