Joe Satriani Finally Speaks Truth About Van Halen ’Reunion,’ Reveals How He Felt About Replacing Eddie Van Halen

This does feel like a weird year since plenty of unexpected reunions were either taking place or were being announced. It’s as if everyone was sick of sitting home for a long time and they just wanted to go out on the road. However, some absolutely unexpected and seemingly impossible names popped up, such as Van Halen and Pantera.

Of course, neither of these two bands has crucial original members in there. As for Van Halen, Eddie Van Halen, unfortunately, is not among us anymore. So how would this supposed “reunion” really work? Well, according to former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted who spilled the beans earlier this year, he was supposed to be a part of it, along with Alex Van Halen on drums, David Lee Roth on vocals, and Joe Satriani on guitar.

Joe Satriani - Surfing with the Alien (from Satriani LIVE!)

Now, the whole thing turned out to be just an idea that was never put to work. But it was, at least at some point, a very plausible thing. After months of speculation, nothing really came out of it, as revealed by Eddie’s son, Wolfgang Van Halen. Joe Satriani recently spoke up on the matter while talking to Ultimate Classic Rock, explaining:

“When I saw Wolfgang playing at the Taylor Hawkins benefit, I thought it was the most natural, beautiful thing I’d seen in a long time.”

“It was such a wonderful thing to see him play his dad’s music like that, and he’s such an incredible musician. I thought, ‘Well, if the thing is ever gonna happen, he should do it.’ It just seemed more natural than reaching out to somebody like me.”

“So, the world should just wait for him to make up his mind how he wants to do it, and we should leave him alone, let him figure out the best time and place for it. Whatever he comes up with will be the best way to do it, I think.”

He also adds:

“I jokingly told them on that first phone call that if I had half a brain I’d hang up right away and not accept such a crazy offer, ’cause nobody can replace Eddie, and whoever tries to do it is gonna get a whole lot of negativity from the world of social media.”

“But I heard myself saying ‘yes’ before my better judgment kicked in, because I am such a fan of Eddie and his work, and I thought, ‘Wow, it would be such a great labor of love to dive into that and try to understand the essence what he was doing for each song.'”

Photos: kitmasterbloke (Joe Satriani performs a set with his own band at Southend Cliffs Pavillion, G3 tour – 39928062360), Abby Gillardi (Van Halen-8597 (20643101375))


  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor.