Jason Isbell Says Band Was Potentially Going to Open for Van Halen ‘Kitchen Sink’ Reunion Tour

by Jennifer Shea
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Americana musician Jason Isbell regrets that the Van Halen “Kitchen Sink” Reunion Tour didn’t happen. Isbell and his band, The 400 Unit, were supposed to open a show on the tour, the musician said on Twitter.

Van Halen’s Cancelled Tour

Wolfgang Van Halen said recently that it was a “bummer” that the tour never materialized. Isbell picked up that quote and tweeted, “Man, such a bummer. It looked like we were gonna open one of those shows.”

“We’d already semi-confirmed Mike [Anthony] coming back and me opening,” Van Halen said in a recent interview, according to Ultimate Classic Rock. “Once that was kinda set in stone we had to put it on the back burner because Dad’s health wasn’t doing so well. Throughout that time we were like, ‘What if we took it a step further?’ And the more we talked about it the more excited we became. It was like, it could just be this grand finale of some sort.”

Van Halen added that it’s “nice” to see that the release of his tribute song, “Distance,” along with his interviews, have been giving fans “some sort of a therapeutic side, some sort of solace and closure, if you will, to my dad’s life.”

“He’s not here anymore [but] he’s definitely left a mark for eternity,” he said. “Right now this is all about Dad and ‘Distance’ and having all the proceeds go to his favorite charity. It’s kind of my gift and my tribute to him.”

Isbell Turned In CMA Membership

Meanwhile, Isbell recently made news for his decision to surrender his Country Music Association membership. He did that over the CMA Awards’ failure to honor John Prine, Billy Joe Shaver and Jerry Jeff Walker.

The CMA found no time to mention those artists this year. But it did manage to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the movie “Urban Cowboy,” the Tennessean noted. 

“I doubt anybody will care, but we cared a lot about our heroes,” Isbell said as he returned his membership card.

Outsider.com