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Van Halen Reunion

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Back in the days when I was a Punker in my suburban neighborhood, I was in a bind. Punk Rock girls were far and few between, even in high school. The girls there liked Van Halen. I did too. Before Punk I was a KISS fan and when Gene Simmons produced Van Halen's first album, I bought it and liked it. They were a level above to all the hair metal bands out there at the time. So I went to see them with some buddies and was bowled over at the sheer audacity, guitar mastery and total fun of their performance. And being near the front of the stage, there were hundreds of girls to enjoy the show with (if they even knew you were there).

Here's Van Halen in 1984 (same time I saw them) performing Hot for Teacher.

Well, they have reunited. Unfortunately, Michael Anthony won't be in the line up, but Eddie's son, Wolfgang will replace him. I watched the press conference and of course David Lee Roth was the spokesperson. But Eddie looked a lot healthier and the band is guaranteeing a good show (they better...tickets will go anywheres from $200 and up). They have been rehearsing for over a year.

Here's some clips of them rehearsing at the L.A. Forum.

Well, it is a rehearsal, but they look and sound like they are getting there as far as performing live, on stage and in front of an audience. I'd like to see them, but I don't think I can shell out the money this time (tickets for the '84 show was about $15.00). Their web site says all the shows are sold out anyway.

I've seen reunion shows of Punk/New Wave bands and some were great (X, Iggy & the Stooges, Bauhaus) and some were horrible (Fear, Circle Jerks).

What's your take and what was your best reunion show you saw (or want to see)?
post #2 of 8
My take on this... it sucks. I'm absolutely a fan of both Van Halen's. The weaknesses of of each were respectively the strengths of each. I'm old enough that almost all the bands I've enjoyed have tossed and gained and retossed, etc. members over the years. However Van Halen as a group has been gone every since they tossed Sammy Hager. VHIII and basically repackaging old work since then. It has basically been ultra-narcassistic Eddie and whoever can tolerate him that week since there is always a crap-load of money to be made.

Those clips from the Forum are sad in my view. You look at David Lee Roth and man what a mess he has become. The clip from their heyday shows him all over the stage. The clips from now show him standing like a statue waiting for a bird to crap on him. He smiles too big, acts like he is on some sort of meds and the way he talks reminds me of someone who doesn't know how to act anymore without being drunk all the time.

Eddie's son looks like he doesn't know what the hell he is doing up there.

Eddie is looking MUCH healthier as you noted, but if he can't work within a framework, it just goes to waste. We all know he can play great guitar but everyone needs input and he won't accept any. We want music, not a 10 minute masterbatory pluck-a-thon.

I would love to hear their take on some of the Hager era stuff with Dave. It could be interesting.

I haven't seen really any reunion show that I can recall. I'll gladly admit that not all members are as essential to making a group a group, but if you seriously leave a certain person out, then I just won't go. I've been interesting in seeing Journey, but Steve Perry is not with them, and likewise Styx has no Dennis Deyoung along, so no go for them as well.

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

I haven't seen really any reunion show that I can recall. I'll gladly admit that not all members are as essential to making a group a group, but if you seriously leave a certain person out, then I just won't go. I've been interesting in seeing Journey, but Steve Perry is not with them, and likewise Styx has no Dennis Deyoung along, so no go for them as well.
Nick

True. I find it silly that two bands who had an essential back beat; Led Zeppelin and the Who have carried on this far. You just can't replace Moon/Enthwistle or Bonham. The Stooges though were I think better than they were when they started and having the Minutemen's Mike Watt for bass was a genius move on Iggy's part. X was lucky to get Billy Zoom out of the garage to tour again and it was flawless. Only Bauhaus was a disappointment because of their egos (they were an hour late and performed less than 90 minutes. What they did play was their greatest hits, but I had seen them before back in the day.

Oh, and who is this Sammy Hagar you speak of and when did he play with Van Halen?
post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by @_@ Artman View Post

True. I find it silly that two bands who had an essential back beat; Led Zeppelin and the Who have carried on this far. You just can't replace Moon/Enthwistle or Bonham. The Stooges though were I think better than they were when they started and having the Minutemen's Mike Watt for bass was a genius move on Iggy's part. X was lucky to get Billy Zoom out of the garage to tour again and it was flawless. Only Bauhaus was a disappointment because of their egos (they were an hour late and performed less than 90 minutes. What they did play was their greatest hits, but I had seen them before back in the day.

