'Be still my pigskin heart': David Lee Roth addresses Van Halen's Super Bowl rumors

Rumors to the contrary, lead singer David Lee Roth says Van Halen is not in negotiations with the NFL to play at this year’s Super Bowl halftime show in New Orleans — though, he says, they’d welcome the opportunity.

All of this started a few weeks back when Eddie Van Halen, in a talk with USA Today, made reference to doing “something special” as part of the group’s ongoing reunion tour with Roth — without specifying just what.

Not long after, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk made the halftime suggestion — and the rumor mill nearly popped off its hinges.

Already, Van Halen has had a spectacular year, having seen its new release A Different Kind Of Truth race to No. 6 on Billboard’s mid-year list of top-selling rock albums for 2012. Perhaps the NFL was trying to catch lightning in a bottle?

Roth has now posted an open letter to the Van Halen News Desk clearing things up — with all of the expected goofball Roth-isms included. He begins by declaring “be still my pigskin heart,” then adds “we are not on (NFL) Commissioner (Roger) Goodell’s dance card at this time, but we would be most honored to dance the halftime away in New Orleans. It’s an honor to be considered and for that we would like to thank the rumor mongers all over the World Wide Web.”

Roth seemed to remain genuinely interested in a Super Bowl halftime appearance, should that line of communication open down the road: “Having heard VH blaring through stadium speakers on any given Sunday – more like every given Sunday, the idea of playing there live would be like – ‘okay, now we’re in the game,’” Roth writes. “Playing at the Superbowl is a veritable holy grail of musical recognition, a highly prized rite of passage for (game-changing) artists. Not a spiritual rite with snake pits or Hebrew school or anything, but it’s up there.”

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Here’s a look back at our recent thoughts on Van Halen. Click through the titles for more …

VAN HALEN – A DIFFERENT KIND OF TRUTH (2012): It’s interesting that A Different Kind of Truth doesn’t always go for the easy hook (recalling Fair Warning), something that may surprise late-arriving fans of keyboard-driven pop successes like “Jump” (and certainly the subsequent period with David Lee Roth’s successor, Sammy Hagar). Some of the material requires more than one listen to completely absorb, and Anthony’s cloud-bursting tenor is missed at times. But A Different Kind of Truth has a way of burrowing in. That’s largely thanks to the presence of Roth, of course. He’s always good for spandex-splitting laugh or two.

AFFABLE MICHAEL ANTHONY SAYS HE WON’T PURSUE ROYALTY CASE OVER NEW VAN HALEN ALBUM: When David Lee Roth confirmed that Van Halen returned to the band’s vaults in search of old pieces of music and existing lyrics for a much-anticipated new album, it brought up the question of royalties for original bassist Michael Anthony. Van Halen had a policy, back then, of crediting all four members equally for each song — meaning Anthony could potentially make a case for a cut of the cash when it comes to A Different Kind of Truth. That won’t happen, though. Anthony, who was ousted from Van Halen along with singer Sammy Hagar in advance of this reunion with original frontman Roth, says he won’t be lawyering up.

SOMETHING ELSE! FEATURED ARTIST: VAN HALEN: A long-waited reunion with original lead singer David Lee Roth has Van Halen back in the news … and us digging through some old albums. Here’s a look back at a few favorite moments with Roth — and yes, Sammy, too — including “Runnin’ with the Devil,” “Hot for Teacher,” “Jamie’s Cryin,’” “Good Enough,” “And the Cradle will Rock” and “Ice Cream Man.” Let’s start shredding!

ON SECOND THOUGHT: VAN HALEN – A DIFFERENT KIND OF TRUTH (2012): I stand corrected – and pleasantly surprised, too. When I went into my first listen of Van Halen’s A Different Kind of Truth, I was expecting a steaming pile of mediocrity. Instead, the album is loaded with big, crazy riffing from Eddie Van Halen. As I listen to the record, I keep coming back to one word – swagger. That could be a complete review of this album in itself. It’s something that the best work from Van Halen has always had, and something that, for me, was often missing in the post-DLR version of the band.

Something Else!

The Something Else! Reviews webzine, an accredited Google News affiliate, is syndicated through Bing News, Topix and AllAboutJazz.com. The site has been featured in The New York Times, NPR.com's A Blog Supreme, the NoDepression.com Americana site, Popdose.com and JazzTimes, while our writers have also been published by USA Today, Jazz.com, Rock.com, Blues Revue Magazine and UltimateClassicRock.com, among others. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
  • 1984redux

    VH will show 1 Billion people how it’s done son.

  • S. Victor Aaron

    I sure hope they’re given the chance to put on that clinic.