The music business, or whatever’s left of it, sure isn’t what it used to be, so if anyone’s buying music at all, it’s a miracle.
And this is what’s proven the loyalty of Van Halen’s fanbase, as their comeback album with David Lee Roth, A Different Kind of Truth, remains on track to sell 180-200,000 copies its first week.
By today’s music biz standards, you would think this is pretty damn good, especially considering how long it’s been since there’s been any Van Halen album at all.
One would also think that the album will continue to sell once Van Halen hits the road on February 18, launching its tour in Louisville, Kentucky.
As for the odd opening act choice of Kool and the Gang, founder Robert “Kool” Bell told Billboard.com, “We had big hits in the ’80s, and so did they. They’ve been kind of like a party band on the rock side, and their audience is 60 percent female. Most of the time we have a crowd that’s 80 percent white. Plus we do a lot of international dates with Def Leppard, Meat Loaf, Uriah Heep, Chicago, Elton John… So I think we’ll survive.”
Meanwhile, Roth told News.com.au, “We never changed. We’re a ’70s hard rock band. We enjoyed our fame in the ’80s but all our roots are pre-’80s. That’s Van Halen. Old plus new. It’s like watching Dragnet on your iPad.”
As for the decades of band catfighting, and both Roth and Van Halen swearing they’ll never work together again, Roth said, in his usual round-about way, “If Ed and I can get along, then world peace can have a chance. There’s routinely conflict but there’s a lot of laughter. There’s still some pillaging going on there. You can hear it in the music.”