First No Singer, Now No Label For Van Halen

By | January 30, 2002 at 12:00 AM

Having just left their label following 23 years and 11 albums, Van Halen’s career is in limbo and their future seems uncertain. The band severed ties with Warner Bros. Records last month, according to a source close to the group, who emphasized that the band willingly left the company. “There’s been a major housecleaning at the company over the last couple months, and anybody that was actually any part of anything when we were around is gone,” he said. “They’re all about taking care of their young bands now.”

A publicist at Warner Bros. confirmed the band is off the label and said the decision was mutual.

Where Van Halen go next is anyone’s guess. Guitarist Eddie Van Halen and drummer Alex Van Halen continue to write new material, and last summer Eddie Van Halen said he had three albums’ worth of new songs, but still no lead singer. The group’s last vocalist, former Extreme frontman Gary Cherone, parted ways with the band in 1999 after just one record, the poorly received Van Halen 3.

Since then, rumors have circulated that David Lee Roth had recorded three songs with the group and was getting ready to rejoin, but the band has no plans to do anything with its original vocalist, the source said.

“I think they’re just getting over Ed’s health problem right now,” he said, referring to Van Halen’s recent battle with cancer. In April, the guitarist announced he was fighting the disease but was on the mend and feeling great (see “UPDATE: Van Halen Cancer Report Clarified”).

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