Robert "Kool" Bell, co-founder of the legendary New Jersey jazz, R&B, soul, and funk group KOOL & THE GANG, spoke to The Morning Call about the band's seemingly unlikely support slot on VAN HALEN's North American tour, which kicked off on February 18 in Louisville, Kentucky.
"[VAN HALEN singer David Lee Roth] saw our show in London last year for the big Glastonbury Festival and as they were putting together the VAN HALEN reunion tour, he went back to his camp and said, 'Hey, man, I'd like to have KOOL & THE GANG open up for us,'" Bell said.
"They kind of felt it was a little strange in the beginning, but David kind of said, 'Hey, I think it'll work because in the '80s, VAN HALEN was sort of like the rock party band and KOOL & THE GANG was the pop funk party band. He said [VAN HALEN's] audience is 60 percent ladies — and of course, with 'Ladies Night', we wrote a song for them. So it all came together."
When asked whether the combination has been successful so far, Bell said, "The beer-drinking VAN HALEN [fans] at the tour the other night, they came in and by the time KOOL & THE GANG finished 'Ladies Night', they were jumping up and down. So they might have been hardcore fans in the beginning, but it's all kind of working out."
Read the entire interview from The Morning Call.
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