The 2010 VMA Countdown: Van Halen Get The Band Back Together (For A Few Hours)

The 2010 MTV Video Music Awards are only a few weeks away. The biggest party of the year features nominated clips by Lady Gaga, Eminem, Jay-Z, Ke$ha and Katy Perry and will feature performances by Kanye West, Eminem, Drake, Justin Bieber, Paramore, Usher, B.o.B, Florence and the Machine and Linkin Park. In order to properly prepare yourself for what’s to come, every day the MTV Newsroom Blog will deliver a classic moment in the history of the MTV Video Music Awards. Today’s installment: Van Halen run with the devil again.

The 1996 MTV Video Music Awards had plenty of winners. Smashing Pumpkins took home a number of prizes (including Video of the Year) for their poetic clip for “Tonight, Tonight,” Alanis Morissette scored a trio of Moonmen for “Ironic,” Coolio notched a few wins and Bush were declared Viewer’s Choice. Theoretically, Van Halen should have been one of the night’s biggest winners. Though they didn’t take home any trophies, they did get the biggest reaction of the night when the band appeared on stage with singer David Lee Roth for the first time in a decade.

It looked like the return of the key lineup of one of the best rock bands in history, but the positive vibe on stage didn’t last long. Guitarist Eddie Van Halen and Roth nearly came to blows after their appearance on stage when Van Halen kept discussing his hip surgery and the guitarist took offense to Roth’s goofing off on stage during Beck‘s acceptance speech for Best Male Video. What was supposed to be the big even that kicked off the triumphant return of a monstrous rock combo ended up inadvertently being the end of the short-lived reunion. Of course, all’s well that ends well, as Roth re-joined the band (minus bassist Michael Anthony) in 2007, and rumors of a new album (the first for the group since 1998′s Van Halen III) continue to swirl. It was explosive both on stage and behind the scenes, which makes it a classic VMA story.

The 27th annual MTV Video Music Awards will be broadcast live from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on September 12 at 9 p.m. ET.