Rush and Van Halen occurred to be staying at the same hotel in Leicester, England for their live gigs in the 1980s. It was Eddie Van Halen’s birthday, so the band went to the pub to celebrate. It turns out that Rush had rented out the bar that night. The rest, well, David Lee Roth told Creem about what transpired that night in a 1981 interview. Here’s where Roth started telling the story of the night Eddie Van Halen and the rest of Van Halen were barred from Rush shows: “We’re going to travel back in time a year to Leicester, England.” You’ll need to look it up; it’s spelled with a ‘ie’ or something. We’d just performed a tremendous gig with Van Halen, and it was Michael’s [Anthony, bassist] birthday.” Roth stated that when Van Halen realized that Rush had covered the bar, his bandmates went all in. He remembered: “When we returned to the bar, Rush was staying at the same hotel.” And, as it turned out later, they’d rented the bar, along with all the liquor. And our people were unaware of this, so they came in and exclaimed, ‘What, free booze?!’ Whoa!!’ And they cleaned the premises up, which made their guys nervous.
” Eddie and Geddy were sitting at the same table, which did not go well for Van Halen. The rocker elaborated: “Edward was at the table with Geddy Lee, and they’d both had a little bit to drink, and Geddy was playing some Rush tapes on a tape recorder.” Ed’s beer slipped into the tape recorder after he said something to him. That did cause some friction.” After the tape recorder incident a year later, Van Halen understood Rush’s message loud and clear. Roth went on to say: “Jump ahead a year – Las Vegas [not Los Angeles] 1981. Rush is performing before Van Halen in Las Vegas, and rumor has spread that no one from Van Halen is permitted to attend the concert. Nobody. Nobody, no road crew.” There appears to be no bad blood, as rumors persisted years after the disaster that Geddy Lee was establishing a super-band with Alex Lifeson and Alex Van Halen. Although no formal comment was issued by the performers, no one rejected the rumors either.