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VHND Logo by Garth Jones  Sunday April 19, 2015 Van Halen News Desk - latest updates:
News: 01/06 Snippets: 01/16
Press: 01/06 Television: 01/16
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October 1996 News Archive
Best Of Prize Winners

October 1, 1996 - Click on the link below to see the names of the VHND readers who won prizes in the Best Of Volume 1 competition. The prize pool consisted of 10,000 EVH guitar picks, 500 autographed covers and a Peavey Wolfgang guitar, autographed by Edward Van Halen.

Best Of Volume 1 Prize Winners

Van Halen To Receive Award

October 1, 1996 - (Revised on Friday October 4) - Edward, Alex and Mike will be at the Palladium on Saturday October 5 to receive an award for their Outstanding Contribution To Music from the Foundations Forum. The award will be presented by Jerry Cantrell of Alice In Chains. On the same day, the City of West Hollywood will also be dedicating a bronze plaque to commemorate the event, which will be placed on the sidewalk outside the Whiskey-A-Go-Go.

Open Letter From David Lee Roth

October 2, 1996

To whom this may concern,

You've probably heard rumors that Van Halen and I will not be consummating our highly publicized reunion. And since neither Edward, Alex, nor Michael have corroborated or denied the gossip, I would like to go on record with the following: Eddie did it.

It's no secret, nor am I ashamed of my unbashed rapture at the prospect of resurrecting the original Van Halen. A "couple of songs" was all I knew for sure when Edward and I got together three months ago to write them. At that time, the band tip-toed around me sprinkling sentiments like, "this isn't sure thing, Dave: this doesn't mean anything long term, Dave; we're still auditioning other singers, Dave." I was cool. I was happy. I was in the moment.

The next thing I knew, the four of us are doing surprise walk-on at the MTV Awards. I told Edward at that time that I didn't think it was a good idea for the band to go to New York half-cocked; and that I didn't want to Imply by our presence that we were "back" if in fact it was just a quickle for old time's sake.

Well ain't hind sight always 20/20...Had I asked for something in writing, this wouldn't have happened. Had I acknowledged the occasional icy grip in my stomach, maybe this wouldn't have happened. But I didn't. Like I said--rapture. And, I love these guys. Do I trust them? That question never entered my mind.

Then, a series of events last week led me to discover at about the same time the press did, that the band, along with their manager, had already hired another lead singer, possibly as long as three months ago. I wonder how he felt the night of the MTV Awards. It certainly explains why on that night Edward looked as uncomfortable as a man who just signed a deal with The Devil. I can't think of a reason Edward would lie to me about being considered for the lead singer when he had already hired someone, and then let me appear on MTV under the impression that there was great likelihood that Van Halen and I were reuniting. As I said, I told him in no uncertain terms that I didn't want to do the MTV gig as a band unless we were in fact, a band.

And so I apologize to my fans and my supporters, and to MTV. I was an unwitting participant in this deception. It sickens me that the "reunion" as seen on MTV was nothing more than a publicity stunt. If I am guilty of anything, I'm guilty of denial. I wanted to believe it just as much as anyone else. Those who know me know that trickery was never my style.

Van Halen Press Release

October 2, 1996 - This is in response to David Lee Roth's open letter (see above). It will be officially released to the press tomorrow (October 3).

We parted company with David Lee Roth 11 years ago for many reasons. In his open letter of October 2nd, we were reminded of some of them. The intention all along was to do two new songs with Dave for the Best Of Volume 1 package. He was never lead to believe anything but that. When the four of us were asked by MTV and Warner Bros. to present an award at the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards, the four of us agreed.

Dave was never an "unwitting participant". We appeared in public just as we do before releasing any other Van Halen record. For the last two weeks we have been working with someone who we hope will be part of the future of Van Halen, although no final decision can be announced until contractual considerations have been resolved.

Van Halen will go forward and create the best possible music that we can.

Edward, Alex, Michael

The Current Situation

October 3, 1996 - I'm trying as hard as I can to keep up with the current situation with Van Halen. In the past 48 hours both David Lee Roth and Van Halen have released press statements, but *still* neither side will name the new singer.

