By 1994 David Lee Roth’s career was in a tailspin as Dave’s current release at the time “Your Filthy Little Mouth” failed to set the charts on fire.
You would never know it by this soundboard recorded bootleg that has Dave live from Hollywood promoting his soon to be released studio flop.
Still, though Roth gives it his all on this and his vocals are still there.
‘Big Train’ kicks it off and it’s a great opener as Dave as he always did was take charge. Part Barnum and Bailey and Part Lead Singer kick this set off and then it’s right into ‘Panama’.
His band is tight plays the tunes and gets on with it. ‘Tell The Truth’ from 91’s “A Little Ain’t Enough” gets the call and is a great pick as well.
Dave knew the art of selling and boy does he try and sell ‘She’s My Machine’ telling the crowd ‘Here are the hits and more’.
I don’t think this tune went anywhere but it has a pretty cool bass line intertwining with the guitar. A slow burner kind of groove.
Basically what you are getting here is 16 tracks of Dave Mach 94!
7 tracks from the current Roth record. 1 from ‘A little Aint Enough’. 1 from ‘Skyscraper’. 4 from the VH catalog including a pretty decent spin of ‘Beautiful Girls’ as well as 3 covers which is from his solo EP from 85.
Dave knowing this show is going out over the radio showed up and along with his band plays the tunes pretty good.
Overall a decent bootleg that I picked up on Google Play for a cheap price.
I’m thinking this was his band from 1994.
Rocket Ritchotte-guitar John Regan-bass Brett Tuggle-keyboards Larry Aberman-drums.
Dave Roth back in January of 1991 was the first of many CD purchases for me that year!
A Little Ain’t Enough is a decent album in the Roth catalogue that over time has grown on me. But as the early 90’s rolled in I thought it was good but nowhere near the level of 1986’s Eat Em & Smile album which was a bona fide classic for many!
Dave though of course soldiered on and released 1998’s Skyscraper which after its recording Bassist Billy Sheehan quit as well after the Skyscraper Tour Guitarist Steve Vai bolted to the green money-making pastures of Whitesnake.
David Lee though kept going. Guitar for Hire Steve Hunter and Young Fella Jason Becker came aboard along with the Greg and Matt Bissonette (Bass and Drums respectively) as well as Bret Tuggle on keys!
This band headed to Vancouver to work with Bob Rock so I knew beforehand this album would have an excellent drum and production sound!
12 songs make up this album. Dave kinda stays in the 80’s game with these songs at times and no better evidence is the opening track/video A Little Ain’t Enough. More so the video as Roth was still stuck in the roaring 80’s MTV video cycle which if you strip from your memory the video this is a pretty decent track!
Roth and band on these tracks play more like a band as gone is the explosive playing of Sheehan and Vai and a more less friendly Hot Dog approach is taken. Shoot It and Lady Luck take Roth and crew into new directions musically. Dave is growing up. An older wiser Dave I suppose!?
Hammerhead Shark though is classic Dave with him doing what he does best and that’s writing some real cool lyrics ..
It was a time of trouble
And a time of grief
Kings lay with whores
And begat thieves
Yeah the world was wicked
And their hearts were cold
Noah said to his missus
Well, it’s time to go
Lord said to Noah
‘Fore ya float that arc
You better save me a space
For my hammerhead shark
Whoa yeah, the hammerhead shark
Now, now now Johnny liked to drink and fight
And he raised big hell every Saturday night
This is Dave at his finest..Love the groove of this tune and some slick slide guitar work courtesy of Steve Hunter! Dig the big smash out at the end with the drums that will knock your socks off! With the live video below I laugh at the fact that Dave has his lyrics taped to the drum riser as he takes the odd look at them but tries to do it so no one notices..haha
Tell The Truth and Baby’s On Fire are new directions in sound for Dave as he headed into the early 90’s. Tell The Truth is more chill Dave as Hunter lays down some slick Blues along with Becker. Baby’s On Fire harkens somewhat back to old school Roth but Dave is trying to move into new sonics of Roth N Rock!
40 Below begins with Greg’s big Drum Sound and more slip n slide Blues licks splattered throughout but played at a decent clip! I have to say the picking and playing of Hunter/Becker is awesome on this album. Dave was smart to add two guitars for this album so there was no real Vai comparisons as Hunter especially is the exact opposite to the wacka doodle wang bar bizarro work of Vai!
Sensible Shoes I remember getting some play here in Tbay. I’m sure its Dave blasting some Harp on this track. Always been fond of this track as ‘Sensible Shoes the one’s that will lead me back to you”. Love the Harmonica and guitar picking mashup going on this track!
When myself/Tbone/Darr & Rugg fist heard Last Call back in January of 91 we all hollered ‘Dave’s ripping off Aerosmith’s Walk This Way” and why wouldn’t Dave? Aerosmith was huge in 1990-91 so the most logical move would be to nix a Aeroclassic and Roth it up and shoot for a hit. Well Dave got the Aero part right but the ‘HIT’ part didn’t work out so well!**
Dogtown Shuffle is another one of those mid tempo rock tracks. It’s ok, not a great track a little lumbering but some of the vocal lines are quite amusing to say the least…
The Diamond One decides to do a Musical Hot Dog Track called Its Showtime to feature his new young protegé Jason Becker to rock it up on the guitar and this song is a close to a Van Halen tune if any on this album. When I first heard it I thought man this has to be the opener of Dave’s upcoming tour. I was wrong! haha
The last track Drop In A Bucket is an absolute classic in the Dave solo catalogue. Becker sizzles and dazzles on the fretboard as his Boss tosses down a real good lead vocal. Nice use of the female backing singers as well and man what total drag for us listeners as well for Becker to get Gehrig’s disease but this album is a testimony that the cat could play!
