Van Halen have gone through the mill in their early days and have had a decent amount of lineup changes. In the late 1990’s to early 2000’s, the band were trying to find their footing once more only to be left with a big stain on what could have been.
During the 1990’s, Van Halen switched over to a new vocalist, Gary Cherone. Gary wasn’t exactly well received by fans of the band as fans were split into two camps: Van Halen as the original line up featuring David Lee Roth, or Van Halen featuring Sammy Hagar.
Gary’s tenure had proven disappointing in terms of attendance, shelving new music. Eddie later admitted that “the powers that be” (Warner Bros.) had forced his hand in parting with Cherone, but the good news was that there were no fights or drama over this. This would then bring to band to have speculation thrown at them about a reunion with David Lee Roth.
In November 1999, there started to be somewhat of a hiatus as Eddie recovered from his hip surgery. Between 2000 to early 2004, there was almost a radio silence on the band. However, bits of information about past and present members trickled in. The Van Halen brothers would continue to write music and rumors started to flow in. In 2000, the band would reunite briefly with David Lee Roth attempting to do a new album, only for disputes with the singer to ultimately abort these plans. They tried to make a schedule happen, but it would be a huge failure and leave a poor stain on the name.
About the album that never was, Darrin Stephens posted on VHLinks.com’s forums to paint the scene of what this fiasco looked like: “Ed was drunk. Like old days, musically incredible. Fought in the control room with Dave. Mike would say f*ck it and go smoke followed by Dave usually pissed off. Al (Alex Van Halen) would say nothing till he and Ed would fight then Al drove off in a porsche.”
The band would get very close to a record being done, but the actual damage was already there mentally, especially for Eddie Van Halen as he would fight for hours on end with Dave, and then seemingly almost forget what the argument was about and argue in the opposite direction for the sake of argument.
Darrin continued: “He would attack Mike who had nothing to do with any of it. Weeks rolled by and basic details of agreement Ed would argue everyday forgetting it was already settled. Finally Dave realized Ed was too far gone and then Ed argued with Mike so finally no one showed up anymore and left Ed to yell by himself. It was rare Dave left actually more worried than mad at Ed. As f*cked up as their relationship was Ed and Al were like brothers to Dave.”
At this point, it was over for good.
Darrin closed: “It was ugly and ended, ‘Let’s pick it up when sober.’ I can not imagine what 04 was like.”