Edward Van Halen To Get Hip Surgery; David Lee Roth Receives Death Threats

With Van Halen’s lineup in disarray and the rumor mill running rampant about who the band’s next singer will be, guitarist Eddie Van Halen is making the only move that seems sensible to him — deciding to finally get that hip replacement surgery he’s been wanting.

The guitarist has been talking about needing the surgery since at least 1996, following the band’s split with its second lead singer, Sammy Hagar. At that time, the band was working with David Lee Roth, recording a pair of new tracks for the “Best Of Van Halen Volume 1″ collection.

Van Halen brought up the hip surgery when talking with the press backstage at the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards. Van Halen’s discussion of his personal heath matters angered Roth (who had appeared with his former bandmates at the show), resulting in an argument which apparently led to the group deciding against a reunion.

Soon after that, the band hooked up with former Extreme singer Gary Cherone and recorded “Van Halen 3.”
That album was released in early 1998; around the same time, Van Halen’s doctor reported that his hip had improved and put the surgery on hold (“Hip News From Journey, Van Halen” ).

In the past few weeks, the longtime members of Van Halen — Eddie, drummer Alex Van Halen, and bass player Michael Anthony — parted ways with Cherone and announced that they would continue on as a group (see “Van Halen To Continue In Wake Of Cherone Split” ).

The band will be looking for a new singer, though not until next year, according to the news organization Reuters. During this lull, Edward Van Halen will be getting the surgery, which is expected to keep him crutches for about eight weeks.

All of the activity in Van Halen’s camp seems to be a source of entertainment for the group’s other ex-singer, Sammy Hagar. The newly shorthaired rocker (see “Sammy
Hagar Cutting Hair For Children’s Charity”
) made fun of the band’s situation from the stage of his recent concert, joking that “Those old friends of mine are looking for a singer again!” He quipped that he’ll be changing his phone number to avoid hearing from them, and that David Lee Roth is sitting by his phone waiting for “the call” from the band.

It’s likely that Roth would indeed welcome an invite from his old pals. The hyperactive singer has been getting much less enticing offers lately, specifically, a number of e-mailed death threats. According to the Associated Press, Roth received eleven threatening e-mails while in Lubbock, Texas, with a police report noting that the threats came from outside of Lubbock.

Roth has not let the threats deter him from his current tour, however, and he is planning on returning to the studio to work on a new album following the completion of his current string of dates. Here’s where you can catch him:
  • 11/18 – Bryan, TX
    @ Rodeo 2000
  • 11/19 – Lake Charles, LA @ Limelight Club
  • 11/22 – Little Rock, AK @ Joe’s Big Bamboo
  • 12/1 – Tulsa, OK @ Tulsa City Limits
  • 12/2 – Wichita, KS @ In Cahoots
  • 12/4 – Robinsonville, MS @ Grand Casino

– Brian Ives