Imagining the Night David Lee Roth Rejoined Van Halen
FADE IN: INT. MGM GRAND PENTHOUSE SUITE, LAS VEGAS (NIGHT) The camera lingers on the full-length windows and panoramic view of the glittering Strip below before slowly panning around the lavishly appointed room. WOLFGANG VAN HALEN sits on an overstuffed couch, playing Halo 3 on the room's giant flat-screen TV with his uncle ALEX VAN HALEN. Wolfgang's father, EDDIE VAN HALEN, sits at a table in the breakfast nook, chain-smoking and reading The Wall Street Journal. Next to an overflowing ashtray lies a folded copy of USA Today bearing the headline "Petty, Heartbreakers to Play Super Bowl Halftime." There is a knock at the door.
EDDIE (standing up): Come in!
DAVID LEE ROTH enters the room, clad in designer jeans, Hawaiian shirt, velvet smoking jacket and aviator shades. Roth takes off his sunglasses. He and Eddie politely shake hands and sit down.
ROTH: Hello, Ed.
ROTH: How you feeling these days?
EDDIE: Oh, you know. One day at a time. Rehab was a bitch.
ROTH: Tell me about it. My counselor says I shouldn't even be taking Cialis. Can you believe that? (Both laugh.) Any trouble with the Big C lately?
EDDIE: Nope, knock wood. Homeopathic all the way. I just don't hold my picks in my teeth anymore.
ROTH: Probably a good idea. How's Wolfie?
EDDIE: He's doing great. Kid's getting to be quite a bass player. When he's not playing "Guitar Hero," that is.
ROTH: Oh yeah. Man, I still can't believe they picked "You Really Got Me" over "Hot for Teacher" or "Panama." Bet Ray Davies is enjoying those checks.
EDDIE (chuckles, somewhat grimly): Right? Billy Gibbons tells me that since the game came out, the number of teenagers at ZZ Top shows has tripled. That's, ummm, kind of what I wanted to talk about.
ROTH: What's that?
EDDIE: Did you see this?
He motions to the USA Today, and Roth reads a few paragraphs.
ROTH: Hmmm. Good for Tom. He's a cool cat. I saw them at the Hollywood Bowl last year, and they still sound great. I wonder why all their partying never wound up in the papers like ours did. Have you seen Runnin' Down a Dream?
EDDIE: Yeah. I know. But come on, Dave—that could be us.
ROTH: What do you mean?
EDDIE: I mean, maybe it's time for us to give this another shot.
ROTH: Are you serious? Last time we talked about this it didn't work out so well.
EDDIE: I know. We never should have gone on the MTV Awards.
ROTH: God. I barely even remember that night at all.
EDDIE: Me neither. But to be honest, man, I could use the dough. This divorce is bleeding me dry.
ROTH: Oh, right. Yeah, that's tough. I haven't worked much since I lost that goddamn radio gig after Stern went to Sirius. VH-1 called me last week and asked if I wanted to do one of those shows like Flavor Flav did. I told them I'd think about it, but I think they're going to go with Bret Michaels.
EDDIE: See? I read the other day the Stones brought in more than $550 million on their last tour.
Roth lets out a low, sustained whistle.
ROTH: Sheeeeiiit. But come on, Ed. We're not the Stones.
EDDIE: Well, think about all those Stones fans. To their kids, we kind of were.
ROTH: Good point. But what would we do for a bass player? I take it you haven't talked to Mike?
EDDIE: Well...no. (Awkward pause) But I think Wolfie's ready. I talked to Sting the other day, and he said it's great having your kid on the road with you. Keeps you out of trouble, that sort of thing.
WOLFGANG (offscreen): Hey dad, come watch this!
Wolfgang and Alex have turned off Halo 3 and are watching MTV News.
MTV NEWS ANCHOR: "...the band's label, Atlantic Records, announced yesterday that Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones have agreed to reunite for next month's Ahmet Ertegun tribute concert at London's O2 Arena, with late Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham's son Jason on drums. The show's promoters say more than 20 million people have since tried to register for the ticket lottery, causing their Web site to crash several times."
Roth and Eddie look at each other. Each slowly breaks into a broad grin.
ROTH: What the hell? Let's do this!
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.