Kool & The Gang co-founder Robert “Kool” Bell admits it took some getting used to at first but is enjoying the thrill of opening for a reunited Van Halen.
[photogallerylink id=166 align=right]
It seems like an unlikely combination: A joining of forces between 1970’s pop-funk titans Kool & The Gang and heavy metal legends Van Halen for VH’s ongoing reunion tour.
However, according to Robert Bell, the two different styles are coming together nicely for fans attending the concerts, with Kool & The Gang as the opening act and Van Halen as the headliner.
“The beer-drinking Van Halen [fans] at the tour the other night, they came in and by the time Kool & The Gang finished ’Ladies Night,’ they were jumping up and down. So they might have been hard-core fans in the beginning, but it’s all kind of working out.”
So who concocted this ingenious idea?
Why, it was none other than the Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth himself.
“He [Roth] saw our show in London last year for the big Glastonbury Festival and as they were putting together the Van Halen reunion tour, he went back to his camp and said, “Hey, man, I’d like to have Kool & The Gang open up for us.'”
“They kind of felt it was a little strange in the beginning, but David kind of said, ‘Hey, I think it’ll work because in the ’80s, Van Halen was sort of like the rock party band and Kool & The Gang was the pop funk party band. He said [Van Halen’s] audience is 60 percent ladies – and of course, with ’Ladies Night,’ we wrote a song for them. So it all came together.”
It’s definitely working, because they are playing in front of packed stadiums night in and night out.
Kool & The Gang and Van Halen will be in Boston at the TD Garden this Sunday, March 11. Click here for tickets.