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Van Halen Manager Says Classic Lineup Reunion Tour Almost Took Place in 2019

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - MAY 21: (L-R) Michael Anthony, David Lee Roth, Alex Van Halen and Eddie Van Halen of Van Halen perform on May 21, 1984 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Van Halen manager Irving Azoff confirmed what many had hoped for when David Lee Roth leaked the news a few years ago: a new 2019 tour that would have reunited the band’s classic lineup for a stadium tour.

In a Pollstar interview, Azoff said that the hoped-for tour was close to happening, but couldn’t due to the late Eddie Van Halen‘s health issues.

“We had lots of stops and starts, but there was every intention of doing a summer stadium tour (in 2019), and as the cancer moved around, [Van Halen] was physically unable to do it,” Azoff said. “There is no doubt in my mind that it would have been massive.”

“But I’ve never seen anybody fight the fight that [Van Halen] fought over the last 10 years, fighting the cancer,” he continued when describing the late guitarist’s battle.

Azoff also likened Van Halen’s passing to the death of Jimi Hendrix, who has been gone since 1970. More importantly, though, he cared about Eddie the person, saying, “We were always close, but the past couple of years, when he was really unable to record or play, it became less a client/manager relationship and more just as a friend. I really got to know him. He was an amazing guy, I can’t say enough good things about him.”

The manager also left open the possibility that unreleased songs from Van Halen could emerge, but said that it’s too early to consider it. “Wolf and Alex will go up to 5150, the studio in Ed’s house, but there’s been a lot of recording over the years,” Azoff says. “I can’t predict that for sure there will be anything new, but for sure they’re going to look at it.”