David Lee Roth: Van Halen wants to do Super Bowl halftime


We noted last month that there’s speculation that Van Halen will perform the next Super Bowl halftime show. Lead singer David Lee Roth says the band hasn’t been offered the gig, but they’ll jump at the chance if asked.

Roth issued a statement via the website Van Halen News Desk (pretty sure this is the first time we’ve linked to that site at PFT) in which he described working Super Bowl halftime as a dream job.

“I’m compelled to address the now-rampant rumors that Van Halen is playing the Superbowl,” Roth wrote, apparently unaware that “Super Bowl” is two words. “First of all let me say this — be still my pigskin heart. That honor has not been bestowed upon us at this time though it is one we would accept in a NY minute.”

Roth noted that Van Halen songs are routinely played at stadiums during games and said he’d be thrilled to appear on the NFL’s biggest stage.

“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,” Roth wrote. “We are not on Commissioner Goodell’s dance card at this time, but we would be most honored to dance the halftime away in New Orleans.”

Roth will be 57 before the Super Bowl and Eddie Van Halen will be 58, so they’d be in the right age range that the NFL seems to like for its Super Bowl halftime shows, which have featured the likes of Madonna, The Who, Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty recently. I think a musician with New Orleans roots would make more sense for next year’s show, but from the NFL’s perspective, Van Halen looks like the right fit.

82 responses to “David Lee Roth: Van Halen wants to do Super Bowl halftime

  1. Also, they need to start getting youngER with their halftime acts. By which I mean maybe move to artists in their 40s? I think the Foo Fighters or Pearl Jam or the Red Hot Chili Peppers would be good for the halftime show.

  2. Well, I’ll take that over any hip-hop or rap any day. But they better get the job soon seeing as they just cancelled their tour because they can’t stand to be around each other.

    It’s just too bad we can’t get the Van Halen of the late ’70s/early ’80s when they kicked ass.

  3. Normally, the older generation performers they bring in at halftime of Super Bowl Sunday is a buzzkill. Not necessary to name names – we know who they are.

    But huge exception for Van Halen with DLR. Great tunes, awesome energy, unparallelled crowd vibe, etc. I, for one, would love to see VH electrify the “half-soused rabble” of a halftime Super Bowl audience.

    Give us VH!!!

  4. Except that they would undoubtedly try to cram in to many half-songs, feature Fergy popping out of the stage, have 3000 multi-cultural dancers, and absolutely screw this up.

  5. No more old people! Most of the people attending games are not in their mid 40’s or older! They are in their 20’s and 30’s! Play music people in their 20’s and 30’s can associate with! We don’t want to see these old people on stage anymore! We get it! No more flashing!

  6. Sounds good to me. What’s the alternative, some of todays “music”? LOL

    You know when old people from every generation say “well in my day music was good, but today it stinks”

    That was never true, until now. Today’s pop music is hideous trash. Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Jay Z, Nicki Minaj, LMFAO (really, a band named after a moronic internet abreviation?) Please, don’t make me laugh.

    Fact: All musical generation pre 2005 trump everything since.

    Bring on Van Halen and let’s all get hot for teacher.

  7. i’m not a die-hard fan, but i think van halen has broad enough appeal and would be a great idea.

    i’m wondering if maybe it’ll be someone like jay-z and a few other local artists. i can’t imagine them blowing off the opportunity for him to come on stage and perform Empire State of Mind on that day.

    and the game IS in jersey, after all (not nyc). bon jovi? springsteen? they up for re-runs? long island’s bill joel?

    choose wisely before we get biebered.

  8. No matter who they choose majority will be disappointed. I say Green Day. They put on an awesome show, sound great live and they don’t need a walker to get to the stage. Metallica would be a cool choice as well.

  9. Wow… A lot of hate towards Van Halen. I would rather have them then anybody on the radio these days (besides the Chili Peppers) and I’m in my early 20s. And in reply to the first post, Van Hagar is nowhere near the awesome of original Van Halen.

  10. Ok, I don’t think some of you guys get it. The purpose of the halftime performace is not to satiate the people who would otherwise be watching the game for football reasons (read: anyone who visits this site). The purpose is to draw in the crowds who don’t care about football. Just look at the past performances: Madonna, Black Eyed Peas, Springsteen, Petty, etc.