It's pretty obvious now that Gary Cherone will be the new singer in Van Halen. Extreme announced today that they have officially broken up. Considering Van Halen and Extreme are both managed by SRO Management, it is hard to believe Van Halen didn't name their new singer in their response to David Lee Roth today (see above).

David Lee Roth will not be appearing in the music video for the new single Me Wise Magic - the band were due to start shooting in the next few days but those plans have now been scrapped after Dave's open letter to the press and fans.

I have received quite a lot of hate mail (addressed to Van Halen, not me) about what has happened in the past few months. Please remember:

  • This is a Van Halen News page. It is in no way endorsed or supported by Van Halen, it's management, or record company.
  • Any email you send is only read by me, the editor of the page.
  • No email is forwarded to the band. Please don't ask me to do this.
  • I refuse to participate in this petty campaign to boycott all future Van Halen releases. If you wish to create a "boycott Van Halen" web page, go for it. But don't expect a link from here.
  • I invite those who wish to express their feelings about the matter to the #vanhalen IRC channel on the undernet. Please don't ask me how to get there.

Grant Fisher
Editor - Van Halen News Desk

Eddie & Alex Radio Interview

October 4, 1996 - Edward and Alex Van Halen appeared on the Mark & Brian radio show this morning. Edward stated that he was 99.9% sure that they would hire Gary Cherone (from the recently split Extreme) as the new lead singer for Van Halen. The appointment of Cherone is still pending as contractual matters are being sorted out.

Edward also stated that Van Halen have written seven new songs with Cherone, and that he was great with the band. In reference to the statement from David Lee Roth that a replacement had been hired three months ago, Edward said that he had only recently met Cherone, and did not know him personally at the time the band appeared with Dave at the MTV awards.

Alex said he wanted Sammy and Dave to know that the band had the utmost respect for both of them, but that it was time to move on.

The band is again working with producer Glen Ballard, who produced the two new tracks for the upcoming 'Best Of' disc, and are said to be very pleased with the results so far. The date of Edward's hip surgery was announced as December 16. The release of a new album and subsequent tour will depend largely on how long he takes to recouperate from the surgery. Usually hip replacement patients are out of action for up to four months.

Click here for a full transcript of the interview!

Can't Get This Stuff Here!

Official Warner Bros Van Halen Page

October 7, 1996 - Brad at the Van Halen Encyclopedia has somehow managed to get a clip of the second new Van Halen track featuring David Lee Roth on vocals, titled Can't Get This Stuff No More. We had a link to it from here but Brad's site got bogged down by people trying to download it. Use the links below to get the clip. I will add more as they become available to share the load...

The graphic of the black guitar above was taken from the new Official Warner Bros Van Halen Page which has been set up to promote the new 'Best Of' release. I don't know for sure, but it looks like a cool graphic for the back cover, don't you think? Click on the guitar to check out the site. It has WAV, AIFF and RealAudio versions of Me Wise Magic which are ripped straight from the CD so they are of slightly better quality than the others going around the Internet.

MTV To Interview Edward

October 10, 1996 - MTV's Kurt Loder will be interviewing Edward Van Halen next week at 5150 about the recent happenings with Dave, Sammy and Gary Cherone. The interview will be aired on Friday October 18 on The Week In Rock at 7:30pm and repeated the following day.

More 'Best Of' Updates

Best Of Van Halen - Front Cover

October 12, 1996 - In other news, radio stations across the USA and Canada are preparing for the new album release by promoting Van Halen specials for this coming weekend (October 20/21). Check your local stations for exact times. Many will be playing the entire album, with new interview snippets between the songs.

Speaking of radio, the Van Halen News Desk will be reviewed on the Australian radio program Byte This on Sunday October 20 at 10PM on the MMM network. If you are in Australia, tune in or check out their web page. Peter Mobbs and Andrew Questead will be interviewing me about the site. There is also a good chance that you will get to hear Me Wise Magic on Australian radio for the first time.

Finally for today, we hear Sammy Hagar is planning a club tour in the near future. Stay tuned for more news and possible tour dates.

