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Van Halen Appreciation thread


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1 hour ago, 0xdeadbeef said:

My one and only time seeing Van Halen live was at the Monster's of Rock Tour in 1988 at Candlestick Park (SF).

The band order was:  Kingdom Come, Dokken, Metallica, Scorpions, Van Halen. 

Van Halen was riding high with OU812, and without a doubt had the largest crowd, but Metallica figuratively stole the thunder.  "Master of Puppets" had been out a couple years and "And Justice for All..." was going to be released a few months later.   On top of that, they were a Bay Area band; this was like a home-game for them.

The Scorpions were the big losers.  Squeezed between Metallica and Van Halen. The Scorpions quote hard rock unquote sound just wasn't built to follow Metallica and wasn't as grand as Van Halen.  If they were following Dokken and leading into Van Halen, they would have been in a great spot, but the way it worked out, they came across as old and stale.

 

The biggest thing I remember from the Van Halen set was Michael Anthony had probably the worst Bass solo I've ever heard.  I have no idea if he was drunk, stoned, or just sucks at solos.  

 

I mentioned upthread that I saw the same tour in Houston at Rice Stadium. As I recall Dokken got a bit rained out which was fine, because they sucked. Metallica came out and destroyed everything. Security was blasting the crowd with hoses and water to keep us all alive during their set. Scorps were great on that particular night and the crowd was super into their set. VH tore it up of course. The midday stadium-wide trash fight was clearly the big winner that day, however. 

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10 hours ago, Rimbo said:

Paraphrasing Ted: When you heard Eddie play guitar, you knew immediately who it was, and that you were hearing a transcendent talent. When you heard him play keyboards, it could've been just anyone playing. There was nothing special about his keyboard playing.

But it was more the circumstances around the album, the way Donn and Ed kept falling further into far too much coke and booze, getting very weird and paranoid about what Dave and Ted wanted... Dave and Ted just wanted to finish the album on schedule! They wanted their gifted engineer and guitarist to be on time and sober for half a day at a time!

The blame Ted puts on Sammy mostly comes down to him being opportunistic; he truly believes Dave and Ed make up if Sammy doesn't inject himself into the mix, because he had seen bands go into spats like that before. But once Sammy tried out for VH and got in, both sides dug in their heels. And based on the... shall we say, numerous discrepancies between what Sammy says happened vs many verifiable facts about what happened (and others' accounts)... Sammy doesn't come out looking like a very good person in all this.

This makes a lot of sense. 
It sucks big time, but yeah, I can see all of this happening.

Alcohol, drugs, fame, success, money and EGO; typically a baaaaddd combination.

Again, appreciate the info and synopsis!

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6 hours ago, horn4life said:

Saw Van Halen open up for Black Sabbath in 1978, walked out on Sabbath.  Used to play that shit so loud in high school it was crazy.

This hits close to home…meaning, I saw The Cult open for Metallica in ‘89 (or was it ‘90?)..anyway, I walked out on metallica🤷🏻‍♂️😬😂

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I think that with ANY band, it's hard to recreate the initial shows where the band itself is fucking fired up!  Before the sex, drugs, rock and roll tour, endlessness takes its toll.  Sammy Hagar is a better musician and has a better voice. But David Lee Roth early on knew how the fuck to put on a Show!  I young athletic guy running around like a manic doing air splits is just better to watch juxtaposed against the same music. 

I've seen both and the fact of the matter is you just can't recreate the buzz and thrill for both band and audience when they were promoting their initial album.  Supposedly this is the set list from that show in '78.  It's short but they were the warmup, and I felt sorry for Black Sabbath having to follow this shit up.  here is a link where you can click on each song.  The band poured their energy and excitement into this to PROVE they were the real deal, and they were!  1978 set list link with clickable songs. Click on that set list.  It will run through each song.  I think you will find it extremely hard to argue that seeing an early show with a band trying so hard to make a name for themselves supporting this particular group of songs from their first album is not actually the pinnacle for seeing the band live.  

  1. Guitar Solo

I guess my analysis of VH as a longer term band is that Hagar was a better fit.   And if there is one integral thing to being an exciting front man over time it's... hair.  Roth rocked the shit out of his when he had it, and for me the show and the youth and excitement were irreplaceable by Sammy Hagar.  But without Hagar's professionalism and affability Van Halen might not have even had anything to debate about.  Hagar has the better voice IMHO at least in vocal range.  But Hagar simply wasn't there for this tour and album.  And no other Van Halen album never caught as fully that lightning in a bottle as their early touring, when the band was hungry.

I just listened to that entire set list, and no wonder I remember it as one of the greatest concerts I have ever seen (and I have seen some doozies). 

 

 

Which reminds me, go see some young guns, who are trying to make a name from themselves.  That's how bands like Van Halen find their way, with a little local support at first.

 

 

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I mean I like Sammy more than Dave as a person, but frankly I would not put on any VH album after 1984. It's just a different dynamic. And I absolutely don't just hang that on Sammy at all, the band was going that way regardless

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36 minutes ago, horn4life said:

Which reminds me, go see some young guns, who are trying to make a name from themselves.  That's how bands like Van Halen find their way, with a little local support at first.

