This is from Melodicrock.com - a very respected and no BS site:
VAN HALEN WILL RETURN IN 2004 - AT LONG LAST!:
Van Halen is on the verge of a long awaited comeback. Long tortured fans are about to be put out of their misery, as the band looks ready to fire in 2004.
Details are still sketchy as plans are still in the very early stages of development and are therefore continuing to change as issues are sorted through.
Sammy Hagar is set to return to his role as Van Halen's lead vocalist. Original frontman David Lee Roth
is not associated with this re-union.
Here's what's been happening, pieced together from a couple of my well known and reliable sources.
It's not clear who initiated first contact. I was told that Eddie & Alex Van Halen called Sammy Hagar, while it was also suggested to me that it was Sammy that called the brothers out of the blue.
Either way, contact was established and an attempt to bury the hatchet was made.
Sammy Hagar then made a trip to Eddie's house and the 5150 studio. The idea was to see if Sammy, Ed and Alex could in fact put the events of the last 7 years behind them and work together again.
It was also a chance for Sammy to hear the material that has so far been written and recorded by Eddie and Alex. I'm told there have since been a few more meetings – which were apparently both good and bad, but issues are being dealt with and a future discussed.
Hagar has apparently already told members of his solo band of his plans to re-join Van Halen.
Hagar's legal team is already in discussion with Van Halen's legal team.
I was told that bass player Michael Anthony was not present at the first meeting and I am not yet aware of him meeting again with Ed and Alex, who he hasn't talked to for a couple of years now. But I was told that Sammy has insisted that Michael is part of the re-union line-up.
There is no timetable in place as yet for this re-union. As I said, this is still in the very early stages of being developed. A few ideas are still being considered – such as playing a few shows to get things started before recording/finishing a brand new studio album.
What is almost definite though are plans for a new studio album – hoped to be ready for mid-2004, but possibly not until late 2004 - followed by a tour.
News leaked overnight of the band's intention to sign a new management deal with Irving Azoff Management. Azoff's office has made the official "no comment" on the matter, but expect this high profile management company to confirm their equally high profile signing soon.
Irving Azoff is a well known and powerful manager, who currently has The Eagles, Christina Aguilera, Seal, Jewel and of course Journey on his roster.
Azoff has also been Sammy Hagar's solo manager for the last couple of years.
As far as record labels go, Warner Brothers still has a relationship with the band, given that every album they have released has been with the label. I'm told that they will certainly be the first in line to sign the band should everything work out as planned.
Irving Azoff also has a strong relationship with the label.
Sanctuary Records is being talked about as a possible home for the band, but don't expect that to happen. Hagar had a solo deal with that label, but only for the Greatest Hits Live release and a yet to eventuate re-issue of his solo albums Ten 13 and Not For Sale, which should still happen when the current deal with the two issuing labels for those albums finish.
Not so good news for fans of the Diamond one. David Lee
Roth is apparently out of the picture. It seems another attempt to work with him was made after the denied at the time get together in 2000. Once again it didn't work out and the Van Halen brothers have seemingly ruled out any future attempt to work with him.
This is the first contact the brothers have had with Hagar since he departed the band in a storm of ill-feeling in 1996.
Planet Us, the all-star project featuring Sammy Hagar, Michael Anthony, Neal Schon, Deen Castronovo and Joe Satriani is all but over – and has been for some time. The project has been left in the hands of guitarist Schon and drummer Castronovo. One rumor is that Neal Schon is still interested in such an album and has another singer in mind.
The guys only recorded two tracks together – Vertigo and Peeping Through A Hole – neither of which has been released officially.
There is still more to come.
I had planned to gather more information over the course of this week and the weekend, but the leaked news of the Azoff management deal by the music industry website Hits Daily Double has moved the timetable forward. A new Greatest Hits album was one of the rumors leaked in association with the management news. But, to date I have heard no mention of such a plan, unless the band wants to get something into the public's hands while they work on a new studio record. I personally do not see such a thing happening. Could it be time for the Van Hagar CD re-masters to be re-issued?
This is a slowly developing situation and of course, nothing has been announced officially. When this will happen is another major question.
The answer is one I hope to bring to you in due course, along with further developments and details of any firm plans that have been put in place.
It's nice to be able to bring such positive news to long suffering Van Halen fans. It's news I have the utmost confidence in.