Warner Bros. 'Best Of' Promotion

October 15, 1996 - The wheels seem to be rolling in the promotion for the upcoming Van Halen - Best Of, Volume 1 album release. The following was posted to the VHML today. It was obtained from the AOL automated newswire search engine.

BURBANK, Calif., Oct. 14 /PRNewswire/ - Van Halen's "Best Of Volume 1" CD, scheduled for release on Tuesday, October 22, will contain a couple of surprises for some lucky buyers nationwide. Five Hundred of the "Best Of" CD's will be personally autographed by Van Halen lead guitarist Eddie Van Halen. Additionally, 10,000 "Best Of" CD's will contain a Van Halen collectors guitar pick. As if that weren't enough, a grand prize certificate for a Peavey/Eddie Van Halen Wolfgang guitar, personally signed by the man himself, will also be given away. All 10,501 goodies will be distributed randomly throughout the U.S. with the first pressings of "Best Of Volume 1."

Sammy's Birthday Bash Report

October 16, 1996 - Sammy Hagar's traditional birthday bash at Cabo Wabo went down last weekend. The former Van Halen lead singer jammed with friends David Lauser, Robert Berry and Damon Johnson from Brother Cane on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

Sammy gave his fans a sneak preview of five songs that will appear on his new album, which he said should be out around February 1997. As well as the new songs, Sammy and his band played a number of old Montrose and Hagar solo tunes, as well as Van Halen's Finish What Ya Started and some old blues standards such as Roadhouse Blues and Crossroads.

Sources say Sammy has no "official" plans regarding a band just yet.

'Best Of Van Halen' Radio Premiere

October 17, 1996 - Radio Stations across the U.S.A. and Canada kicked into Van Halen mode last night with the premiere of the new album. Michael, Alex and Edward were interviewed for the radio premiere and snippets were played between Van Halen tracks over a two hour period.

'Best Of Van Halen' Released

October 18, 1996 - Van Halen - Best Of Volume 1 was officially released in Japan yesterday (October 17) and in the Netherlands today. The U.S.A. release date is still officially October 22.

If any readers out there happen to be lucky enough to win one of the 500 autographed CD's, 10,000 guitar picks or the autographed Peavey Wolfgang guitar, please email me and I will compile a list of names of the lucky winners and post it here.

In Dave news, there is a big rumour going around that Slash is forming a super group with Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee and David Lee Roth. I have emailed Tommy Lee to ask if the rumour has any foundation and will post his response here. The name of the new supergroup will reportedly be TOMMY.

Finally for today, New York/New Jersey radio station WDHA are holding a Van Halen weekend this weekend. The station will be playing nothing but Van Halen all weekend, and will be temporarily changing their name to WDVH for the event. You can listen to the station from anywhere in the world via the Internet using RealAudio software. Connect to the station web site at http://www.wdhafm.com.

MTV's "Week In Rock" Interview

October 19, 1996 - Edward and Alex appeared on MTV's "Week In Rock" last Friday night. They addressed the events that happened backstage at the MTV awards involving David Lee Roth.

It was a good chance for Edward Van Halen to tell his side of the story to the viewers of MTV. A great majority of people who saw Dave with Van Halen at the MTV awards believed that this event was confirmation that Dave was back in the band for good. Unfortunately for Dave and the fans who believed he was back in the band permanently, it was not the case. Sammy Hagar will be interviewed on the show next week (Oct 25).

You can read a transcript of the interview at the MTV web site from this link

'Best Of' Prize Winners

October 23, 1996 - The list of prize winners is slowly growing. If you win one of the prizes, can you please let me know what state you bought the CD in? Thanks! Our first two autograph winners are listed today, along with more winners of the guitar pick.

'Best Of' Video - For those who have asked, the video will be out next week. The track listing can be found in the September 96 News Archive. This listing is correct, except there won't be a video for Me Wise Magic.

October 22, 1996 - Can you believe it? I have received email from a lucky winner already!! He bought two copies of the CD last Friday (one for the car, one for home) and found a guitar pick in both of them. All I can say is well done, dude!!!

