Alex Van Halen, David Lee Roth and Joe Satriani have discussed a Van Halen tribute tour

Joe Satriani, David Lee Roth and Alex Van Halen
(Image credit: Joe Satriani: Eduardo Peคa Dolhun | David Lee Roth: Udo Salters | Alex Van Halen: Chase Rollins)

Joe Satriani has confirmed that talks with Alex Van Halen and David Lee Roth about a Van Halen tribute tour have taken place.  

The news comes after former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted revealed that he'd been involved in the discussions, but had elected not to take part. Speaking to the Palm Beach Post, Newsted revealed that he'd flown to Los Angeles to jam with the other musicians, but that the project's momentum had faltered.   

“How could you?” Newsted asked. “There’s nobody that can top it, so how do you show it honour? I didn’t want it to be viewed as a money grab. And then it kind of just all fizzled.”

Satriani has reacted to Newsted's revelations by confirming that talks did take place, and that the tour could still happen, during an interview with the Rock Of Nations With Dave Kinchen podcast to promote new solo album The Elephants Of Mars.

"I've been talking with Alex and Dave for about a year about doing something," he said. "A tour, something like that, that was gonna be a true tribute to Eddie and the Van Halen legacy.

"For me, it was a terrifying prospect of doing something like that, but I realised that it was something that would be a real labor of love for me. I was just so honoured to take on the challenge.

"And all I can really say about it is that if it does happen, I know we'll make it the greatest thing ever for the fans and we'll all celebrate together not only the great Eddie Van Halen but the legacy that that band created, the amazing amount of music and the goodwill and good vibes they created as a band.

"If it ever does happen, it will be a great honour and a terrifying challenge. Eddie, you can't reproduce what he did. You can't. You can learn the notes and you can be taught all the fingerings and get the gear and everything, but there was only one Eddie and he was the epitome of an original genius. But if it does happen, I know that Alex will make sure that it's the right way to do it."

Satriani also expressed surprise that Newsted had broken the news, saying, "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

"There's usually about 10 crazy ideas that float around and musicians are always, like, 'Okay, I won't say anything about this 'cause it may not work out. I don't wanna 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 'cause we were all sworn to silence."

Joe Satriani's new album The Elephants Of Mars is out now. 

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.