What began as a year of celebration is quickly turning sour for Van Halen.
Founder and resident guitar god Eddie Van Halen has checked into rehab, according to a statement on his namesake band's Website Thursday, just days before VH was due to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
"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," Van Halen wrote.
"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."
Van Halen's move seems to confirm earlier speculation that his band's ballyhooed summer tour, featuring the return of David Lee Roth on vocals, was off.
Plans for the 40-date North American jaunt were announced to fanfare in early February, but, seemingly from that moment on, the entire enterprise seemed doomed.
By Feb. 21 Rolling Stone was reporting that promoter Live Nation had been informed that "the Van Halen tour had been shut down." The Los Angeles Times later pinned the reunion's demise in part on Eddie Van Halen's drinking.
"Some of the issues surrounding the 2007 Van Halen tour are within my ability to change and some are not," the rocker said in his statement. "As far as my rehab is concerned, it is within my ability to chance and change for the better. I want you to know that is exactly what I'm doing, so that I may continue to give you the very best I am capable of."
While Van Halen didn't specify what he was seeking treatment for, reports of his drinking swirled around the last VH tour, with second frontman Sammy Hagar, in 2004-2005.
"There were nights where it was kind of like a rollercoaster, up or down, and myself, I would have liked to have seen him totally clean up if we were gonna take this further and, like, 'cause, gosh, we could've gone all around the world with it," bassist Michael Anthony—who was going to be replaced by Van Halen's 15-year-old son Wolfgang on the upcoming tour—told Launch Radio Networks at the time.
Van Halen's self-imposed timeout also means he won't be on hand when his band is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Monday in New York.
Actually, whether or not Eddie and Alex Van Halen were planning to attend the ceremony was already up in the air, with drummer Alex figuring to skip it out of loyalty to his brother, and now it looks as if Anthony and Hagar will be the only representatives from VH's two-part golden age to make the scene.
Roth, for one, is refusing to go because event organizers have turned down his repeated offerings to perform. Instead, the Scott Weiland-fronted Velvet Revolver will play a medley of VH hits.
Although the idea of skipping the event "rips my heart out," the 52-year-old musician told the L.A. Times, "I don't make speeches for a living; I sing and dance for my supper."
"It's not an option for me to go and watch some other band—who are only performing because they have some new record coming out—do our music," Roth continued. "I have nothing against Velvet Revolver—I'm not familiar with their music—but that was my three minutes and 22 seconds up there."
While Roth couldn't confirm at the time that Van Halen was seeking treatment for alcoholism, the singer didn't shy away from suggesting that getting help would be a step in the right direction for Eddie and the band.
"Ed is indisposed and working toward a better future here," Roth said. "If Ed ever dries up, this is going to be a stadium act, man…What's happening here with this [Hall of Fame event] is part and parcel of the same spiral that screwed up the tour."