If you or someone you know has scored a guitar pick, EVH autograph or Peavey Wolfgang guitar certificate with the 'Best Of' CD, please email me and your name will be added to the list below.

Prize Winners

Song Lyrics

October 24, 1996 - I've had tons of requests from readers wishing to know what the lyrics are for the two new Dave tracks on the 'Best Of'. So rather than email it to you all individually, I thought "why not put it on the page!?". Click on the link below for the lyrics to Humans Being, Me Wise Magic and Can't Get That Stuff No More. They are provided for your information only - please don't email me if you think there is a word wrong somewhere!!

New Song Lyrics

Also on a non-Van Halen note, thanks to all those who have filled in the survey so far. I have had some generous offers from some Internet Service Providers in the USA who are willing to donate the hard disk space and bandwidth I require to keep this site running without me being out of pocket. In other words, the Van Halen News Desk is here to stay!!

Slash/Tommy/Dave Update

October 25, 1996 - About a week ago a big rumour was circulating around the media and the Internet about a possible new "supergroup" being formed by Slash from Guns 'N Roses. Reports said that he'd hired David Lee Roth as the singer and Tommy Lee from Motley Crue as drummer. The reports also stated that Tommy Lee would only join the group if it was named TOMMY.

I decided to go straight to the source for more information, and asked Tommy Lee via email whether there was any truth to the rumour. His response:

Date: Thu, 24 Oct 1996 12:58:34 -0800
To: Grant Fisher <>
From: Tommy Lee <>


-----Tommy Lee --

'Best Of' Questions

October 25, 1996 - Many of you have been asking some interesting questions about the new CD. I still haven't received my copy yet (because I live in Australia) so I can't answer the questions as I haven't seen the disc or read the booklet. The questions being asked are:

  1. Why isn't Mike given a writers credit for Jump and Panama?
  2. Why has Runnin' With The Devil been re-mixed/re-arranged?
  3. Who is the person in the background of the photo?
  4. Who is Sat-Kaur Khalsa?
  5. When is the 'Best Of' video being released?
  6. Is that the Steinberger guitar I can hear on Me Wise Magic?


  1. Apparently it was a simple printing mistake.
  2. An alternative arrangement was accidently included on the master tape instead of the original. Later copies of BOV1 contain the correct version.
  3. Stine Schyberg, Art Director for Best Of Volume 1. (Stine is Alex's girlfriend.)
  4. Sat-Kaur Khalsa is Edward Van Halen's therapist. (Sat-Kaur is female.)
  5. Tuesday October 29 in the U.S.A. Other countries add a week to the CD release date.
  6. Not quite! It's actually the new Peavey Wolfgang Jnr guitar, equipped with a trans-trem - the whammy bar used on Steinberger guitars.

Sammy Hagar MTV Interview

October 26, 1996 - Last night Sammy Hagar appeared on MTV's "Week In Rock" to discuss his departure from Van Halen. The interview was a very controversial one, which I'm sure will once again spark intense debate on the Internet and in the media. Just when you think things are starting to settle down again in the Van Halen camp, POW!, another member (or ex-member) does an interview.

Click here for a transcript of the interview.

Edward Van Halen Guitar World Interview

Graphic: Guitar World - December 1996

October 26, 1996 - The December 1996 edition of Guitar World magazine features an exclusive interview with Edward Van Halen.

Here are a few quick snippets from the interview:

"We're from different planets; we don't communicate," says Eddie of Roth. "We just don't see things the same way. I'm not saying that he's a bad person at all - I actually fuckin' love the guy. But I don't need that kind of negative energy around me. I don't know how to explain it, but Dave kinda sucks the life out of me."

So instead of the life-sucking David Lee Roth making a dramatic reentry into the Van Halen fray, a dark horse candidate emerged and was handed one rock's plum jobs outright. It is none other than the "More Than Words" man, Gary Cherone, Nuno Bettencourt's partner in Extreme, Cherone, known for his acrobatic stage antics and extraordinary vocal range, impressed Eddie with his quiet manner: "He's like a brother. He's shy, he's a quiet guy and has no fuckin' attitude. He's just a beautiful human being. Plus, the guy sings and sounds like an angel."

