Van Halen reunion grosses more than $93 million

Thu Jun 5, 2008 8:13pm EDT
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Despite a wobbly start and fears of imminent implosion, Van Halen said on Thursday its first tour with singer David Lee Roth in two decades grossed more than $93 million, a record for the rock band.

Van Halen played to nearly one million people during 74 arena shows throughout the United States and Canada, beginning September 27 in Charlotte, N.C. and wrapping Tuesday in Grand Rapids, Mich.

"We send our thanks to the countless new and longtime fans that helped make this tour our most successful," Van Halen said in a statement.

Roth, who left the band in 1985, rejoined guitarist Eddie Van Halen and drummer Alex Van Halen. But it was not a reunion of the classic lineup, as the brothers replaced bass player Michael Anthony with Eddie's son Wolfgang, now 17.

The reunion was initially envisaged as a summer amphitheater tour, but the trek was put off when Eddie Van Halen entered rehab. Given the historic bad blood between Roth and the Van Halen brothers, and concerns about Eddie's health, there was plenty of skepticism about the tour's prospects.

But Eddie Van Halen, displaying a buff physique, appeared to have lost of his prowess, while Roth was in fine voice. The reviews were positive.

During a news conference last August, Roth said he expected the band to embark on a new life as a recording and touring entity. The band's immediate plans are uncertain, but the statement said "exciting developments" were on the way.

(Reporting by Dean Goodman)

<p>David Lee Roth (R) and Eddie Van Halen of Van Halen perform at Tiger Jam XI in Las Vegas April 19, 2008. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>