For months, rumors have circulated that Van Halen would hit the road this summer. The band has now confirmed fans' speculations, but one large mystery remains.
While they have yet to reveal most of the dates for the tour, it looks like the shows will start in June and run at least through the end of the summer, a source close to the band said. On the official Clear Channel Web site, concerts are listed for June 13 in Hershey, Pennsylvania, and June 16 in Philadelphia, and while it mentions no specific dates, the Van Halen site has posted 11 cities in which the band will play, including Detroit; East Rutherford, New Jersey; Worcester, Massachusetts; St. Louis; and Las Vegas.
Of course, the tour confirmation raises an even bigger question: Who will fill the vacant singer slot? The Van Halen site features photos and bios for guitarist Eddie Van Halen, drummer Alex Van Halen and bassist Michael Anthony, but there's no listing for a vocalist.
Betting folk should put their money on Sammy Hagar, who replaced original singer David Lee Roth and fronted the group from 1985 to 1996. The source flat-out denied the possibility that either Roth or Gary Cherone, who sang on the 1998 album Van Halen III, would perform with the group. The source would neither confirm nor deny Hagar's participation or that Hagar has recently worked with Van Halen in the studio on new tracks for an upcoming greatest-hits collection. In 2002, Hagar told MTV News that he thought a reunion with his Van Halen bandmates was "inevitable" (see "Sammy Hagar Calls Reunion With Van Halen 'Inevitable' ").
Since 2002, Anthony has regularly guested onstage at Hagar's shows, and late last year, the singer reportedly mended fences with the other members of the band. In a December 26 interview with USA Today, Hagar spoke about a recent dinner he had with Alex. "We had a lot of fun together," he said. "So, years after carrying anger around on both sides, it was really nice to be able to feel like we were one again."
On April 30, Hagar will open the first U.S.-based Cabo Wabo Cantina club and restaurant in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, and will commemorate the event with three concerts featuring his band the Waboritas and "friends." Hagar's last show before the Van Halen dates is May 8 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He's scheduled to play in Cabo San Lucas at the annual Cabo Wabo meltdown on October 8 and 9 and at his birthday bash on October 13.