This Was the Best April Fool’s Joke That Wasn’t a Joke
On April 1st 1985 the best April Fool’s joke that wasn’t a joke took place. Remember the line from the Wedding Singer “Now take off my Van Halen shirt before you jinx the band and they break up” that moment officially took place as David Lee Roth left the band on this date in 1985.
Van Halen had just come off their 1984 release, which was a huge hit for the band and part of the source of their break-up. Most fans look at the 6th studio album as their weakest, myself included. In David Lee Roth’s autobiography, Crazy From The Heat, he called the bands music “morose” at the time of his departure.
I remember when the announcement was made and like most people we thought it was an April Fool’s joke. How in the world could the biggest band break-up? Well, they did and David Lee Roth quickly put together a band, recorded an album and hit the road.
Roth put together a pretty good band with Greg Bissonette on drums, Billy Sheean on bass and the beast Steve Vai on guitar. His first studio album ‘Eat’Em and Smile’ was also a commercial success but that was the best of his solo run.
Van Halen brought in Sammy Hagar to take over vocals and while they had good success it was never the same. For most Van Halen fans we mark this as the day one of the greatest bands in Rock-N-Roll history broke-up.