Roth n Roll in 91 was starting to show cracks in the foundation. Times were a changing as each of Dave’s solo albums were selling less and less and his tours were starting to have troubles in moving tickets as well.
A Little Ain’t Enough is like the Sleeper Album in Dave’s solo career. Pretty decent listen actually. Not as good as the Eat Em record of course but its Dave trying to push his inflated microphone prop into the early 90’s but not to many were caring…
**- When I was writing this up I thought I would play the beginning of Last Call for my Suzi. Now Suzi will be the first to admit that she is not the biggest Hard Rock Fan out there but it only took a few seconds for her to answer when I asked her “What song does this remind you of?” Quickly The Boss answered “Walk This Way” First time she ever heard Last Call and perhaps Suzi’s Last Call with Roth as well!
So here we finally get 32 years after former Van Halen manager Noel Monk gets the heave-ho from our favourite two twisted dutch brothers Eddie & Alex Van Halen the book(Runnin With The Devil) which chronicles Noel’s first hand account of trying to harness in Van Halen during the years of Monk’s managing tenure of the band.(1978-85).
Now if your asking why now 32 years later after being fired would a book come out now. Well as Noel himself writes a final settlement back in 85 meant no publishing a book for years…so it’s now time!
Basically it boiled down to this. Noel managed(tried to) while everything else around it seems was a shit show to say the least!
Speaking of shit shows Noel was actually the road manager for the Sex Pistols on there ill-fated 1978 tour of the United States when after two weeks they were sent packing back to England. Noel had to deal with Sid Vicious & Johnny Rotten so I guess that was a good as any training ground for what would become Monk’s gig with Van Halen!(only it lasted longer than 2 weeks managing Halen)
Monk was jobless after the Pistols gig and but in no time was hired as Halens Road Manager once the debut self titled Halen album hit the streets in 1978. Halen at the time was manged by Marshall Berle who was canned once the band started selling albums and at the end of the tour everyone realised they were $1.2 Million in debt. VH also learned quickly that all the dressing rooms that you destroy and all the limo rides/paying the road crew etc comes out of your pocket at the end of the day. The fact that Berle had Halen sign a crappy record deal also didn’t help his cause. Berle got tossed and hooked up with another L.A act and that would be RATT.
Cool to read that there first ever tour was playing third on a bill with Journey and Montrose. Van Halen and Monk figured it out pretty quick that they were selling a ton of tickets yet playing third on the bill which meant for Halen small dressing room/small stage space/hardly any soundchecks yet the debut Halen went Gold in 3 months so Monk and Crew would throw huge backstage parties while Journey and Montrose would be playing their show much to the chagrin of Journeys management.
Basically Halen didn’t give a Fuck about anything back than. Noel writes that the camaraderie between the band members was the best as it was the “Us against everyone” philosophy. Over time he writes to no one’s surprise that evaporated!
If anyone out there ever meets Steve Perry ask him if he likes guacamole!
So Monk begins his tenure as the Captain of the S.S Halen. It’s amazing he didn’t totally lose his own marbles keeping this boat afloat but at the end of the day Ed and Alex made Noel walk the plank.
Course the book is filled with ton of stories and that’s what we want right?!
Drugs and Alcohol which to no ones surprise is featured predominately throughout. It’s all here Weed/Coke/Booze these dudes were wired tighter than a top but they all had one goal in common and that was World Domination.
Everything is over the top back than especially when Lead Singer David Lee Roth was taking over (back in the early 80’s ) as the best front-man in Rock. Not vocally perse but with the acrobatics that was part of his stage routine. Offstage though was a whole other story. One of the interesting reads of the book is in regards to how they travelled early on. Halen would fly commercial flights from city to city and it was Monk’s job to get the troops down to the lobby to catch their flights. The last one always to show up was Dave. Monk for a while thought Roth was being an ass as he wouldn’t pack, his hotel room would be a disaster and Monk would have to get Dave to the lobby where the rest of Halen would be continuously pissed at Dave for taking his time.
After a few flights this way Monk realised that Roth was afraid of flying as a Monk points out Roth always wanted to be in charge of everything. Sitting on an air plane Roth had no control.
Everyone knows that by 1981’s Fair Warning album there was tensions between Roth and the Brothers. Monk points out it started back in 1980 during the recording of Woman & Children First.
Monk writes that indeed a “Musical Rift” was starting to happen between Ed and Dave(SHOCKER!) back in 1980 when problems started…
Monk goes into detail about the music business as well. When VH was about to release VH 2 in 1979 he was called into the Billboard offices and was told by a high-ranking official where they would like the soon to be released album debut on the charts. Monk states he was stunned as he was told they could come in the Top 10 if they chose to. Monk was quick to say how about the mid forties so it would look like the album was rising instead of debuting high and sliding down the charts. Payback for the chart debut would be made by VH in Billboard….
How about some Payola? Yep, Noel writes in great detail about when 1981’s Fair Warning went to gold record status and stalled in sales (there were no real “single like” tracks on the guitar heavy Fair Warning record) VH/Monk were freaking out so as Monk got summoned to Warner Brother records, someone told him on the side if they wanted Fair Warning to start selling than VH would have to cough up $200,000 of their own money and pay certain stations across the States $5000 each to get the album played at which VH did, not happily mind you but it worked and Fair Warning went Double Platinum.
Early 1982 Warner Brothers is begging for Halen product. VH has nothing new to offer so they record Pretty Woman and the single takes off which no one thought it would as Pretty Woman was released just to keep the Halen name out in the public. This is why 82’s Diver Down was half covers/half originals as it was recorded in about 3 weeks and rushed out due to the single shooting up the charts!
These kind of stories actually fascinate me more for as we all know the Party Deal of VH.( I still like to read about Krell Wars that Roth/Ed would indulge in )
Monk describes throughout the book the chaos that surrounded this band from 1978-85 when Noel’s 30 day contract was not renewed. Yup! You read that right for the 7 years he worked for VH they would only renew his contract every 30 days….
