Hell freezes over – Van Halen to release album and tour in 2012.

Twiddly, with a hint of widdly.

Barring last-minute splits, spontaneous combustion or a rift in the space-time continuum, the unlikely has happened – not only have Van Halen announced a 2012 tour but an album is due, too (the first not on the Warner Brothers label since their 1978 debut).

I’m not sure how to feel about this – when long-time bassist Michael Anthony left and was replaced by Eddie’s son Wolfgang, I couldn’t help but feel that a large part of the sound of the band went with him.  He wasn’t just a bassist but an instantly recognizable backing vocalist and the loss to their sound is an appreciable one.  I know that there are ways around that kind of thing in these heady technological days (backing tracks are wonderful things) but when the guy who’s been there since the Seventies isn’t there – well, it just gives me pause, to be honest.

Blabbermouth has more – including a video trailer which suggests that US tickets will be on sale from January 10.  Whether that means that shows in the rest of the world will follow is anybody’s guess (mine is – the alternate future of “Back to the Future 2” is likely to arrive before the Van Halen family and Diamond Dave show up in the UK).


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