IT'S BEEN off and on again for the past couple of years.
Now it's been confirmed - Van Halen, with their flamboyant frontman, David Lee Roth, is coming to Australia for the first time in a quarter of a century to headline a brand new weekend music festival.
The inaugural Stone Festival at Sydney's ANZ Stadium will also feature the original piano man, Billy Joel, the surviving Ramone, and high-profile Australian acts in what promoters bill as a once-in-a-lifetime music celebration timed for the Anzac Day weekend.
The two-day event will feature a commemorative motorcycle ride and hot rod show.
Although he is approaching 60, age has not wearied Roth. The lead singer ties back his long blond mane these days and has shed the skintight spandex tights.
He carries impact injuries from his robust stage act but continues to choreograph those aerobic leg split jumps.
''Nostalgia is the unrelaxed grip on the past because of the fear of the future,'' Roth said.
''It is an artist's sole responsibility to reflect their life - so whether you are a Beatle or an Andy Warhol or a music classic rocker, let's move ahead. If you are clinging to an old image it becomes kind of pathological, one-dimensional.''
Van Halen last toured Australia in 1998. This will be the first time the original line-up of the Van Halen brothers and Roth have graced these shores.
Their absence has not been for Roth's lack of interest. ''You'll have to ask the rhythm section [why]'', Roth quips.
He alludes to the acrimony that has mired Van Halen. ''They [the brothers] have approached their life from a much more traditional standpoint. They have families, they celebrate birthdays, they sleep regular hours more often than not; I'm truly a wanderer.''
Roth says Australian audiences can expect a playlist reflecting the band's heavy metal roots, its flamboyant pop tunes and tracks from the band's critically lauded 2012 album, A Different Kind of Truth.
''We are one of the few acts that could open for a Jimmy Buffett on one night and play with Metallica on the other and still move with alarming credibility.''
Roth remains unmarried and lives in Tokyo where he learns Japanese, sword play and Japanese fine arts.
''What I do have is groupies who are on their first and second divorces,'' he said. ''They email me in advance and describe exactly what they are going to be wearing.
''Yes, I do have issues.''
Tickets for April 20 and 21 will be on sale from Ticketek on February 21.