An Open Letter From David Lee Roth
October 2, 1996
To Whom This May Interest:
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 unabashed 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 a 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 a 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 quickie for old time's sake.
Well ain't hindsight 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.