Monday, May 14, 2018

In Halen and Ex Halen (and Waiting)

I was just wondering when Van Halen is going to come out with a new album.  If memory serves, they got back with David Lee Roth in 2007.  And since then, unless I've missed something we’ve gotten two new songs on a “best of” CD – very good songs, by the way – and one new album.  The album was also very good.  But that’s it!  One album and two songs in more than a decade!  C’mon, guys.  You don’t have to go on tour or anything.  (I’ve always thought live music sounds like bunk anyway.)  Just put out a new album.  Let’s create more of the VH magic before you’re too old to do it.  And if VH won’t get to work, how about an Eat ’Em and Smile reunion album, Dave?  You don’t even have to write new songs.  Just redo the original album acoustical style, or something.  If we can’t enjoy the greatest band of all time (Van Halen), maybe we can still enjoy the second greatest band (and probably the greatest guitarist) of all time.

But on another topic, when I was searching for info on a possible new album by VH, I stumbled upon a youtube interview with Sammy Hagar, Dave’s fill-in for a few years.  Sammy kept talking about “writing my book,” or words to that effect.  I’m always suspicious when folks from other walks of life claim to be writers, so I looked up the Red Rocker’s book.  Sure enough, there’s one of those “with” authors in text so small on the cover that you can barely read his name.  (It’s “with Joel Selvin,” by the way.) 

I write all of my own books, here, here, and here, or I write alongside an equal coauthor, here.  (Same goes for my articles.)  Given this, I’ve always wondered about this tiny-print “with” author.  Who the hell is this person?  I suspect, but certainly don’t know, that these “with” authors take the laboring oar, i.e., they do the bulk, if not all, of the writing.  In short: I’d still bet that Sammy can write better than I can sing, but that isn’t saying much. 

I’ll also admit that part of my interest in this whole tiny-print “with” author business is rooted in envy.  Hagar and Selvin’s book was a #1 New York Times best seller – heights that I have not yet reached.  (But hope springs eternal; my new book is coming out in November.)  Despite their success, I have a sneaking suspicion that while I am hunched over my laptop for 12-14 hours at a crack writing my books, Sammy is kickin’ it in Cabo while his “with” author is at his side, tapping away on the keyboard with one hand and holding a tropical drink in the other.  I don’t know this; I’m just speculating.  Perhaps my jealousy is getting the best of me.  

But enough of that.  Van Halen (or David Lee Roth or the DLR Band) had better to get back to work on some music, pronto.  Let’s go, while we’re (still, sort of) young.  I'm waiting. 


  1. Michael, not your usual post -- but fun nevertheless, particularly if you're a Van Halen fan. In the meantime, while you pine for their next album, there's always this to tide you over. :-)

    1. Absolutely hilarious! Love the link! But I've been listening to this one lately to get my VH fix. It's a cover of an underrated 1982 VH song.