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Re: R.I.P. Eddie Van Halen

R.I.P. Eddie Van Halen
October 06, 2020 04:48PM
Re: R.I.P. Eddie Van Halen
October 06, 2020 07:37PM
I’ve never been a fan of the kind of speed demon tapping twiddle dee dee soloing he introduced to the rock world. But he was a great riffologist and songwriter. That first VH record is a genuine classic.

A lot of VH fans bitched endlessly about the replacement of Michael Anthony with Eddie’s son Wolfgang. (As if bass matters at all in that band.) In light of this news, I’m glad father and son got to spend the last decade or so making music together.
Re: R.I.P. Eddie Van Halen
October 07, 2020 07:57AM
I have a lot of cognitive dissonance with VH. I owned the first three albums in real time but I sold them to some fellow high school students in 1980 when I was through with them. They were nothing to emulate in their protracted adolescence, and that first album is cram-packed with cavity-inducing backing vocals slathered with processed, stacked harmonies that set my teeth on edge. DLR had a tendency to bray constantly like a mule in heat at the slightest provocation. Unlike any other artist on the thousands of recordings in my Record Cell.

But, when I saw a copy of "Van Halen" in the noughties for a dollar, I bought it. The songs are [largely] trash. Roth gets on my nerves. But the band is tight. The rhythm section are rollin' and bring a swing to the proceedings that works for me. "Ain't Talking 'Bout Love" is some amazing riffage. There's a reason why groups as disparate as Apollo 440, The Mighty, Mighty Bosstones, and The Minutemen wanted them some of that.

"Van Halen II" should have been a single. The quintessential sophomore album. watered, down, half-baked ideas left over from the debut; only not as good. "Dance The Night Away" was a great single, though. And "Beautiful Girls" had some much needed self-deprecating humor that made it work. I am still interested in hearing "Women And Children First" in spite of the super creepy title. Memory has it as good as the first one in my mind, but I've not found a super cheap copy of it yet.

Former TP subscriber [81, 82, 83, 84]

[postpunkmonk.com]
For further rumination on the Fresh New Sound of Yesterday®
Re: R.I.P. Eddie Van Halen
October 07, 2020 03:26PM
> There's a reason why groups as
> disparate as Apollo 440, The Mighty, Mighty
> Bosstones, and The Minutemen wanted them some of
> that.

And Aztec Camera. Their cover of "Jump" is one of the essential covers.
Re: R.I.P. Eddie Van Halen
October 08, 2020 09:02AM
True, but I was just citing the bands who covered "Ain't Talking 'Bout Love!"

Former TP subscriber [81, 82, 83, 84]

[postpunkmonk.com]
For further rumination on the Fresh New Sound of Yesterday®
zoo
Re: R.I.P. Eddie Van Halen
October 07, 2020 12:35PM
Fair Warning is brilliant. EVH's guitar playing, for better or worse (considering where you stand on such things) was revolutionary and inspired so many to pick up the instrument. A true innovator. One of those bands that for the most part, no matter the crowd gathered, you could play VH and those present would be OK with it. At least that was my experience. Anyway, not a band I listen to very often, but sometimes they just hit the spot.
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Re: R.I.P. Eddie Van Halen
October 08, 2020 09:59AM
Spot on there. In high school my buddies and I would throw it down to "In a Simple Rhyme" and "Unchained". At the time we all liked punk, alternative, 80's MTV etc but for whatever reason we reached middle ground with VH - air guitars in hand. Several years later we got back together for a spring break trip, we bought 5150 CD on the way there and it just felt right cruising towards the beach jamming it out, you know.

I actually got to see the band on the Diver Down tour and they certainly delivered the goods. I got my full $17 bucks worth and then some. Even brought out a small Gibson for Little Guitars. Our seats were called side stage but we lucked out as Eddie did most of Eruption right in front of us. Great show.
Re: R.I.P. Eddie Van Halen
October 08, 2020 03:34PM
"'Eruption' is a blitz of noise, technique and sheer propulsion, like someone stuffing Jimmy Page and Andrés Segovia into a blender with a bunch of Everclear and Hawaiian Punch. It isn't much of a composition, but that's a little like saying that Deep Throat isn't much of a love story." -- Jack Hamilton, Slate
Bip
Re: R.I.P. Eddie Van Halen
October 08, 2020 09:21PM
This death really bothered me, I guess because Van Halen were so ubiquitous in my musical upbringing. No denying Eddie was not only a brilliant guitarist but also great with good, catchy hook-filled rock. I grew up in a small-town; underage kids drinking beer on a secluded dirt road with Van Halen in the tape-deck was just the way life was.

