Is Van Halen Withered and Washed Up? Check the Stats
In a weakened economy, the thought of calling it quits at the age of 55 is a pipe dream. The grim reality for many is they'll work till the day they die, much like the 80-year-old who settles for a part-time gig at Publix to supplement a $300 Social Security check.
For rock stars, however, working past the AARP benefits-eligible age has become an inspiring musical trend. Just take Van Halen, a band that's currently in the midst of a 45-date reunion tour and being helmed again by original lead singer David Lee Roth.
Despite their frighteningly withered appearance, brothers Eddie and Alex Van Halen are silencing ageist naysayers by arena-rocking sold-out gigs across the U.S. and Canada in support of their band's latest effort, A Different Kind of Truth.
In contrast to the group's short-lived reunion with Roth in 1996, "Van Halen now comes across like a happy, well-oiled machine," writes one Toronto Sun critic.
Perhaps it's the addition of Eddie's 21-year-old son and current Van Halen bassist, Wolfgang. With the bass chops of a seasoned veteran and the genuine excitement of a kid in his 20s touring the country as part of one of the world's biggest rock bands, Wolfie is quite possibly the missing puzzle piece that'll return the 2012 version of Van Halen to its hell-raising rock god days of the '70s and '80s.
After 40 years and a handful of lineup changes, Van Halen is back on top of their shit. But it's been a long road peppered with substance abuse, internal squabbles, heartbreak, accolades, and milestones.
This is Van Halen by the numbers.