Van Halen's David Lee Roth drops hint that he'll be coming out of retirement

David Lee Roth
(Image credit: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for MTV/ViacomCBS)

David Lee Roth has hinted that he may come out of retirement to partake in the rumoured Van Halen tribute project alongside drummer Alex Van Halen and guitarist Joe Satriani.

Earlier this week, when questioned by Fox News while leaving Los Angeles International Airport about whether he'd be returning to the stage, Roth declared, "I'm only in the middle of my first retirement."

After originally announcing in October 2021 that he'd be throwing in the towel following his run of now-cancelled shows in Las Vegas, which were to come to an end in 2022, the vocalist now seems to be in two minds about leaving tour life for good.

When asked if he was going back on the road any time soon, the 67-year-old Van Halen singer responded: "There's always a tomorrow for a singer, not so much for a trombone player these days.

"How many times did Rocky retire? Seven. I think number three was my favourite? How many times did Rambo have to come out of retirement in order to make the sequel?"

Speaking of whether he'd be involved in any tribute projects with Van Halen (following the death of Eddie Van Halen in 2020), he said: "Ya, I wrote the songs … I was the one who named the band", adding, "Yes absolutely, like I said, I'm only in the middle of my first retirement."

Last month, Satriani revealed during an interview on the Rock Of Nations With Dave Kinchen podcast that he had been in regular contact with both Roth and Alex Van Halen for "about a year about doing something. 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."

Satriani addressed the rumours days after the former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted revealed to The Palm Beach Post that he was approached by drummer Alex Van Halen six months earlier about playing bass for the potential project. 

On agreeing to travel to California to jam with the musicians to see if the project was a good idea, Newsted shortly came to the conclusion that it would be impossible to tribute the band properly, and therefore dropped out.

"How could you?" Newsted said. "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."

Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music.