Alex Van Halen Drops New Guitarist Bombshell

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There had been a buzz regarding a Van Halen Tribute Concert. This past October, Wolfgang told that he was no longer actively interested in pursuing the idea of a standalone Eddie Van Halen tribute event. Joe Satriani recently spoke about being approached to reproduce Eddie Van Halen’s guitar parts as part of an all-star Van Halen tribute project with Alex Van Halen and David Lee Roth.

Joe Satriani talks about the matter

During an appearance on the “Out Of The Box” show, which airs on the Q104.3 radio station in New York City, Joe Satriani said:

Recalling how the proposed pairing came about, Joe said: “I get a call out of the blue from Alex Van Halen, who I’d never met until then, and he poses the unimaginable to me, which is to go out with a Van Halen tour, playing guitar. And as I’ve told other people, I heard my voice saying, ‘Yeah, I’ll do that,’ before my brain really thought, ‘Don’t say ‘yes.’ That’s an impossible thing to do; you can’t replace Eddie Van Halen. Nobody can.’ But I had such a good conversation with Alex, and just getting to know him on a few phone calls. And he brought Dave into the loop, who I’d met before but I can’t really say I know the man… And we came close to doing that sort of coming out show that New York City was holding [in Central Park] last year,” he said, apparently referring to “We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert’, which was held in August 2021.

“And that would have been frightening, ’cause it was only three weeks away. And I was still listening to the Van Halen stuff, but still working on [my latest solo] album. So it wasn’t like we were prepared. There was no bass player. They hadn’t really told me who was gonna play bass. And then there was the whole controversy about who should actually be in the band. And I was on the outside; I’m just some new guy. I was the one saying, ‘Who’s playing bass, by the way?’ And, ‘Is Sammy [Hagar, former Van Halen singer] gonna come by?’ And, ‘Did you talk to Mike [Anthony, former Van Halen bassist]?’ So, conversations kept going on and on. I met with Alex at one point when I went down to L.A. But I think there’s some internal stuff that needs to get worked out with the family, and then theVan Halen band family, which is kind of big. Again, I feel like I’m not close to the top of that queue. And many times I’ve told Alex, ‘Are you sure? Me?’ ‘Cause I don’t perform like Eddie. I’m just a superfan. And I can certainly play the stuff. But Eddie was such an original — just the way he ran around on stage and sang and played. It’s amazing.”

Eddie died in October 2020 at the age of 65. The legendary Van Halen guitarist passed away at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, California.

Eddie was diagnosed with mouth cancer in 2000 and had tongue surgery. He later battled lung cancer and had been receiving radiation treatment in Germany. Things took a turn for the worse in early 2019 when Eddie got in a motorcycle accident. He was subsequently diagnosed with a brain tumor, and received gamma knife radiosurgery to treat the illness.