Recently there’s been a lot of talk about reunions of the bands Van Halen and Pantera. Which begs the question “Are you out of your fucking mind?” I mean, what the hell is wrong with people? Just look at the situation in these bands as it stands right now.
Starting with Van Halen, guitarist Eddie Van Halen died in October of 2020. So, let’s just think about this for a minute…Eddie Van Halen wasn’t just any guitar player, he helped change the course of rock music and created a playing style and sound that was truly, all his own. I cannot fathom anyone being able to fill his shoes in any capacity in the band that is actually named after him and his brother Alex. Oh, sure there’s been people saying that Van Halen should continue with his son Wolfgang as the guitarist, but that’s preposterous. Besides that, let’s keep in mind that most recent singer David Lee Roth has been somewhat estranged from Eddie and Alex over the years, and former bassist Michael Anthony hasn’t performed with the band since 2006 over a rift with Eddie. That’s 15 years that he’s been out of Van Halen for those counting. Even if the stars aligned and everyone from the original lineup wanted to do it, I can’t see Alex even remotely considering doing it without his brother. Now, if all of the former members wanted to get together for a one-time tribute to Eddie with various guest guitarists joining in, I’d probably watch that. It would not be Van Halen without Eddie, but it would interesting to see them jam some songs in his honor.
Now, on to the Pantera reunion rumors, everyone keeps bringing up. Give that shit up! Similar to Van Halen without Eddie, who in their right mind wants to see a version of Pantera without brothers Dimebag Darrell and Vinnie Paul? I mean, just picture Phil Anselmo and Rex Brown on stage without the other two performing as Pantera. Oh, I know a lot of people have floated Zakk Wylde as a possible guitarist, and while he’s a great guitarist, he’s not Dime. Nevermind, who could Vinnie’s shoes on drums. I believe that answer is nobody. Again, maybe a one-off tribute concert to the legacy of Pantera, but even then you run the risk of tarnishing what truly was a great band that can never be again.
Speaking as a lifelong music fan, it absolutely sucks when some of your favorite musicians die. But, the best possible answer to those feelings is to simply enjoy the incredible music that they made during their time on earth and live with the fact that the past glory cannot be re-created again. Their music and their legacy are incredible snapshots of a time and place in history, at the very least, after major members of these bands have passed on, these artists deserve to be given a special place in music history without tarnishing the legacy of what they accomplished.