Amid the crisis, the guitarist released his 18th studio album, Shape Shifting , on April 10th, featuring the lead single “Nineteen Eighty,” which explores his earliest days in music and the inspiration of Van Halen. The guitarist spoke to Rolling Stone about postponing his tour, his new album, and why he’ll never livestream a performance from home. So my managers and I just started the ball rolling, saying, “We’re going to have to postpone these dates because there’s no way to ensure the safety of the band, the crew, and the fans.” It’s a really difficult subject to talk about because the relationship between foreign governments, their business community, the venue owners, and promoters is complicated. If you don’t come, then you owe us.” And unless the government says, “You’ve got to shut down for the good of public health,” they just figure it’s business as usual. I can tell you from personal experience that the promoters that I’ve worked with for 30-plus years all have taken big chances on booking tours for me in their countries. And during all of it, they showed remarkable courage and drive and raised five kids and loved us unconditionally, kept us clothed and fed and educated. So the three of us clicked, and just by accident, I wound up reaching out to producer and engineer Jim Scott, because Kenny had done a session there right before we were heading out on another Hendrix run. So, by the time I get to the late Seventies and finished touring with a disco band through the U.S., I’m a little discontented and disillusioned by the music business as a young musician. I’ve mentioned to everybody, “You know that means that I have to get my band and my crew all together in a room, which first of all violates the shelter-at-home rule?” And most of us don’t even live in the same city, let alone town or country.
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