This is a great read into a band that basically was a” Professional Shit Show”. I’m amazed they could record/tour at a clip for that time and not actually kill each other.
1984 the mega album from VH you would think they would be on top of the world with album sales and tickets sold right? Wrong-o! Years of frustration with everyone come to a boil when Roth announces to everyone his cover E.P.
I will leave it at that!
I could go on with a boatload of stories(Roth being forced into a straight jacket being one) but the one common dominator being that we all know is that ex VH Bassist Michael Anthony is indeed the nicest guy in Rock. Yes he is by all accounts and Monk confirms many a time over how great a guy Mikey is. No smut on him in this book whatsover…
Below is what Roth/Ed and Alex wanted Anthony to sign ….. Nice way to treat a bandmate eh?
Darr I have known for about as long as I have known Tbone and there’s a simple explanation for that and the answer would be that Darr is TBones younger brother( not by much though!)
Darr growing up got the knowledge of all good things Rock from myself and Tbone! Basically it worked like this. I would buy the product. Than pass it on to Tbone and from the inner sanctum of Tbones Basement Bedroom Darr would hear and be and be captivated by the Sonics Of Rock ….
Like what I did to Tbone I loaded up a syringe of Roth Era Van Halen and shot Darr up ! From there he gathered up all things Rock(1987-88 or so) and found his own path. Digging around buying stuff and I would occasionally check in to see his growing Cassette Collection growing by leaps and bounds. After a short while I knew my work with Darr was done!
So here we are almost 30 years later and when I posted my Top 20 Albums on Facebook Darr delivered and real Super Duper List like along with his old brother as like all good friends do to another I called them out publicly!
After Darr posted to my FaceCrack page his Top 20 and we bantered a bit I knew I had to yammer about his selections.
Time To Dissect…..See Darr’s Top 20 Below….
The Cult Electric and Guns N Destruction just like Tbones and my list made the cut! 1987 Babee……
Aerosmiths Pump(1989) makes an appearance and why wouldn’t it? Its SoberAero but it still reeks some sleaze ball like slickness that is a classic for sure and just like the Aero albums of Toys In The Attic and Rocks. Steve-o and Joe put the ballad right at the end of the album and I’m real fuckin good with this move! Not a dud on this album and as we had all seen this tour in Winnipeg(March 1990) that may have swayed Darr somewhat but make no bones about Pump! It’s a bonfide classic!
Like his older brother,Darr selected ZZ Tops Eliminator and this little Texas Nugget rocks bad ass! ZZ Nation is alive and well with the brothers in Tbay!
Heres something that Darr pulled out of the Rule box and was a pure genius move! He selected Two Van Halen Albums! Now the rules were you couldn’t pick two albums by the same band so Darr picked the Van Halen debut(1978) with Dave Roth singing and For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge (1991)with Sammy Hagar singing. True its the same band in name but two different animals in the studio! Van Halens debut is the juggernaut of Guitar Brilliance and the Vocal Shenanigans of Roth while F.U.C.K is Sam fueled with his own spin on tunes like the immortal Poundcake,Right Now and how could we forget Spank! HA! Not to be outdone Darr even selected Dave’s Eat Em And Smile as a Top 20 ….Well Played Darr….
Whitesnake before that Crazy Cougar slid all over hoods of cars made Darr’s list with Slide It In!(1984) Great add Darr as the late great Cozy Powell slams those drums and you have John Sykes( playing chill before he’s let loose a few years later on the 1987 album) along with others like Jon Lord and David Coverdale singing about everything Sex,Sex and more Sex! Hey Sex sells so Slide It In!
AC/DC take Darr on the Highway To Hell(1979) and He’s not coming back folks! Night Prowler,Get It Hot are some Gems there that never get discussed and they should! I need to review that bad boy someday!
Bryan Adams with Into The Fire resonated with Darr and this is another great surprise! This album at the time when released in 1987 kinda stalled publicly as it wasn’t Reckless Part Deux! Adams served up a change ball to us and for Darr he took the pitch! Atta Boy! Hearts On Fire from this album is one of the best tunes I think Adams ever wrote!
Bono and U2 make the grade and you can read my thoughts on TBones post about Achtung Baby(1991).
But a real deadly pick was The Black Crowes with Shake Your Money Maker(1990) Holeee Fudge Darr! This is easily a piece of Rock Gold! Those two wacky Robinson Brothers nailed this one out of the park and into the next decade,make that two and half decades and the album still cooks! Thick N Thin I just love ..no we love it all!
Like on a few lists Def Leppard shows up and for Darr Its pyro rock n roll with Pyromania (1983). What can I say about a album launching sonics into another stratosphere ….Man Oh MAN……
Darr does not leave the Canadian Rock behind and picks Rushs debut from 1974 with John Rutsey on the drums and Darr must have taken a shine to the throwback sound of the debut. Why Not? This little debut cooks quicker than Tbone frying Finnish Pancakes in the morning after a hard nights Drinkin!
Tragically Hip show up 20 years later after Rushs debut with Day For A Night(1994) and compared to my fav of the Hip Road Apples Day For Night is darker more moodier than Apples kinda like as if the Hip were to take a sledgehammer to a bag of Apples! Day For Night would come to fruition! Mopey Hip but it works! Grace Too is a beauty of a opener!
‘Here I Am I’m On The Scene’ so says Gordie Johnson and Big Sugar are here with 1998s Heated a mash-up of ZZ Top and Bob Marley with a huge dose of fuzzed up reggae like tones! Even Randy Bachman plays on Let it Ride and old BTO nugget that Bachman wrote…Sweet add as well….
