On Air

Van Halen, KOOL & The Gang…And YOU

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Van Halen (Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

Van Halen (Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

I bet you were just as surprised as I was when you found out [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Van Halen[/lastfm]’s opening act would be [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Kool & The Gang[/lastfm]! Let’s face it…EVERYTHING Is better with KOOL! And, both bands are party animals. Just look at their songs!

[photogallerylink id=66870 align=right]Van Halen has “Runnin’ With The Devil,” “Unchained,” “So This Is Love?,” “And The Cradle Will Rock,” “Jump,” “Panama” and “Hot For Teacher.” Kool & The Gang does “Jungle Boogie,” “Ladies Night,” “Get Down On It,” “Hollywood Swinging” and, of course, “Celebration.”

Here’s a tidbit you may not have known: both have roots in New York City’s Cafe Wha? Robert “Kool” Bell played the club in the ’60s with his group The Five Sounds Jr. while Van Halen’s frontman David Lee Roth hung out there in the ’60s as well. His Uncle, Manny Roth, was the original owner of the club (and VH recently played a invite-only gig there on January 5). As you DO know, both bands are family affairs. Kool & The Gang includes brothers Robert “Kool” Bell on bass and vocals and Ronald Bell on saxophone and vocals. Van Halen features brothers Eddie Van Halen on guitar and keyboards and drummer Alex Van Halen. Since 2006, Eddie’s son Wolfgang Van Halen has been the group’s bass player.

But it turns out that the group was offered the opening slot simply because David Lee Roth saw them perform at England’s Glastonbury Festival and thought they’d be the perfect band to round out the bill. You’ll get to see it firsthand on June 16th at US Airways Center!  Check out the video below to see the Bell brothers talking about the tour.

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