The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame says they're not to blame for David Lee Roth skipping tonight's (Monday, March 12th) induction ceremony for Van Halen. Last week, Roth told the Los Angeles Times that he was barred from singing with Velvet Revolver, who will perform in tribute to Van Halen at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. But that's just not the case, according to Rock Hall President and CEO Joel Peresman.
In a statement, Peresman said, "The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is sorry that David Lee Roth will not attend this year's induction of Van Halen. We offered him opportunities to play and sing a Van Halen song of his choice with our house band, including his own guitar player, or a song with Velvet Revolver, and he refused those opportunities. We made every effort, and the decision not to come was solely his, not ours."
The Times confirmed what us originally reported last week -- that Roth wanted to do "Jump" with Velvet Revolver, but was told there wasn't enough time to get the song down. The newspaper added that Roth was given the chance to do "You Really Got Me" with Velvet Revolver, but he refused, partly because he said it's a Kinks song and not a true Van Halen number. And on Friday, Roth was told he could do "Jump" with the house band, which is led by Late Show With David Letterman keyboardist Paul Shaffer, but he said it was too late to make travel and rehearsal arrangements.
Last week, when Roth announced that he would skip the event, he told the Times, "I don't make speeches for a living. I sing and dance for my dinner... It's just not an option for me to go and watch some other band -- who are only performing because they have some new record coming out -- do our music. I have nothing against Velvet Revolver -- I'm not familiar with their music -- but that was my three minutes and 22 seconds up there."
Velvet Revolver play "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" and "Runaround" at the ceremony, which will air live on VH1 Classic beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET. The band's Scott Weiland and Slash will also give induction speeches for Van Halen.
As of now, the only Van Halen alumni who will be on hand to accept the honor are original bassist Michael Anthony, whom Eddie Van Halen fired last year, and former singer Sammy Hagar, who's done two tours of duty with the band. Eddie won't be at the Waldorf because he's in rehab, and Alex Van Halen is sticking close to the family's Southern California home base to be supportive of his brother.