BOV1: Album Of The Week

October 29, 1996 - 'Best Of Volume 1' is the album of the week on Melbourne's Triple-M radio station and copies will be given away all this week in anticipation of the Australian release on November 4.

Edward To Play At ALS Benefit

October 24, 1996 - The Chicago Sun Times reported in todays paper (10/24) that Edward Van Halen will be attending the Les Turner ALS Foundation benefit on November 17 at the Riviera Theater in Chicago. New Van Halen lead singer Gary Cherone will not be in attendance. Edward will be part of an all-star band with his buddy Steve Lukather from Toto, former David Lee Roth bassist Billy Sheehan and Pat Torpey from Mr Big (Sheehan's current gig). Tickets are $35 and go on sale on Saturday October 26 at noon at Ticketmaster: (312) 559-1212.

For more detailed info on the benefit, check out Bill O'Neill's ALS Benefit Page.

Van Halen To Debut At #1

October 30, 1996 - Best Of Volume 1 by Van Halen will debut at #1 on the Billboard album chart when it is published later this week. It outsold every other album in it's first week of release and deposes the new Counting Crows album which debuted at the top the week before.

Predictions of sluggish sales never eventuated as Van Halen fans bought copies in their droves, eager to hear the two new tracks with former lead singer David Lee Roth.

Best of Volume 1 is Van Halen's 5th number one album. Each of the band's 11 albums have gone multi-platinum (ie 2 million plus sales) in the USA, and it looks like the new album will continue that tradition.

Warner Bros. Reports Van Halen at #1

Press Articles

* 02 October 1996E! Online
* 03 October 1996Music News Of The World
* 05 October 1996A Message From Pat Badger
* 10 October 1996Boston Globe
* 10 October 1996Michigan Daily
* 14 October 1996Toronto Star
* 18 October 1996Entertainment Weekly
* 18 October 1996MTV - The Week In Rock - Ed/Al Interview
* 20 October 1996Los Angeles Times - Edward Van Halen Interview
* 22 October 1996Baltimore Sun - Album Review
* 25 October 1996MTV - The Week In Rock - Hagar Interview
* 27 October 1996San Francisco Chronicle - Hagar Interview
* 28 October 1996Molson Canadian - Album Review
* 31 October 1996Warner Bros. Reports Van Halen at #1
* December 1996Guitar World - Edward Van Halen Interview
Click Here!

VHND News Archive - Table of Contents

2008: Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2007: Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2006: Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2005: Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2004: Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2003: Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2002: Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2001: Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2000: Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
1999: Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
1998: Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
1997: Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
1996: Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec

Tours: Van Halen: 1998/2007/2008/2011
David Lee Roth: 1999/2001/2002/2006
Sammy Hagar: 2000/2001/2002 Solo/2002 with DLR/2006/2007/2008/2009/2010/2011
Chickenfoot: 2009/2010/2011/2012

VH on TV
Nothing scheduled.
Rumour File
01/08: antiMUSIC
12/07: MJ Message
10/30: Melodicrock
10/13: KNAC.COM
8/23: KNAC.COM
8/09: HardKnockz
8/01: Miss Truth
7/24: Hard Radio
7/24: Mtl. Hammer
7/24: Metal Edge
7/18: HardKnockz
7/15: NY DailyNews
7/13: Melodic Rock
6/12: Miss Truth
6/07: Miss Truth
5/20: Rolling Stone
5/16: KNAC.COM
5/10: DLR Army
5/02: Melodic Rock
5/02: KLOS
4/03: Chicago S-T
4/02: Orange C-R
4/01: NY Post
3/31: ChartAttack
3/30: WMMS
3/24: Daily Breeze
2/29: Allstar
2/25: Miss Truth
2/22: Miss Truth
2/14: NAMM Review
2/14: HardRadio
2/14: KNAC.COM
2/09: KNAC.COM
1/31: Sonicnet
1/31: KNAC.COM
1/31: Jam!
1/28: Rolling Stone
1:28: Launch
1/27: Allstar
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