Rest In Peace! Cupids Dead! Yup that would be Three Sides To Every Story(Yours, Mine And The Truth) by Extreme and can you once again say Shock A Roo! Darr dug deep into his Sonic LunchBook and Wowzers Nuno and Gary would be pleased to see this! Pretty impressive that back in Grunge 92 these boys could toss out a solid rock record and still have it sell….somewhat!
Dazed And Confused a soundtrack that features amongst others a whose who of Classic Rock! Sabbath,Kiss,Foghat,Cooper,Sweet! There all here…..crank it,drink it,snort it whatever it may be! Added bonus points to Mr Darr for this being the first Soundtrack on any list I seen! A round of Kudos please!
Darrs last couple of picks that I’m gonna talk about are real cool one of which I’m familiar with and one I’m not with…
Jack Whites Lazaretto just was released two years ago(2014) Too be honest my old buzzard mind has no idea about anything about this release but if Darr included It Lazaretto must be a Solid Ball Of Rock! Great pick and perhaps one I should seek out myself and Darr can load up the Sonic Syringe and shoot me up with a dose of Jack Rock!
Beastie Boys Paul Boutique came out in 1989 and I even bought this on cassette and it was a huge departure as for myself I was weened on Fight For Your Right To Party from 1986 but man The Beasties change-up the sonic atmosphere and well how about a round of applause for “Shake Yo Rump” Ha…love that tune Mega Pumping Bass! Darr not only stepped out of the box on these two albums but he kicked the snot out of the box! Well done Son!
Actually out of Darr’s Top 20 list I have only reviewed 4 of these 20 picks. So I hope you’s all dug it!
posted on his FaceBook Page his Top 20 which Jon also said you could have easily done a Top 40 Fav Album List! True That!
Jon had some real cool albums such as Whitesnake(Slide It In) Y&T (Meanstreak) Motley Crue(Shout At The Devil) and KISS Alive amongst others!
It got me thinking about my Top 20 (a few months ago we did a Top 15 list with fellow WordPress Bloggers which was a ton of fun to see people’s tastes in music and books etc). So via Jon’s page I clicked the link and voila right to the page to enter my Top 20!
It was easy to do and entered in my Top 20. So I linked it right to Facebook went my list and first order of business was issuing a bit of a fun challenge to others as what your favourite 20 albums would be! Only could be studio releases(no live albums) and one album per artist as I would have loaded up on VH, old Aero,old Kiss,Maiden,AC /DC and that would have been it….hahaha…No Cheatin!
Tbone(whom I have known for 4 Decades!) right away came through in the clutch as he posted right away his list ( T’s list is at the top of the page) and it was great to compare! A buddy of mind Tony also posted his Top 20 but he broke the rules with as Tbone typed “19 Anvil compilations and High N Dry don’t count!” Hahaha….Seriously though thanks for participating Tony and how about a shout out to Blackie Lawless!
My Top 20 you can see posted just below……
It’s cool to see and compare lists with Tbone….I thought a post about Tbones Top 20 along with my usual smart ass comments would be a fun thing to talk about ….Shall we…?!
We are on the same page with The Cults Electric and Guns N Destruction albums and it’s kinda cool to see that back in the year that both of these albums were released (1987) myself and Tbone turned 20 years young and that Guns had opened up for The Cult on the Electric Tour! Yup groundbreaking info here! Hahaha…..
Of course Rush would be there as Tbone tossed in Moving Pictures which was basically our introduction to Rush that year of 1981 when we started at Lakeview High School and quickly learned that Rush had played at our very own School back in 1973!
I was very surprised and glad to see Maidens Number Of The Beast (1982)on there! Ha….Tbones parents at the time probably thought he was gonna burn down a church after they could hear the Air Raid Sirens wails of “6-6-6 The One For You And Me!” resonating from his bedroom. I’m sure his parents were relieved when they heard Bryan Adams Reckless(1984) which itself is a solid pick T! It is indeed an all time slab of great CanRock that even to this day does not sound dated! Another great call is Tom Pettys solo album Full Moon Fever and its 40 minutes of an Ass Kicker Album!
Speaking of Maiden a few sentences back I went with Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son! Moonchild is one of the best opening tracks on any Maiden album….EVER!
I take full Blame and responsibility on Tbone hoping aboard the HALEN Tour Bus Sonically that is and it didn’t surprise me in the least to see Fair Warning (1981) on his list! I mean any of those first 6 Dave Roth Albums could easily be in The Top 20 no problem! Speaking of Roth. Bam! Here comes Eat Em And Smile (1986 ) and with that kick ass musical combo Dave had behind him(Vai,Sheehan,Bisonette and Tuggle) we spent many an hour chatting up songs like Bump And Grind,Big Trouble and Elephant Gun and wishing we were Dave(1980s Dave that is)….Another great pick T!
U2 with Achtung Baby we both could have had on our list easily and perhaps I should have as well but man Bono annoys me …..Achtung though what a brilliant album and along with the production angle of Lanois/Eno is so groundbreaking and to this day to my ears is still one of the best sounding studio albums! Not as good as Rick Rubin’s produced Cult Electric Album mind you but Achtung holds it own..
Great call on ZZ Tops Eliminator Tbone! Man how could I miss that one? I could have easily bumped out Cheap Tricks Dream Police for that It goes without saying that Tbone dug deep into this list and pulled out some Gems! After which Tbone drank deep into his Scotch! Haha…
Safe to say Standing Hampton(1981) by Sammy Hagar is the Ultimate Shock A Roo! What a fantastic add! I just about spilled or was it spit out my coffee at that pick… Like I said earlier T did his homework and stepped up! Course this album features Heavy Metal and One Way To Rock but how about I’ll Fall In Love Again and Baby’s On Fire….easy peasy pickins! It’s a great album as it has a good sound as Sam I Am hadn’t fallen Into those 80s trappings of whiney synths!
