David Lee Roth says that his new song, in which he offers a sad goodbye against a low-key guitar accompaniment, could be about VAN HALEN.
Lyrically, "Ain't No Christmas" sounds like Roth is closing the door on the current VAN HALEN reunion, with lines that include: "Sure looked good on paper, once upon a lie. Happily never after, and I'm not okay to drive.
"Let's put the pin back in this one, and say we both survived. Last blank space on the map I think we've arrived...
"Quittin' while you're ahead ain't quittin', and I'm quittin'."
After initially denying that "Ain't No Christmas" was about VAN HALEN — telling the Van Halen News Desk that "It's poetry. It has nothing to do with VAN HALEN." — he has since released a follow-up message, saying: "On second thought, if all work is autobiographic, maybe this song is about VAN HALEN..."
Greg Renoff, author of the new book "Van Halen Rising", was one of many fans who thought "Ain't No Christmas" was the singer's goodbye message to VAN HALEN. Renoff said: "Roth's vocal performance here is mournful and somber. His lyrics express feelings of bitterness and regret. My take is that the lyrics provide a commentary on Roth's recent months with VAN HALEN and perhaps a window into the future of VAN HALEN."
Rumors that Roth could possibly be succeeded by his original replacement, Sammy Hagar, have become more persistent during VAN HALEN's current hiatus.
Hagar sent a tweet to Eddie Van Halen last month wishing him a happy birthday — and got a cordial response — despite the bad blood that has existed between the two of them since 2004. Hagar later said that part of the reason he did it was because of the recent deaths of rock legends Glenn Frey and David Bowie.
VAN HALEN has been quiet since completing a North American tour last summer and putting out a concert set called "Tokyo Dome: Live In Concert".