I WANT and NEED to do more of this.  Problem is, I’m typically busy with kids-> Case in point, I had to forego PJ in OKC for our youngest’s Vball event back in September- So my next opportunity to see them is…????  More to the point, my next concert is in two weeks in Palm Springs with that same daughter. 
We live in DFW-area. 
I travel to OKC, Tulsa, Shreveport/Bossier, Monroe and up into AR for biz. Would appreciate any/all advice on which venues/clubs to catch GOOD music, to chill and have a beer…

Good stuff! 👏🏻👏🏻🙌🏻🤘🏻

 

 

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5 minutes ago, G650 said:

but frankly I would not put on any VH album after 1984

Although, I only got to see “Van Hagar” (🙄), this is exactly how I feel. 
I got burned out on “5150” and had moved on to more alternative stuff in the late-80’s/early 90’s…

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I know I’m in the minority but like a lot of the stuff with Sammy. Sure it’s way different than early VH but still good imo.

That’s not saying that I like it better than the early shit, but I do like most of it more than fucking Jump.

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39 minutes ago, tbone_ said:

I know I’m in the minority but like a lot of the stuff with Sammy. Sure it’s way different than early VH but still good imo.

That’s not saying that I like it better than the early shit, but I do like most of it more than fucking Jump.

There's some stuff with Sammy that I like that I'm pretty sure no one else does, like "Mine All Mine."

And I honestly love Balance.

But. Man. See, I didn't get to see them live for the first time until the FUCK tour. (Sheltered childhood.) So it was a while before I got to see them with back with Dave again. After seeing them on their first reunion tour with Dave (with Wolf on the bass), I immediately realized - and I am talking immediate here, from the moment that first opening note hit - that I'd been watching a phony version all that time.

Edited by Rimbo
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1 hour ago, tbone_ said:

I saw that last tour with Dave. I thought he looked and acted like a cartoon character.

Yeah, for me it wasn't the last tour (the one after A Different Kind of Truth) but the one before that album.

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Dave was already getting a little past his prime on his first solo tour with Vai, etc.  He was the quintessential rock god with Van Halen, especially early on.  Then his inner Borscht Belt showman took over and . . . well . . .

Classic Rock In Pics on Twitter: "David Lee Roth right before he landed on  the microphone stand and broke his right foot, 1979  https://t.co/80USOxCoDS" / Twitterimage.png.79368d4788a1ee44c70ff79afbd20c3b.png

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19 hours ago, honolulu horn said:

I mentioned upthread that I saw the same tour in Houston at Rice Stadium. As I recall Dokken got a bit rained out which was fine, because they sucked. Metallica came out and destroyed everything. Security was blasting the crowd with hoses and water to keep us all alive during their set. Scorps were great on that particular night and the crowd was super into their set. VH tore it up of course. The midday stadium-wide trash fight was clearly the big winner that day, however. 

I was at the Houston show at Rice as well. Your review of the bands that day is spot on. Funny thing is this is basically the show that finished Dokken. They were fighting on stage and had lots of tech problems. I don't think they ever played another show after that day. Also, I snuck in a camera and got an awesome shot of EVH jamming at the front of the stage. 

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10 hours ago, tbone_ said:

I know I’m in the minority but like a lot of the stuff with Sammy. Sure it’s way different than early VH but still good imo.

That’s not saying that I like it better than the early shit, but I do like most of it more than fucking Jump.

If you don’t like EVH’s guitar on 5150, you’re a fucking retard.

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I had a Peavy Bandit 112 as my first amp back then. Ridiculous loud for its size.

 

I was feeling nostalgic not too long ago and thought maybe I'd pick one up. Then I listened to a few on YouTube and was like nah I'm good lol.

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On 1/22/2023 at 9:31 PM, HenryJames said:

If you don’t like EVH’s guitar on 5150, you’re a fucking retard.

Eddie is my number 2 guitarist all-time, behind SRV. (No one spends time learning Hendrix songs anymore. That's science.) I celebrate Van Halen's entire catalog (But prefer DLR. As someone once said, Hagar was great, but Roth made them dangerous), but Why Can't This Be Love is my absolute favorite VH track (pure pop perfection). It wasn't until I was in college that I found out it was a keyboard song. Learned a lot about myself that day. Still coming to terms with it.

Edited by BoomMF
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3 hours ago, tbone_ said:


What did you find out?

Sounds like it wasn’t a technical marvel….heavy, muddy….however, made a lot of noise for the buck. The 80s crowd still looks back on them with some fondness. Brief check of reverb showed prices 200 for a turd and 600 for mint

 

 

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30 minutes ago, jimmyjazz said:

Those 80s solid state amps were brutal.  I joined a band at the request of a pretty decent guitarist/songwriter and the full on laser-tone blast of his Randall full stack nearly deafened me.  I didn't last long.

My bass amp is a Peavey Combo 300. It's enormous, it's loud, it's cheap to repair, it's very versatile... and the sound is muddy and headache-inducing. BUT, ever since I replaced the paper speaker basket with a nylon one in the early 90s, it sounds... better.

this has nothing to do with Van Halen of course

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45 minutes ago, Rimbo said:

i forgot to mention it also weighs several gazillion tons 

 

Yeah my bassist has had the 300 watt head and 2 x 15 cab since I've known him. I'm honestly partial to it at this point.

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