Rather than the classics I’ve been listening to some of the oddball tracks like ‘little guitars’ and ‘secrets’ from Diver Down. They just had a knack for hooks.

Zoo is right....they appealed to surprisingly disparate circles and sometimes they just sounded right.
Re: R.I.P. Eddie Van Halen
October 09, 2020 09:50AM
"Little Guitars" is the secret classic in their repertoire - thanks for mentioning that one.
Re: R.I.P. Eddie Van Halen
October 09, 2020 10:38AM
I definitely agree with Bip. Eddie wasn't only a wiz on guitar, but he (along with his band) came up with great hooks. You could put together a mix tape of VH songs that haven't worn out their welcome on the airwaves, and it'd sound great in your car. And once you got to the party, that tape would rock the house with no complaints. Maybe that's why they weathered the switch from Roth to Hagar so well: even with the change (or perhaps because of it), they were able to keep the hooks and riffs and songs coming.

Van Halen's first two albums didn't make the biggest impression on me, at least not at first. I couldn't tell you why that's so -- the band's music certainly fit in well with the other artists I liked at the time. What did it for me was the live show. I saw VH right after I graduated high school, at an all-day rock show at the Superdome. Van Halen were fourth on the bill, below Boston, Heart and Blue Öyster Cult (and above Nazareth and Sammy Hagar). More than any other act on the bill, VH hit the stage with a take-no-prisoners fury. From Roth's high jumps off the drum riser to Eddie's backbends as he solo'ed to Alex setting his drums on fire at the finale, they packed more energy and enthusiasm into their set than any two bands they shared the bill with.

After that, I picked up those first two albums, and I've bought every one since. I saw them a total of five times -- twice with Roth and three times with Hagar (including the famous 1995 show at an amphitheater in Denver, where a foot of snow fell during their set). Sure, they were more of a balls-out party band with Dave, but more of a musicianly band with Sammy. Either way, they never let me down.

Rest in peace, Eddie. Thanks for all the great music and great shows.
Re: R.I.P. Eddie Van Halen
October 09, 2020 01:40PM
The Slate article quoted above can be found here. Worth reading IMO.
zoo
Re: R.I.P. Eddie Van Halen
October 09, 2020 01:42PM
When I was 12 years old, I found a cassette of the first Van Halen album on the side of the road as I was walking home from the bus stop. Not sure how it all came about, but a few months later I ended up trading that cassette for a vinyl copy of Cheap Trick Live at Budokan with my friend's older brother. (I never interacted with older brother...my friend was the intermediary. I don't remember the details of how the subject of a trade ever came up.) Anyway, I still have that album...I'm willing to bet that the other guy doesn't still have the VH cassette. Only time I can remember trading one album for another.

No real point to that story other than it came to mind as we're discussing VH.
Re: R.I.P. Eddie Van Halen
October 09, 2020 08:36PM
In an appreciation in yesterday's Washington Post, it said that the beginning of "And the Cradle Will Rock" wasn't EVH on guitar but EVH on a Wurlizter electric piano hooked to a Marshall amp. When they played it live, MIchael Anthony would play it as if EVH would never play anything but his guitar. The jig was up with "Jump" and the main synthesizer riff.

Even though I wasn't a super Van Halen fan, I liked a lot of their stuff (excepting most the Sammy Hagar stuff) but EVH was part of my teeenage years and this is a blow. I remember thinking how cool it was that he played on "Beat It".
Re: R.I.P. Eddie Van Halen
October 11, 2020 11:54PM
"Donut City" on CD, or in clean digital form. That's all I want.

_____________________________
"What's going on in there, Myra?"
Re: R.I.P. Eddie Van Halen
October 12, 2020 09:17PM
One time when I saw Hank Rollins, he said when he was a kid, you would go to whatever stadium rock show was playing, resulting in him and some friends going to see Ted Nugent one night. The support band was a virtually-unknown Van Halen who presented a totally massive set. When the 'Nuge came onstage, he was extremely pissed-off to the extent that Henry and friends got genuinely scared, especially when Ted unloaded on the audience.
They were not ever really my thing but I did always dig Eruption and I will always thank them for pissing off that prick.
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