Oh, and who is this Sammy Hagar you speak of and when did he play with Van Halen?

Zeppelin hasn't carried on, except for this one off reunion for record label dude.

The Who... Moon/Enthwistle were incredible but you speak of someone who hasn't seen the nw Who. Starky and Pino will put up a challenge to any back beat duo ever. And that's the truth. And Roger and Pete are perfectionist and in great shape. The Who, even in half still kick major ass.
post #5 of 8
My response to this...

Meh.
post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

My take on this... it sucks. I'm absolutely a fan of both Van Halen's.

Nick

Weren't there three Van Halen's? Dave, Sammy, and that other guy (Van Halen III). I liked the Sammy era the best because he actually could play the guitar.

Also what bothered me about their studio albums, was the mixing, it was all about Eddie's guitar, and very little booming bass (drums and bass guitar). Got to have that thumping bass!
Every eye fixed itself upon him; with parted lips and bated breath the audience hung upon his words, taking no note of time, rapt in the ghastly fascinations of the tale. NOT!
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Every eye fixed itself upon him; with parted lips and bated breath the audience hung upon his words, taking no note of time, rapt in the ghastly fascinations of the tale. NOT!
Reply
post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent View Post

Weren't there three Van Halen's? Dave, Sammy, and that other guy (Van Halen III). I liked the Sammy era the best because he actually could play the guitar.

Also what bothered me about their studio albums, was the mixing, it was all about Eddie's guitar, and very little booming bass (drums and bass guitar). Got to have that thumping bass!

You are talking about Gary Cherone

I'm not saying he was a bad guy and the album itself hinted at some interesting directions. However what Van Halen needs is a strong producer. It would really be amazing to have someone like Rick Ruben go kick the hell out of Eddie and produce a Van Halen album. Sort of like the Phil Jackson who can demand necessary and proper changes out of a Jordan, Shaq or Kobe.

The album itself didn't have a single song that was under five or so minutes from what I recall and sounded as if it were mixed in a closet by a meth addict. I owned it back when, but had all my CD's/tapes stolen in the mid-90's.

I liked both Van Halens. The band felt looser under Roth but that was mostly because he didn't care much about the music but liked the show. He also hated anything that wasn't straight up arena rock with guitars. Hager as you noted disciplined the music writing quite a bit and probably extended the band in terms of marketability and sales and was pretty much anything goes within a framework of a well written song.

Both points are good and bad. The early Van Halen albums were very loose, sounded like they were recorded (hell and likely written) in a week. You had some amazingly weird and cool things that popped out. I can imagine a song like House of Pain going like this.

Alex: Mike, we need to record this song but so far we only have one verse, no bridge and about half a chorus.

Mike: Dude, I would write a bit more, but Dave's drunk, and well I'm not to far off myself.

Alex: Fuck it, roll tape, let Eddie fill in the blanks with some of his psycho crap.

Result...amazing song.

Most early Van Halen albums were like what... 8-9 songs with one usually being something like Eruption or 1984 aka Eddie dicking around for 90-120 seconds. Two or so covers and that meant maybe five or so solid attempts at songs.

Hager era was much better in terms of actually getting written songs done and on an album. You got 10-12 solid 4 minute songs, new textures, some occasional yearning for religious stuff, hope for humanity, life beyond a bottle or whatever it was Hager was pondering that week, and some of it was pretty great and enjoyable stuff.

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by El Capitan View Post

Zeppelin hasn't carried on, except for this one off reunion for record label dude.

The Who... Moon/Enthwistle were incredible but you speak of someone who hasn't seen the nw Who. Starky and Pino will put up a challenge to any back beat duo ever. And that's the truth. And Roger and Pete are perfectionist and in great shape. The Who, even in half still kick major ass.

I won't dispute their talents. They are great musicians. And Roger and Pete do seem to have a pact with the devil to rock themselves into oblivion. In my opinion, if more than two members of a band kick it (a singer especially) change your fucking name. Branding is essential these days, but I think your songs and reputation can carry the tunes. I wasn't too impressed with Queen letting Paul Rogers leading them on in some reunions. They rocked, Paul's a good singer...but he ain't Freddie in a LOT of ways.

Oh, and another band I saw reunited was the Sex Pistols. I went to see them Trump Marina Casino in Atlantic City. Weirdest "Punk Rock" show I've ever seen. The audience was a large mixture of graying old school Punkers, Emos, hipsters, hustlers and confused blue haired old ladies who lost there way to the slots. Great show though.
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