Newsted recently disclosed that he had been asked six months ago to join a potential Van Halen tribute tour featuring drummer Alex Van Halen and guitarist Joe Satriani. The bassist said he passed on the offer for fear that it would be viewed as a “money grab” and that plan had “fizzled” out anyway.
However, Satriani has now confirmed that the tour is still under consideration and that singer David Lee Roth has been involved in the process.
“I’ve been talking with Alex and Dave for about a year about doing something — a tour, something like — that was going to be a true tribute to [the late] Eddie [Van Halen] and the Van Halen legacy,” Satriani told the Nations with Dave Kinchen podcast [as transcribed by Blabbermouth]. “For me, it was a terrifying prospect of doing something like that, but I realized that it was something that would be a real labor of love for me. I was just so honored to take on the challenge.”
According to Satriani, the tribute was supposed to be under wraps, making Newsted’s revelation that much more surprising to all parties involved.
“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,” Satriani said. “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.”
Even DLR has now publicly commented on the possible tribute tour, weighing in on a potential lineup in a colorful all-caps statement given to Van Halen News Desk. Diamond Dave not only names Satriani, Newsted and Alex Van Halen, but also adds longtime Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony, Toto guitarist Steve Lukather, Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee, and pop star Pink among his ideal choices:
“IN MY MIND ‘VAN HALEN 4K’, IN THE AGE OF COVID IS GOING TO REQUIRE TWO OF US FOR EVERY POSITION. SATRIANI AND LUKATHER, ANTHONY OR NEWSTED, AL OR TOMMY LEE. PROBABLY THE ONLY ONE WHO COULD DO MY JOB TODAY WOULD BE PINK.”
Despite Newsted’s apparent disinterest in playing bass on the tour, it sounds like Satriani and company haven’t given up on the idea just yet. Eddie Van Halen’s son, Wolfgang Van Halen, has previously supported a hypothetical Van Halen tribute, but said that it would be difficult to organize logistically.
Listen to the podcast with Joe Satriani below.