LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Eddie Van Halen said on Thursday he would enter rehab “to work on myself,” a move that appears to rule out a reunion by his troubled band when it is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next week.
The announcement came a month after he and former Van Halen singer David Lee Roth, his longtime antagonist, said they would tour North America in the summer. Within weeks, speculation arose the plans had run aground.
The Dutch-born Van Halen, 52, who has long battled alcoholism and survived a bout with tongue cancer, said in an open letter to fans he wanted to do right by them.
“I have always and will always feel a responsibility to give you my best. At the moment I do not feel that I can give you my best. That’s why I have decided to enter a rehabilitation facility to work on myself, so that in the future I can deliver the 110 percent that I feel I owe you and want to give you.”
He added: “Some of the issues surrounding the 2007 Van Halen tour are within my ability to change and some are not. As far as my rehab is concerned, it is within my ability to change and change for the better.”
The letter was released by his spokeswoman and girlfriend, Janie Liszewski, who did not respond to requests for further information.
The band, famed for such ‘80s hits as “Panama” and “Hot for Teacher,” is scheduled to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in New York on Monday. The appearance had aroused speculation, given the hostility between Van Halen and Roth, who quit in the mid-‘80s, and also between Van Halen and Roth’s successor, Sammy Hagar, who was ousted a decade later.
The band, which has not released an album in nine years, parted ways recently with bass player Michael Anthony, and Van Halen installed his 15-year-old son, Wolfgang. The lineup is rounded out by Van Halen’s brother, drummer Alex Van Halen.
In a 1995 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Eddie Van Halen said he had entered rehab twice. He recalled his only drunken-driving arrest came after he had left an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, appalled by everyone’s sob story, and stopped at a bar for a few shots.
“I always got hammered to be able to cope,” he told the magazine. “I have zero social skills and I don’t know how to act, so I get drunk. And then I make a real ass out of myself.”
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