Legendary guitarist Joe Satriani has revealed that he has been in talks with Alex Van Halen and David Lee Roth about a potential Van Halen tribute tour.
“I’ve been talking with Alex and Dave for about a year about doing something — a tour, something like that — that was going to be a true tribute to Eddie and the Van Halen legacy,” the guitarist told the Rock of Nations With Dave Kinchen podcast.
65-year-old Satriani admitted that the prospect of a tour sounded daunting, but he was up to the task. “For me, it was a terrifying prospect of doing something like that, but I realised that it was something that would be a real labour of love for me,” he said. “I was just so honoured to take on the challenge.”
Santorini’s comments corroborate claims made by Jason Newsted last week about a Van Halen-related tour. The former Metallica bassist turned heads when he told The Palm Beach Post that he had received an invitation from Alex Van Halen to play alongside him and Satriani. “There’s nobody that can top it, so how do you show it honour?” Newsted said. “I didn’t want it to be viewed as a money grab. And then it kind of just all fizzled,” Satriani said he was surprised when Newsted revealed the pending tour plans.
“These things are always happening in the music industry, and you’re supposed to keep very quiet about it because sometimes they don’t work out,” he commented. “There’s usually about 10 crazy ideas that float around, and musicians are always like, ‘OK, I won’t say anything about this, because it may not work out. I don’t want to hurt this person’s feelings or disrupt any other business plans. So yeah, we were all pretty shocked that Jason wanted to go public with it because we were all sworn to silence.”
When asked whether Sammy Hagar was being considered for the tour, Satriani revealed that it would account for all of Van Halen’s catalogue. “The thought of representing all the eras of Van Halen, that’s pretty daunting,” he added. “Just from a guitar player’s point of view, Eddie progressed remarkably as a player and as an inventor, and those two things, they kind of went together from Van Halen 1 all the way to the last album. And when you sit down to actually learn it and pull it off, you go, ‘Wow, not only do I need talent, but I need certain gear,’ because certain things won’t work unless you’ve got this amp and it’s doing that. So that’s also another thing to deal with.”
Despite Newsted’s revelation that the prospect had “fizzled” out, it sounds like the tour could still be in the pipeline. “It’s very complicated, and all I can really say about it is that if it does happen, I know we’ll make it the greatest thing ever for the fans, and we’ll all celebrate together,” Satriani said. “Not only the great Eddie Van Halen but the legacy that that band created, the amazing amount of music and the goodwill and good vibes they created as a band.”