Van Halen To Continue In Wake Of Cherone Split

Will 2000 see the return of David Lee Roth or Sammy Hagar to the Van Halen fold? Will the band forge ahead with an unknown singer? Or will they once again find an experienced frontman with no current gig?

These are the questions Van Halen fans are asking in the wake of the band's split with its third singer, former Extreme vocalist Gary Cherone (see "Gary Cherone Leaves Van Halen").

When doing interviews to promote the band's first (and only) album with Cherone, 1998's "Van Halen III," the group's members seemed adamant that if things with Cherone didn't work out, VH would call it a day. Now, however, that appears to not be the case, as the band has just released a statement stating that the group is still working on their next album.

The statement, in full, reads:

"The members of Van Halen have announced that singer Gary Cherone is leaving the band. The band stressed that the departure was both

mutual and amicable and they remain good friends. The band is currently working on its next LP and Cherone is pursuing new musical ventures.

"The members of the band, Eddie Van Halen, Alex Van Halen and Michael Anthony, expressed their appreciation for Gary's work with the band and wished him well in his future endeavors.

"I had a great time singing with the band and I wish Eddie, Alex and Michael all the best. I'll see 'em in Boston,' said Cherone.

"Eddie Van Halen said, 'Gary is a brother and he and I will continue to have a personal and musical relationship.'"

Other than the mention that the band is staying together, the press release is notable in its referring to the Van Halen guitarist and leader as "Eddie Van Halen," the name he went by during the David Lee Roth era. In recent years, he has referred to himself as "Edward Van Halen."

In recent months, Van Halen, with Cherone on vocals, had been in the studio working on the follow-up to "Van

Halen III." The band had completed two tracks with producer Patrick Leonard and was working with Danny Kortchmar on the rest of the album. No word on whether or not any of the tracks from the Leonard or Kortchmar sessions will ever see release (see "Van Halen Taps Kortchmar To Produce Next LP").

Other than seemingly setting the stage for a Van Halen-David Lee Roth reunion, the Cherone split also seems to make a reunion of Extreme a possibility. We'll keep you posted on these stories as they develop.