Roth Ready To Pick Up Van Halen Torch

Will they reunite or won't they? That's the question David Lee Roth-era Van Halen fans have asked since former Extreme singer Gary Cherone exited the band in late 1999. In an effort to keep fans abrea

Will they reunite or won't they? That's the question David Lee Roth-era Van Halen fans have asked since former Extreme singer Gary Cherone exited the band in late 1999. In an effort to keep fans abreast of the goings on, and to stem the flow of rumors, Ro th today (April 19) posted an audio statement on his Web site addressing the issue.

"About a year ago myself and the great Van Halen band played together once or twice and it sounded amazing," Roth says. "In the following several months... [guitarist/ban dleader] Edward Van Halen and me, David Lee Roth, created some of the most amazing, phenomenal -- the hands fell off the clock ladies and gentlemen... and we wrote three astonishing tunes."

"That was last July," he continues, "and since then I haven't be en up to the studio, we haven't really been in touch and we haven't made any music. But I am holding forth, I'm in the shape of my life, and I got the high note -- I'm ready to go. And I am positive for the future, ladies and gentlemen."

While Roth is le tting his feelings be known, the band is, as has long been the case, remaining silent. Van Halen's Warner Bros. representative was not available for comment at deadline.

Roth was dismissed from the band in 1985 after a long-simmering falling out with gui tarist Edward Van Halen, following the successful "1984" album and tour. He was replaced by Sammy Hagar, who fronted the band through 1996, a commercially successful period that produced four studio albums and the 1993 concert set "Van Halen Live: Right H ere, Right Now."

Following a reunion of the Van Halen brothers -- Edward and drummer Alex -- and bassist Michael Anthony with Roth to record two songs for 1996's "Best of Van Halen, Vol. 1," it was Hagar's turn to leave. The singer -- who has since resu med his solo career -- claims he was fired; the band claims he quit. Either way, following a public show of solidarity as presenters at that year's MTV Video Music Awards, Roth was again let go, and Cherone was asked to join the band.

With Cherone, Van H alen released only one album, 1998's "Van Halen 3." Although it debuted at No. 4 on The Billboard 200, it has to date sold a disappointing 510,000 copies in the U.S., according to SoundScan. Cherone exited the fold in November 1999, and outside of a brief statement regarding Edward Van Halen's outpatient trials for preventative cancer treatments, and the remastered reissues of several of the band's albums, there has been little heard from the Van Halen camp since last year.