Nice to see Tbone select Stone Temple Pilots (1994) as well here with the Purple album and this was when we saw STP open for The Stones in Toronto on the Stones Voodoo Lounge Tour! Not to be outdone I selected Superunknown(1994) by Soundgarden! Man I love Cornell’s voice! Limo Wreck is a classic ! The Stones both made our lists with Tbone selecting Sticky Fingers and me going with Some Girls! Another band match was Zep with Tbone tossing down Zep 4 and Ol DeKEs dialing up Physical Graffiti!
Tbone rolling with Aerosmiths Toys In The Attic and myself choosing Rocks are actually no brainers as it proves without a doubt that me and Tbone like our Aero slopped up when Steve n Joe were loaded up on party treats (special mention must be given to Done With Mirrors) and wrote real cool songs before they became that AeroSap Band doing soundtracks and wanting to become something they weren’t ….
Another Shock A Roo pick from T would be Mr Books favourite band Sloan with Navy Blues! How can you go wrong with She Says What She Means,Izzy and Angus and the classic DC stolen riff of Money City Maniacs! Exactly you can’t! Did not see this one coming as well but a real good pick!
I went with another Canadian Band and that’s The Tragically Hip with Road Apples (1991) actually any of their first four albums I could have picked! I love Road Apples as it reeks Canadiana,smells of Weed and Cold Canadian Beer! ” You Just Hit Me Where It Hurts,I Guess It Felt Quite Primitive!” Bellows lead singer Gord Downie during Twist My Arm! Great track!
Bon Jovi with New Jersey(1988) made Tbones cut and fair enough as it was a strong album (the tour for it was a real good show)and still holds up well by today’s standard! Too bad Jon has currently disintegrated a once great act into a big pile of Music Poop!
Tbone sneaks In Collective Soul’s (1985) self titled second album which is a great rock record. Ross Childress plays some real supped up leads while Ed Roland is a talented singer songwriter! My only knock are the drums sound programmed but still great songs especially the opener “Simple!”
Before I let you all get back to reality(thanks for reading) how could we not talk about AC/DC pre Axl Rose era! T says Highway To Hell(1979). DeKEs says Flick Of The Switch(1983)Can’t go wrong with either! Tons of salty lyrics (Rising Power and Beating Around The Bush) Lotsa Angus! What more do you need?
Def Leppard with its mega zillion selling album Hysteria (1987) made TBones Grade while I prefer the hard rock stylings of High N Dry(1981). Both are classics and like I have said in every Lep review I have done that once Steve Clark died lots of creativity in the riff department went to heaven with him…..
Holeeeee Shatz! This kinda went on but it was fun to go down memory lane sonically with my pal of 40+ years! (WHUT?) Thanks for reading and well….
Just like yesterday it seems like I was listening to our local radio station 580 CKPR back in December of 1983 as they were playing the new Van Halen single “Jump” at 9pm as they called their show the Top 9 at 9!
I never payed attention to much to the radio station back in 83 and as a matter of fact I still don’t but I had succumbed to the powers of AM radio occasionally as they would get the singles from bands before they hit the record shops! This was how I first heard Love It Loud by Kiss (1982)ironically enough. So with my hand firmly placed on my cassette deck as soon as John Summers(local DJ at the time) announced “Here’s the new Van Halen single titled JUMP I pushed record!
Cast Of Characters-Michael Anthony (bass) Eddie Van Halen(guitar) Alex Van Halen(drums) and David Lee Roth(vocals)
Looking back at that moment I probably had a puzzled look on my face as when Jump starts and you hear Ed play that keyboard synth opening I was like “WHUT?? Where’s Ed’s guitar Man??” Think about it for a sec! I was used to hearing Ed rip a mean guitar tone on the previous studio records. And The Cradle Will Rock the opening track from 1980s Woman And Childern First does have keyboard on it but it’s like it was shoved through a Marshall Stack! Speaking of which Woman And Childern First sounds like the Halen boys loaded up on salsa,beer and party treats and knocked out what I consider to be my all time favourite album ever in about a day!
Fair Warning came next in 1981 and this being the favourite of Tbones . Ed’s guitar here sounds pissed off and gnarly and he further cements himself as Guitar Hero!
Diver Down even with its half originals/half covers concept tunes like Hang Em High and The Full Bug prove that Ed wasn’t easing off the gas with his playing and even though the mighty synth reared its head on Dancing In The Streets that doesn’t count as it’s not a Halen Original!
So here’s Jump and I’m kinda worried! Has Halen decided to go down Journey Avenue and water down the guitar and add more syrup to the keyboards? I really hope not and by golly as Jump progresses Ed shows up nails the volume on his Frankenstein Strat and saves the day with a cranked up solo and saves a young 15-year-old (me) at the time from going bonkers!
1984 was easily a first day purchase when the full album was released in January of 84.
So after the prelude, leadoff single and album opener(Jump)…
It was right to second track PANAMA that I felt at ease as Ed and Al begin the proceedings with Guitar and Drums and there’s Mr Reliable Michael Anthony showing up slamming a straight ahead bass line keeping things simple and not overstepping his boundaries with the brothers Van Halen. Dave on the other hand knows no boundaries and he spills out all kind of lyrical magic on this album! Sly Horn Dog lyrics not withstanding Dave in 1984 was the Top Guy Live and even on this album vocally speaking he’s pretty damn good.
TOP JIMMY is a Boogie Woogie powerhouse of a track! Ed starts off with some chill picking and its intercepted by Sabbath like bolts of Doom just for a few seconds or so and viola here’s Dave telling us all about Top Jimmy the King Of Cool and I love the clean guitar tone Ed uses until the solo where he steps up and nails out a heavy metal like solo and then goes back to his clean slick style. Anthony’s backing vocal meshed with Dave’s lead vocal work brilliantly together. Under 3 minutes long Top Jimmy is easily a piece of musical art!