  11. Obviously a generation gap fueled debate. I grew upon the 1970’s, and speaking as a 48 year old man I say there is no better option than Van Halen to play the SB. I will add this; I’ve seen every VH tour, including the current one, and although the crowds in the sold out arenas are 40ish as a rule, there is also a large minority of teens, twenty and thirty somethings at the concerts. How many 40 year olds do you see at the concerts you pay to see @gadzod??? The point is that Van Halen is a cross generational rock band that people from all age groups will enjoy. I’m not sure you can say the same for today’s popular artists…

  12. Only problem with this, will David Lee Roth still be part of Van Halen when the Super Bowl happens? I guess the bookies could always take odds on that…

  13. gadzod says:
    Jul 10, 2012 11:30 AM
    No more old people! Most of the people attending games are not in their mid 40′s or older! They are in their 20′s and 30′s! Play music people in their 20′s and 30′s can associate with! We don’t want to see these old people on stage anymore! We get it! No more flashing!
    This isn’t a normal game, it’s the Superbowl and I doubt most people there are in their 30’s and below. They can’t afford to attend the Superbowl as much as the mid 40’s and above. Just don’t have a gangsta rap crap group!!! People in their 20’s have no musical taste!

  14. Americans: The Super Bowl Halftine show is not for you!!! The NFL heads are trying to push the NFL down foreigners throats (mainly Europe’s). They need acts that the Euro’s will watch because they know that American’s will watch no matter what. That’s why they had MIA on last year. I saw so many people on blogs last year saying that they didn’t know who she was. Everyone in Europe and Asia knows who she is, and she’s a big star there. People like Robert Kraft and Roger Goddell know that they already have your eyes and your wallets. That’s why those guys keep talking about London and Europe…

  15. Yeah but if they do they won’t be playing the song “Right Now” because Roth refuses to play Sammy Hagar songs.

  16. I love me some 80’s bands, but seriously ENOUGH with the has-beens. I don’t think my teenage kids had any clue who the past 5 SB halftime acts were they were so old.

  17. Saw them in LA recently. . Horrible act. . NFL needs to end the halftime show at Super Bowl cause it is garbage and it puts too much stress on the players in over extending the halftime

  18. My Morning Jacket or The Black Keys please.

    They are relevant and middle of the road rock that would please the masses as well as those seeking an act born after 1970.

  19. as a old big time classic rock guy this would be great. I know it must be tough for you youngsters trying to figure out what those things are they are carrying and playing(they are called instruments and real musicians play them) and to understand the person using the mic is singing and not lip synching talking fast. but back in our day this was called music! Eddie may be old but he still shreds and even a old washed up roth is better than whatever rap/hip hop/r&b garbage that passes for music today. if they want a show nobody will forget then pay whatever it takes to get Led Zeppelin to do it.

  20. AC/DC should be the next old-time rock and roll band to play at the Super Bowl. Seriously, how hilarious would it be for them to play “She’s Got Balls” on National Television.

  21. Does it make any difference who it is? Most SB watchers are in the bathroom, refilling the beverages, making another plate of natchos, etc.

    Let me know when the 2nd half starts.

  22. I think Van Halen would be great for halftime. DLR is right about their music being played at a lot of the stadiums out there, anyway – why not bring them in for a live performance? And for everyone bitching about how old they are, remember that Eddie’s son is now their bass player. That has to drag the band’s median age down into the 40’s right there.

    Speaking of old rock groups, KISS would be a pretty sweet halftime show as well. But they’d have to be at an outdoor venue.

  23. blacknyellablacknyella says:Jul 10, 2012 11:40 AM

    i’m not a die-hard fan, but i think van halen has broad enough appeal and would be a great idea.

    i’m wondering if maybe it’ll be someone like jay-z and a few other local artists. i can’t imagine them blowing off the opportunity for him to come on stage and perform Empire State of Mind on that day.

    and the game IS in jersey, after all (not nyc). bon jovi? springsteen? they up for re-runs? long island’s bill joel?

    choose wisely before we get biebered.

    The game is in New Orleans but we get your point

  24. Just once I’l like to halt a Lady Gaga/Beiber/Madonna show for 20 minutes and force all of their fans to watch a pre-season game between the Lions & Browns. What, you don’t like a meaningless sporting event in the middle of your mega-concert? Go figure.

