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The band missed their 2007 induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, leaving only the banished Hagar and bassist Michael Anthony to show up for their trophies. But Eddie Van Halen’s time with Roth wasn’t over, and the guitarist and the singer reunited for one final album, 2012’s A Different Kind of Truth.
There had been an earthquake among fans when Roth first exited in 1985. The multi-platinum successes continued with Hagar for another decade, if minus the sharper edges of early Van Halen records. Critics turned against them. (The Village Voice opined: “Trading Dave for Sammy sure wrecked their shot at Led Zep of the Eighties.”)
Jones was onboard for everything. “I loved it all,” he says. “I like David Lee Roth and I like Sammy Hagar, and I got into arguments about that all the time. I bought every record. I worship them.”
In October 2019, Eddie Van Halen attended a Tool concert in Los Angeles. That night, a bearded goofball handed his cell to a random goatee’d dude to take his picture in front of the stage. The grinning, graying fan who obliged was not recognized as the mighty EVH, whose son Wolfgang captured the moment for Instagram, calling it “my favorite moment from the @Tool show last night.”
Soon after, the Van Halens went backstage to meet Tool, and Jones finally stood before this most crucial guitar hero. Eddie hadn’t been seen much since his band’s last tour in 2015, which ended with two hometown shows at the Hollywood Bowl.
“My most pinnacle moment is meeting Eddie Van Halen backstage with his son and the guy telling me how much he enjoyed the show and what a good job he thought I did,” says Jones. Tool’s tour manager Jerome Crooks set it up. “I still thank him to this day, and for not telling me that Eddie Van Halen was in the audience.”