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JUMP BACK!

Now that David Lee Roth is back in the fold, Van Halen is ready to rock on the road again.

Are you ready to run with the devil? Or, at the very least, how about a brisk jog?

Those aging rapscallions in Van Halen - guitarist Eddie Van Halen, drummer Alex Van Halen, vainglorious frontman David Lee Roth, plus Eddie's 16-year-old son, Wolfgang, on bass - announced a 25-date North American reunion tour Monday.

This will be Eddie and Dave's first tour together in more than 20 years. They had previously hated each other's guts.

Unfortunately for eager Floridians, though, we'll have to travel to hear such classic-rock staples as Panama, Hot for Teacher and Runnin' With the Devil. No Sunshine State stops are on the schedule at this time, but that could change in the next few weeks.

The band, so potent in the '70s and '80s, announced the news at a 15-minute press conference at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles. With the exception of the pubescent Wolfgang, all the band members are firmly in their 50s. But in typical Roth fashion, the singer said he's more than confident in VH's ability to fight Father Time.

"We think we got it right this time," said Roth, according to a report by Reuters. "You come and judge the performance harshly, please. I beg you, come on down and see."

Beefy bassist Michael Anthony is the only holdout from the original lineup, perhaps because he's good friends with singer Sammy Hagar, who alienated many a VH fan by replacing Roth in the mid '80s. Hagar and Eddie Van Halen have feuded the last few years, leading to the reconciliation with Roth.

No word yet from Wolfgang's mother, Valerie Bertinelli, who is somehow letting her underage son tour the country with one of the most notoriously naughty rock bands of all time. Wow, some kids have all the luck.

Right now, the closest stops to Tampa Bay include the tour opener in Charlotte, N.C., on Sept. 27 and in Greensboro, N.C., two days later.

But I have a feeling more dates will be added if this train wreck manages to stay on the rails. If they add a local stop - and there's a very good chance they will - it will probably happen in mid November or late December. The band's itinerary has some available dates at those times, plus Florida is a major market for classic rock.

FAIR WARNING: I saw Roth perform solo a few years ago, and it was the concertgoing equivalent of having your gums scraped. He was lackadaisical, bored; he sounded lousy, barely bothering to finish singing the hits. When he did his famous flying-V split off the drum riser, he looked like Wilford Brimley playing hopscotch.

But with guitar whiz Eddie erupting next to him - an Eddie fresh from rehab, no less - maybe Diamond Dave will find some of that ol' magic. He certainly seems to think so.

"Usually when a band comes back like us, it's rockers with walkers, and this is everything but," said Roth. "Meet us in the future, not the past."

Sean Daly can be reached at sdaly@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8467. His Pop Life blog is at blogs.tampabay.com/popmusic.

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