Ending side 1 DROP DEAD LEGS for me is the sleeper track here! What a classic. Ed makes noodling on the guitar sound cool and Alex man I dig his drumming on this tune(love the sound of the cowbell at the beginning). It’s what keeps this song moving forward. Dave is very creative with the lyrics here. ‘Throw My Rope,Loop De Loop,White Teeth, Betty Boop!” Not a ton of lyrics written here but the less is more philosophy works excellent on this song. Ed’s guitar here sounds deadly! Check out the video posted…..Crank it!
Side 2 begins with HOT FOR TEACHER and more importantly Alex’s drums sounding like a torpedo being launched from the U.S.S Halen and Ed joins in a proves that without a doubt that he’s the King Of The 6 String. He dips and dives and makes of us wanna be a guitar hero! This is VH Boogie Woogie Power Rock 101. Anthony punches the bass steady kinda like Cliff Williams from AC/DC on speed and Dave is once again in all his glory love his “Aww The Clock Is Slow!” drawl. He’s Hot For Teacher and has it Bad …Soooo Bad! Ed’s solo is Highway Robbery Like! A classic indeed and Halen though can play around with a synth but when push comes to shove they can blast these kinda tunes right out of the park!
If you want Synth! You Got it! I’LL WAIT hands down for me is some of Dave’s best studio vocal work ever! I dug this track in 84 and like it even more in 2016! Dave sounds wounded here in his voice! Great track filled with Synth until Ed delivers the solo and Alex plays some real cool fills. I’ll Wait is a bona-fide classic and I Betcha some of you’s out there didn’t know that Michael McDonald from The Doobie Brothers got a co write credit here.( First time ever that some one other Dave/Ed/Alex and Mikey got a slice of the Halen pie!) Think I’ll Wait as a Doobie Brothers song on steroids!
Ed and Alex begin the proceedings and ramp the amps back to 10 and throttle down a real scorcher of a ditty called GIRL GONE BAD This song breezes riff cool and it just blasts into another orbit when solo time comes as Ed tosses more gauntlets toward us the listener as Mike and Al steady the rhythm boat! Ahoy! This is another down n dirty classic!
All good things must come to an end so Halen enters the HOUSE OF PAIN with its Black Sabbath like Doom wobble and once again Van and the Fella’s keep it heavy but in an old school kid of mid 70s Rock mode!
We knew when released that we were listening to a classic in the making and Halen delivered in spades. Look no further than my pal Tbone.Up till that point I taped him the Halen stuff as soon as I lent him my copy of 1984 on vinyl the next day he went out and bought all 6 Halen cassette releases at various musical outlets in Tbay! That my friends is what we would call Impact!
Just clocking in at over 33 minutes and that’s all it takes to drop down a album that is still classic nowadays as it has that timeless sound that only Halen could deliver.
Ok so this pic was taken above with Steve Vai/Gregg Bisonette/David Lee Roth and Billy Sheehan back in early December (2015)where Dave was gonna reunite the Eat Em Band(first time since 1986) for a night but due to overcrowding at a club(2,000 waiting to get in)the Fire Marshall axed the show. So no go …what a total piss off Sez I!
This band kicked serious ass back in 1986 on record and on stage so it would be real cool if they did another go round in 2016! Vai is still a monster on guitar! Sheehan is still a freak of nature on bass while Bisonette still mashes the drums! In other words the musical portion of this band would still have the A game! Dave is Dave man…take it or leave it! With this band I’m taking it! I would love to hear that Eat Em stuff played live again and not the Yankee Roses or Goin Crazys but more of the Bump N Grind,Big Trouble,Shyboy tunes from the debut! F’in rights! Bring it boys!
Word on the street is Dave’s contract is done with VH and once again so are they with Dave! In other words no more albums or tours with Roth….Adios I guess is in order!
Now take a look at that pic above! Dave rejoined VH in 2007 and I don’t think I ever seen a VH band Roth included backstage shot where they looked happy with each other and here’s Dave rolling in backstage with Vai and crew and he looks like he wants to be there …
My purchasing of Halen product was interesting to say the least! Of course we all know the tale of my buying VH’s/Woman And Childern First in early 1981 from there it was Fair Warning later in 1981 and than in 1982 I not only bought Diver Down upon its release but I also purchased the 45 single of VH’s cover of Roy Orbisons Pretty Woman.
In early 1984 we all scooped 1984 powered by Jump and we were all hooked! Notice anything here? Yeppers! I did not have the first two Halen albums,the debut and VH2! Once i got my first summertime job in the summer of 1984 this problem was rectified immediately when I purchased on cassette tape those two musical masterpieces!
Why on earth it took me so long to get em who the hell knows! Better late than never I suppose! Once I did hear them on my walkman man oh man……Game changers!
Michael Anthony,Eddie and Alex Van Halen along with there best friend David Lee Roth keep the party moving n grooving 1979 style..whatever that entails!
Whose The Atomic Punk?
YOUR NO GOOD- So instead of Blitzing out of the gates with a smash in your brains and kick your ass opener. VH open there second album with a cover tune no less. Different pace this track is some noodling at the beginning by Mikey and his bass and were off! More of a straight ahead Rock track. Kinda surprising but looking back it was Halen already doing there own thing. Dave lays down the vocal law while Anthonys background vocals carry the chorus. Ed of course is the law on guitar and brother Alex hammers his snare In a chill kinda way!
DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY-Single anyone? Served with a kick in the ass! The brothers are in sync with guitar and cowbell. This song is a great track! Dave is hustling the night away and Anthony is the key plug with his always on the mark backing vocals! Eddie instead of telling us he’s Boss on guitar which we know already plays a real decent chill but loud solo and man the guitar picking is slick! The first time I heard Dance The Night Away I was on a camping trip somewhere in the USA and it was the summer of 1983 and I recall fiddling around the family campfire with the radio and moving the antenna’s back and forth trying to locate a rock radio station and through the static and the hiss I scored as I heard Def Leppards Photograph so my fingers froze and I left it alone hahaha….and the song that followed was Dance The Night Away..i was hooked yet it still to me to like the summer of 84 to buy VH 2! WTF!
SOMEBODY GET ME A DOCTOR-All aboard Dave’s tour bus as he’s blasting his ghetto blaster at high volume kinda like a demented Dr Nick that would be Dave as a Doc! Party treats galore! Ed is guitar hero on this! He slays the guitar to bits as Alex and Mike keep the bottom end locked and loaded! This is Cali party rock and if you were a first time ever listener to VH and this album was your first! Those first two tracks would kinda fool you as its a tamer VH whereas by track 3 (this one) Roth pulls out the sledgehammer and knocks your brains into next week albeit with a Doctors note!
BOTTOMS UP-Party keeps rolling as Ed and Alex start off chill and than ramp up the pace! Bottoms Up is just that! A real down n dirty hard rock nugget of a track! Love the breakdown after yet another classic Ed solo with just the fellers doing acapella of Bottttttoms Up! C’mon,C’mon,C’mon Babbbbbeeeeeee..Bottoms Up! Halen than load up and rocket the ship towards the finish line with a proper hard ending! Whoosh! Just plain awesome!
OUTTA LOVE AGAIN-Mike and Ed start off with this song showcasing Alex as he’s flexing his drum muscles! Cool rolls all over his drum kit! I like how these old Halen albums are recorded live off the floor or they seem that way! Ed’s solo is just his guitar(not a zillion rhythm guitars in the background),Anthony’s bass and Alex groovin along and it sounds so live which a lot of bands don’t do in the studio! Almost like a live studio album! Outta Love Again ends abruptly! Boom…Done….Lock the door behind you!
LIGHT UP THE SKY-Side 2 begins with a charge! Guitar and Bass lead the charge and Alex pounds the song and here’s the Ringmaster or CourtJester depending on the day of the week for Dave and he leads his troops into Light Up The Sky! What a cooker and this I will say is one of the all time great Halen tracks! It’s all here loaded in flashy guitar and effects workout,great lead and backing vocals and toss in a mini drum solo! Light It Up and Crank It Up!
SPANISH FLY-Sooooo, on the Van Halen debut Ed tells the world who the new boss in town is with the very electric Eruption! VH 2 Ed fools everyone and goes all classical sounding on Spanish Fly for 2 minutes! Spike another ladies drink Dave as Ed is cooking on his six string!
D.O.A-Ed goes all nutty with a real good diddle dabble of the wang bar and we’re off! Dave is in serious mode here! Something about the Sheriff showing up and finding some dirty faced kid in the garbage can! DOA is dark Halen musically and lyrically not a Groupie in site. Anthonys vocals as they should be are cranked up. Why did Ed this year (2015) say Anthonys vocals were no big deal! Sorry Ed take the two empty Heineken cans shoved down your ears out and listen to the bass players vocals! Anthonys backing vocals are a integral part of the VH sound! VH roll on to the end of this song in a clash of Ed’s guitar and Alex’s drums! Great ending……
WOMEN IN LOVE-Ed does that cool tapping deal at the beginning and Women In Love just breezes along at a cool pace! The vocals carry this tune and Ed muscles up a scolding hot solo! Ed proves that you don’t have to burn a solo at a quick clip all the time it’s ok to ease off the guitar gas pedal but it still sounds tough!
BEAUTIFUL GIRLS-Ed rambles off the opening riff and VH 2 ends with Dave in all his glory! Dave’s on top of the world! Why wouldn’t he be? Beautiful Girls rocks in a boozed up barrom a long time after last call was hollered!! No Tbone it was last call that was hollered not more alcohol! Ha! Super duper catchy chorus Ed flings off a wicked good riff and solo and the song rambles off into the distance and ends with a swoosh!
IN CONCLUSION- VH 2 is a classic as are the 6 Roth fronted albums! Tons of chops litter this album along with Dave’s macho man ringleader like approach! Why oh why it took me so long to get this back in 1984 will always remain a puzzle in my musical mind. Better late than never applies here!
For all its musical glory VH2 never gets talked about well talk about it amongest yourselves please!
When I caught VH back in 2012 they played 5 tracks from this so it’s good it got some well deserved attention!(Thanks Wolfie!) Even on there 2015 Tour Light Up The Sky was the opener as well as it should be……
So Monday’s post I talked about the first half of Halens Live From The Tokyo Dome!
Today i will focus on the other 13 tracks that Dave,Ed,Alex And Wolfman Jacked slammed out ….
DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY-gottta love Alex playing that cowbell and before you know it Dave and company are Dancing The Night Away! Man Eddies guitar is just jacked and can you not dig it! He plays with such ease I mean how do you not fuckin airband to this guy! Anyhoo the band takes a breather so Dave can chirp the crowd about wearing his Dance Shoes and that Mr ..well his Japanese friend is present and it’s Dave being Dave! But guess what this is the portion of the show where Dave totally shows up and sings da songs! Seriously he does!
I’LL WAIT- man one of those Gems from the 1984 album and VH meld drums,guitars and a mountain of keys into a grand slam Gemmer! Frigg man somewhere Micheal McDonald is smiling knowing he is the only dude ever to get a uncredited co write on a VH album! Alex Slams some real good beats and doesn’t comform to the keep it simple analogy! Dave steps up and the Ed And Wolf sing some good backing vocals…yeah seriously they do! See the pattern emerging here?
