It was 31 years ago today that Van Halen played what turned out to be their last show with front man David Lee Roth during their Monsters of Rock date in Nuremberg, Germany.
For years Van Halen had experienced conflict between Eddie Van Halen and Roth over several issues including musical direction. Nevertheless, the band had been successful in meeting in the middle and creating Van Halen’s signature sound, but not without the cost of pushing the band to their breaking point. By the time the band had hit the road on their 1984 tour, tension between Roth and his bandmates began to increase. By the time they kicked off their European leg, the band was on the fast track to the end of an era.
Van Halen wrapped up their tour in Nuremberg, Germany on September 2, 1984. But despite tension mounting, the band remained optimistic with their future. The optimism was short live when Roth made the announcement in the summer of 1985 that he was no longer part of Van Halen.
“Individually, we were so far apart that it was like night and day. We were never together, although it looked like we were from the public’s standpoint.” Alex Van Halen said. “That’s why in 1984 it was very natural for it to fall apart. We saw it coming, even though when it actually materialized it was a surprise.”
Cue the era of Sammy Hagar with Van Halen. Hagar fronted the band until his own departure in 1996 which in turn led to the reunion of Van Halen and Roth in 2007 followed by a new album in 2012.
“We accused each other of betrayal and thievery and lies and treachery,” Roth laughed in a 2012 interview with the Los Angeles Times. “And it was all true. We were all guilty. Dig up the past, and it’s going to get all over everybody. And, man, do we have a past.”
And at last, Van Halen and fans saw the restoration of Roth and Eddie together again.