From the Barstool of the Publisher – March, 2007

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You know, a lot of bad things can be said about bands and the music industry these days, but at least it’s all predictable.

It goes like this. A band no one has heard of breaks onto the scene with a crappy, but well-received song. They tour, record a new album (usually not as good as the first), they tour again and then fade into obscurity. It may not be the best scenario ever, but at least it’s reliable.

But in addition to that cycle, these days it seems like ’80s rock giants (see also, ‘has beens’) are about as reliable as an Amtrack train with a crack- smoking conductor.

Let’s not even get started on the whole litany of lies we’ve heard about “Guns N Roses” (I use quotes around that band name, ’cause it’s really just Axl and a bunch of guys we don’t know. Chinese Democracy was supposed to be released about 400 times by now and it’s still not out, despite a highly publicized release late last year that said it would be out by the end of 2006.

Now Van Halen is pulling the same crap. A few weeks ago you couldn’t swing an unemployed drummer without hearing a news story about the original VH boys “reuniting” (I use quotes around that because bassist Michael Anthony is out, but Eddie Van Halen’s 15-year-old son, Woflgang, is in, and while Anthony wasn’t the best bass player in the world, his harmonies were/are part of VH’s signature sound. I squirm at the thought of “Dance the Night Away” being sung by a prepubescent).

But now, a story this week in Pollstar said that chances of the reunion actually happening are about as good as Diamond Dave saying “No thanks” to a rail of blow backstage before a show. (Legal note: Pollstar didn’t actually say that, or refer to drug use by David Lee Roth in any way, shape or form; that was my embellishment, but the article did say that the tour was “postponed” with no sure plans of it happening.)

Either way, it’s sad that all of these once-great rock bands come across as unreliable morons who can’t seem to get their act together. Was there some kind of regression since their last hits, or have they just whacked out their minds over the years?

It takes all the fun out of it. I was kind of looking forward to seeing Van Halen, but now, even if they do get back together, the only real reason to plunk down what will probably be a very steep ticket price to see them is the Evel Knievel factor — will tonight be the show where they self destruct?

Can’t they just go back to being predictable, or is this indecisiveness the new reliable?

I’ll see you at the shows.

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