What should have been a celebration of one of greatest Rock ‘N’ Roll bands of all-time turned out to be a very sordid affair, at best. As a veteran of over 100 Rock concerts over the last 28 years, I have never seen a crowd get more excited and pumped for a concert to begin than at a Van Halen show. Even the anticipation at all the Kiss shows I’ve seen never matched what these guys could generate during their prime. I saw Van Halen live seven times (four with Dave and three with Sammy), and nearly all of them were phenomenal shows, and their records are staples of my collection. So, what the fuck was this train wreck last night as they were inducted into the Hall of Fame? As a longtime Van Halen fan, I'm very embarrassed by the way this whole thing was handled.
I read today that David Lee Roth boycotted the event over a dispute because they wouldn't let him perform "Jump". Figures. Nice going, Dave—if you were any kind of man at all, you had a chance to be the hero here and save the day when Eddie was unable to, but naturally, you just had to be your usual immature dickhead self. And you wonder why you’ve fallen so far out of favor with the fans? As for your plummeting career, I think that guy in one of your videos summed it up succinctly: "Forget about it, Dave!"
At least Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony took the high road and showed up, although both of them stumbled through their acceptance speeches. But, they didn’t stumble nearly as badly as Velvet Revolver did playing "Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love", and especially the half-assed version of "Runaround" (a questionable selection, anyway) where the dumbass former Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland could only manage to sing that difficult chorus of "Round-round-and-round" several times. Don't believe me? Watch it for yourself here. During the pregnant pause following that song, I could actually hear people in the audience laughing! Then Paul Shaffer—emcee of the show—started playing his synthesizer, and Sammy and Mikey ambled on to the stage to do a very flat version of one of my least favorite Hagar-era songs, "Why Can’t This Be Love?". As I’ve said on here before—it pays to rehearse, fellas!
All in all, the timing of this whole thing couldn’t have been worse. Eddie Van Halen’s problems are well-documented—at least he had an excuse for not showing up—and his first priority should be to get his life back together, then deal with the band, and its members. I wonder if it might have been possible to postpone the band’s induction until next year, perhaps, when Ed is hopefully able to get his shit back together and, as both Sammy and Mike said last night, "be our buddy" again. Let’s just hope there’s a happy ending somewhere down the road, and this once-proud band can return from the musical wilderness it’s been lost in for the last 15 years or so. Meantime, what went down last night was an absolute joke, not to mention an insult to the band's legion of fans.