According to The Pulse Of Radio, former Warner Bros. Records executive Ted Cohen aleges in a new LA Weekly interview that VAN HALEN guitarist Eddie Van Halen's first wife, actress Valerie Bertinelli, was at least partly responsible for the group's 1985 split with singer David Lee Roth. Cohen, who was an artist development director at the label during the band's early years, said that the arrival of Bertinelli in Eddie's life around 1980 began to drive a wedge between the guitarist and his bandmates.
Cohen said that Bertinelli believed that Eddie should receive the bulk of the credit for the band's success, with Roth being replaceable. Cohen disagreed, saying, "David was an integral part of the band's success. He was brilliant." Cohen added that Eddie began to distance himself from the rest of the band, although he claims that Eddie finally admitted to Cohen one night at a bar that marrying Bertinelli was a "terrible mistake."
Although the couple stayed together for more than two decades, Cohen said it was no surprise that Roth returned to the group in 2007, two years after Eddie and Bertinelli divorced. Cohen said, "If Valerie had never appeared on the scene, David would probably have never been kicked out in the first place."
Reps for both VAN HALEN and Bertinelli did not respond to L.A. Weekly's requests for a comment.
Eddie Van Halen and Valerie Bertinelli had one child, Wolfgang, who is now the bass player in VAN HALEN alongside his father.
In a March 2012 interview with the Detroit radio station WRIF, Bertinelli was asked if she had any words of warning for Roth about how to treat her child on the road. "No, Dave doesn't need to have any words from me," she replied. "He's a grown man, he knows how to treat people. Everything with Dave is water under the bridge. I think he's doing an amazing job. I run into him very infrequently, but when we do, it's always pleasant."
Eddie remarried in 2009 to former publicist Janie Liszewski.
VAN HALEN recently postponed 31 dates on its current North American tour, with the official reason given as fatigue. David Lee Roth posted a video message online explaining the situation, saying that "the band is getting along famously, better than we have in quite some time . . . (but) if we continue past July 4 and all the way into Australia and Japan then we're asking for the robot zombie tour."
VAN HALEN is touring behind "A Different Kind Of Truth", its first album in 14 years and first with Roth since 1984.
Read the LA Weekly interview at this location.