  25. Just saw VH in March and was very disappointed in Roth. And I’m a Roth guy. In his time one of the best front men of all time. But his time is past. That being said Eddie is still awesome and probably the best guitarist alive today. I’m a die hard VH fan so I would love it even with an old Roth. I would much rather see an older rock band then any of the crap coming out today.

  26. Too all the people that say “no more old people”
    You 16-28 year olds don’t have money. k?
    So the NFL really can’t care less about who you want playing the halftime show.

    Furthermore, the NFL doesn’t care what the majority of NFL fans would prefer to see at the halftime show.

    The NFL uses the halftime show to get veiwership of people who would not normally watch a football game.

    What are Football fans going to do? NOT watch the Superbowl because of the half time show choice? No, Never, and the NFL knows this.
    They could roll out the muppets with Animal blasting on the drums and we would still watch the game.

    Get over the choices for the half-time show, it was never meant for you or us, only them.

  27. Interesting to digress from stupid off-season football commetary on hold outs, power rankings, and player arrests.

    And everyone argues even over something like this. Can’t we all just get along?

    But I digress. Folks, follow the money! The NFL wants advertisers. And they will bring in whoever they think will draw the biggest advertising bucks. Does the musical group appeal to the largest, or more importantly … the wealthiest group that will be watching the game?

    That said, DLR is so much better than Sammy boy. He just a Diva like no other.

  28. Normally, it’s the puppy bowl over the halftime show, but in this case, yes i would watch VH.

  29. Half time show is for non-smokers, women, and dudes that have to watch with their girls.

    Otherwise the rest of America is peeing, chugging beers, catching their cig break, and eating food while these horrendous half time shows are going on.

    I vote for dropping it all together.

  30. I saw them this year…. they were horrible & if the NFL wants to subject their fans to 15 mins of has-been… I will be in the kitchen invading the snacks.

  31. Might as well put the cast of Glee up there… It’s all about what Warden Goodell wants.. I’m 36 and not a fan of todays music but it should be what appeals to the broadest spectrum and not single out the mullets in the crowd with ripped up acid washed jeans and a BonJovi Tee. It really is sad how the communisoner tries to relive his glory days through half time shows.

  32. Agree Roth is hurting some on vocals. But the VH boys are still some of the best musicians in the business. More good than bad. VH rox. Give it to them!!!!!

  33. You folks complaining about the age of the last few acts have to remember something… the NFL needs a band that’s mature enough not to curse or offend. Madonna got upstaged last year by The Finger and the NFL had to apologize for that just as much as they did for Janet Jackson.

    Unfortunately, profanity is common language for younger people and they expect their music to have it as well. There’s no way the NFL will take a chance that someone whose lyrics are generally uncensored will keep themselves in check for 15 minutes.

  34. I saw them earlier this year in D.C. Perhaps, just maybe, Dave can remember the words to “I’ll Wait” if they get the Super Bowl halftime gig. He forgot them in D.C. ……Nah, on second thought, I doubt it.

  35. The last great SB halftime show was U2 after 9-11. It was epic and still raises the hair on the back of my neck. With all of the garbage acts in recent years, VH would be a breath of fresh air and probably have a phenomenal show. Bring them on!!!

  36. I wouldn’t mind Van Halen, but would prefer KISS to perform. The reason these older bands are asked because they have longevity and today’s music has no staying power. Who are the top rock bands of today? It takes a little more than a pre-recorded music and lip singing. Move over and let the big boys handle this and let today’s bands have Disney XM radio where they belong.

  37. I’m in my 20’s and honestly couldn’t name 3 VH songs. And it’s not a generation gap because Ac/DC Guns & Roses, and U2 are all in my CD collection. I think someone like AC/DC or maybe Dave Matthews band would be better. And if it’s about attracting the biggest audience world wide my vote would go to Cold Play, probably the biggest thing out there right now.

  38. mcjon22,

    Wow, well you are really missing out on some good music. I find that hard to believe that you can’t name three Van Halen songs so here are some real easy ones and by no means the best ones: Hot for Teacher, Jump, and Panama. Coincidentally, they all came off the same album “1984”. There are many, many more. Sorry, but Dave Matthews sucks, no thanks.

