During an interview earlier today (Thursday, September 12) with the Phoenix radio station KSLX to promote his upcoming Las Vegas residency, David Lee Roth touched upon the current status of VAN HALEN. He said: "I'm the face of VAN HALEN from this point on, most likely. I'm not sure what's happening with Ed [VAN HALEN guitarist Eddie Van Halen], but he's probably not gonna answer the bell this time. And it's not my place to guess. But we've been in touch. The fellows who I'm working with in terms of my road crew and the amps come from VAN HALEN."
Asked if he is implying that Eddie Van Halen has been dealing with some health issues as of late, Roth replied: "I hear all the same rumors that you do and it's not my place to guess."
Earlier this year, rumors were rampant that the classic-era lineup of VAN HALEN would reunite for the first time since 1984. It's unclear why the tour didn't happen, though there has been online chatter that a health setback involving Eddie Van Halen might have been responsible.
The guitarist was treated for tongue cancer in 2000, resulting in surgery which removed a third of his tongue. He was declared cancer-free in 2002.
In a 2015 interview with Billboard, Van Halen revealed that he had given up smoking cigarettes but blamed guitar picks for his cancer diagnosis.
"I used metal picks — they’re brass and copper — which I always held in my mouth, in the exact place where I got the tongue cancer," Van Halen said. "Plus, I basically live in a recording studio that’s filled with electromagnetic energy. So that's one theory. I mean, I was smoking and doing a lot of drugs and a lot of everything. But at the same time, my lungs are totally clear. This is just my own theory, but the doctors say it's possible."
In 2012, Eddie Van Halen underwent emergency surgery, having been suffering from a severe case of diverticulitis. The disease is a digestive disorder which involves an inflammation and infection of the colon.
Roth reunited with VAN HALEN in 2007 after 23 years apart and released a comeback album, "A Different Kind Of Truth", in 2012.
VAN HALEN has been inactive since it completed its U.S. tour in October 2015 in Los Angeles, California.
The trek was VAN HALEN's first since an aborted North American run three years earlier in support of "A Different Kind Of Truth".