Report: EDDIE VAN HALEN Pulls Plug On SOUL SIRKUS Support Slot

July 18, 2004

Andrew McNeice of reports: "Eddie Van Halen has pulled the pin on Neal Schon and Jeff Scott Soto's band playing in support of VAN HALEN on their two upcoming Californian dates. News of this filtered through to me this afternoon.

"SOUL SIRKUS were to open for VAN HALEN in Oakland and San Jose on August 10 and 13, respectively. But Eddie Van Halen has personally put a stop to this.

"The debut live dates for the band were announced a couple of weeks ago after negotiations between the two camps. Irving Azoff is the manager for all concerned. Azoff is JOURNEY and Neal Schon's longtime manager, adding a solo Sammy Hagar to his roster a few years ago. It was this move that threw Neal Schon together with Hagar, who together formed PLANET US. Neal brought in JOURNEY drummer Deen Castronovo and Sammy bought in his old friend, the then-unemployed Michael Anthony to round out the line-up. The band demoed two tracks before disbanding. Hagar and Anthony recently returned to action in VAN HALEN and Neal continued his vision for the project, teaming with Jeff Scott Soto and Marco Mendoza under the new moniker SOUL SIRKUS. Azoff now also manages SOUL SIRKUS and I am told that a support slot for the two Californian gigs was approved by Alex Van Halen. Sammy and Mike were naturally all for the plan. But Eddie Van Halen was apparently not informed at the time and upon learning the news, point-blank refused to let it happen. His decision was communicated to Neal Schon today. It was his demand that the SOUL SIRKUS support be cancelled and the band replaced with SILVERTIDE, who have been touring with VH on the majority of their US dates.

"One can only speculate why Eddie was so steadfast in his refusal to let SOUL SIRKUS support VAN HALEN on what was to be just two dates. Whatever the reason, it seems strong feelings from recent years remain very much at the forefront.

"If one looks back, the whole set of events that seemed to lead to a reunited VAN HALEN began when PLANET US first hit the PR trail in the earliest months of 2002. That included Michael Anthony's return to the headlines as part of PLANET US with Neal Schon, followed by Sammy Hagar's amazing co-headlining tour with the original voice of VAN HALENDavid Lee Roth."

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