  39. Here’s an idea that could make everyone happy:

    Van Halen plays the halftime show and is introduced by one of those New Orleans funeral dirge bands.

  40. No 90’s, 00’s, or 10’s bands b/c they suck at playing live. They need voiceovers, and electronic help to sound even decent live.

    Classic rock and metal bands are the best at playing live b/c that is how they get noticed.

    Trans-Siberian orchestra would be an excellent choice IMO

    What is the need for millions of dancers at the Super Bowl, no one wants to see the dancers

  41. I would like to see some hip hop…I know I am going to get thumbs down, but I would like to see a non rock/pop performance for once.

    JAY-Z!!!! His halftime show would be awesome, although it will never happen as the older generations hate rap music.

  42. Oh please no. Just saw them live. David Lee Roth can no longer sing… or even remember how the songs go.

  43. Hell yes! They are still very relevant today. Their new album was #2 on Billboard, narrowly losing out to Adele after her Grammy dominance. Their current tour has been great, and they are on their way to perform in Japan and Australia.

    Definitely a global powerhouse, and Eddie is a virtuoso on guitar. This is a no-brainer.

  44. I’m not their biggest fan, and they probably don’t even watch football, but AC/DC would be awesome. I’m assuming they can still actually play their own songs, unlike The Who.

  45. Please Roger. Make this happen. The mighty VH is still extremely relevant. Their new album rocks! Old school VH.

  46. The concept between the SuperBowl halftime show should be to bring in a new and/or wider audience to the Spectacle. Between Van Halen and most of the Over-The-Hill or In-The-Margin acts commenters have listed here, I’ll be hitting the Head and Buffet line when the Half rolls around…and not necessarily in that order.

  47. Many of the “newer” artists/groups use a lot of computer enhancements to even sound tolerable and those are hard to do live. Lip sync shows suck no matter who it is. That said, Van Halen was great and both versions (DLR/Hagar) were powerhouse shows to see. Sadly, DLR’s vocals are shot. Eddie can still play but the group is a mere shadow of what they used to be.

    If the NFL is looking for an “older” group (with staying power and world-wide appeal) that can still bring it at a high level, two come to mind and have been repeated several times in the comments–AC/DC and KISS. Yep, they are old and yep, they can still outplay almost anything popular today. Both are renown for their “shows” and sound equally as good live as they do in the studio. Don’t bother with the dancers. Just set up the stage and let either of these two mega-bands do their thing.

  48. The SB Halftime is akin to MLB and the Republican Party. All three appeal to an aging, cultural, social and ethnic demographic that is getting smaller every single year……


  49. Even though I’d seen the VH show in Denver (and didn’t like it – found out once and for all Dave just can’t sing it live anymore) I’m down with a SB halftime performance from Van Halen. Some posters have pointed out, however, being it’s in New Orleans that some local talent would be a good call, and I also agree. Dr John, Buckwheat Zydeco or even the Neville Brothers would do nicely, but because none of them are as commercially successful as Dave and the boys, well it is what it is.

    As long as we’re NOT “Biebered” – it’s all good (props to the poster who coined that one LOL)

  50. Get U2 to play at halftime, they pretty much appeal to everyone, most know their songs word for word and they will put on a great show.

    Remember the halftime show after 9/11 they performed. Best one ever.

  51. They just cancelled like 75% of their tour for unknown reasons. As much as I love VH, it doesn’t seem like the wise choice when Diamond Dave is at the helm.

    I’ve seen them with DLR and with Hagar. While the DLR era music is by far superior, the show with Hagar as the frontman was a lot better.

  52. The only time I liked Van Halen was when David Lee Roth was with them. And after last years’s awful awful Madonna and gang…. get Van Halen for this year!

  53. I hate to tell everyone who says they want younger musicians for SB Halftime, but the show isn’t about the attendees, it’s for the television audience. That’s where the big money is at ! Keep’em watching the TV and those $1.5 mil 30 second commercials. That’s fact. Personally, I take advantage of the facilities for personal hygene reasons, and then grab some more beer and grub.
    How about a Guns n Roses reunion ?!! I’d watch that for sure !

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