As it turns out, Sammy Hagar was correct and some of our suspicions about Van Halen’s “new” music were right on.
In a recent interview, David Lee Roth said that the first single, “Tattoo,” and other tracks on the upcoming album were taken from old studio sessions in the group’s early days.
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Let’s flash back to November.
“I heard this record is old outtakes from the old days. I mean, stuff from before I even joined the band.”
“I think it’s an interesting thing to do in your old age if you can’t come up with fresh, good stuff – or you can’t get along. Because from what I heard, they aren’t working with new material. Ed and Dave didn’t actually write new songs. They took old stuff from previous sessions…”
Ouch. Not only did he accuse VH of being unimaginative, but he labeled them old as well. Double whammy.
Hagar’s criticism became more relevant after the release of their first single “Tattoo,” which reminded fans of an old Van Halen track called “Down In Flames.”
Fast forward to right now, over a month after news of Van Halen’s reunion became official, and David Lee Roth has all but confirmed the notion that their “new” material is basically just recycled, old material.
Roth told the Los Angeles Times:
“It’s material that Eddie and I generated, literally, in 1975, 1976 and 1977. Usually fellas in our weight division will kind of gamely — or ironically, wink, wink — try to hail back to it [but] keep a safe, mature distance from it.”
What Van Halen are doing is not unprecedented. In fact, when Sammy Hagar went on that November rant bashing VH, he didn’t think it was a bad idea. He was merely pointing it out.
Sammy Hagar on VH re-packaging old material:
“I don’t think it’s a bad idea. It’s kind of interesting. Bob Seger did it, and so did the Rolling Stones.”
So what does this all amount to?
Nothing really if you’re a Van Halen fan. At this point, you should just be happy to have the band back.
Van Halen’s First Two Singles off A Different Kind Of Truth:
“Stay Frosty,” a clip from the CSI episode it debuted on (starts around the 1:00 mark)