AND THE CRADLE WILL ROCK- man the opening song on my all time fav album (Women And Childern First) sets the course! Love that opening riff with Ed on his guitar it’s so frigging bad ass! The band Rock it forward and Dave leads the parade and too be honest at first the backing vocals sounded different almost off like but over time Ol Cynical Guy(Moi) digs it! Of course Roth pleases us by telling us “have you seen Jrs grades!?” Ed rips Into the solo and Dave cusses out the F Bomb and Ed,Wolf and Alex blast off a few bars of Smoke On The Water! Wowzers man….this cooks not in a Walter White way either!
HOT FOR TEACHER-Alex slams that real cool double bass at the start and the Ol buggers clocking over 100 mphs behind that kit! I mean how cool is that as a single,back in tha day when the drummer guy smashes the complete shit out of his drums to lead off a single! Ed steps up and does his hammer ons and we’re off! Wolfies bass is just a runaway rig on a highway and man the kid can play especially when he locks it in tight with dad! Dave of course on this version keeps up whereas I have heard versions where he’s been gassed by the first chorus! This tune just flat out rocks and we’re all for the better !
WOMEN IN LOVE- Wowzers this is a great version! Dave keeps his shit together and compliments(????) Ed and Wolf on there backing vocals and I gotta agree! They sound reaaaaal good! Of course Ed takes it to the next level with his guitaring in the solo and the sonics and chops of Wolf and Uncle Al are locked n loaded!
ROMEO DELIGHT-whoah Nelly! This is one of my faves from these guys! Ed sets the bar to super speed and brother Alex obliges while Wolfie plays some Wah pedal at certain junctions and this song Kicks Ass! Ed hammers home the solo! Dave actually doesn’t forget the fuckin words for the most part and man this is Heavy Halen! I can’t believe they steamroll this song at a quick pace but after the solo Dave goes into speaking Japanese once again while you hear some chuckling in the background and before to long HALEN crashes and burns this song down! Love the ending Dave even tosses in a WOW and its In tune! Ha…..seriously this is Halen when the Blow and Jack are pumping at full throttle! (Back in 1980 that is……)
MEAN STREET- Ed does that crazy good opening solo and than Theres the riff and brother Alex and the Wolfman join in the circus and Dave you know what he sings this tune real good! He dials in the chorus and keeps the song moving with jibber jabber banter slash vocal delivery like only he can do! Dig the middle part right before the solo! I kinda wished Dave would done the OL “There’s Babeeee” line right before Eds solo along with the “turned to from hunterd into Hunter” spiel but Dave probably doesn’t remember much from 1981 so be it…but he’s doing fine……
BEAUTIFUL GIRLS- well truth be told Dave kinda comes unglued vocally a little during the verses and during the chorus Ed And Wolf do the heavy lifting vocally. This track is a classic and that’s the great thing about this live album! It’s basically a compilation of mine and many others high school years(1981-1986)! Take a bow Tbone! Except for the Different Kind Of Truth stuff of course! The song just takes off at the end it’s just plain out awsome….’ Aaaah Yeah ….Beautifuuuuuuul Giiiirls!”
ICE CREAM MAN-Dave plays acoustic man and the dude is a decent picker….and the boys ramp this song up as in Ed just blasts the solo into another stratosphere as he does all the time!
ERUPTION-9 plus minutes of one of the greats on guitar! Need I say more……
AINT TALKIN BOUT LOVE-the Tour de Force from the debut album and Dave wrote like he’s the King and it’s his strutting number “like I told you before….Ah Before!” Ok boss! Also thanks to Ed this is one of those all great opening riffs it hooks in straight away and not before too long there’s Brother Alex locked n sync with Ed and they drive this baby home! Love the singalong ending at the end….” Hey Hey Hey,” All time great!
JUMP-so the Tokyo Dome is about to blow its top when the biggest single of the HALEN catalogue is played. Of course Go ahead and Juuuuuuump! Funny thing is of all the live versions I have heard Halen playing Jump live the keys sound weak! The studio single there at the forefront and as much as I hate bands drowning in the layers of keyboards this is the one song where I think the keys should be cranked live, give it some Oooomph! Sonic gripe aside Dave man he’s cooked vocally on this tune. That’s ok man you delivered Romeo Delight and Meanstreet at about the 3/4 mark of the show and kept your shit vocally together! So for that! I saluuuuuute You! Of course when your live at the show towards the end of Jump Halen is pumping out confetti all over the place so it’s like no ones paying attention to what Dave is jibbering on about anyways!
IN CONCLUSION- of course if you have been a Halen fan for as long as myself and Tbone have (34 years and counting!) we all want the Oakland Fair Warning Tour 81 show in our hands and pummelled into our ears! For sure, but it’s not happening well maybe some day it will and i can eat Crow!
I love this live album and why not…the production is live, no tweaks as in this day and age of everyone filming shows with there phones Halen would have been called out for fixing up the tracks but I never read anything about that sooooo Live it is!
Right Here Right Now the Sam I Am fronted live Halen from 1993 was aweful! Not the songs or the performances mind you but the production was so sterile I cannot listen to it and the live video to accommodate it was edited with so many shots from 3 different shows it was aweful! Man they hosed me on that debacle ….haha….yet I still subscribe !
Dave for all the hammering he gets on YouTube and from people is pretty good here! I have no qualms even though he shows off his Japanese speaking and I have no idea WTF he’s saying but its humour to me and good for him as he doesn’t take his shit too seriously at the age of 60! ha! Vocal wise he unravels but kinda keeps it in check somewhat!
Ed plays like he always does and that’s with ferocity and he knows when to lay back and knows when to rip it up! He’s simply the greatest guitar player in my time..NUFF said!
Alex man is always laying down the law with the drums! He drives Ed and Wolf while Dave is driving off somewhere out in space haha..thats Allright though it works….
Wolfie man is the MVP on this album for many a reason! One being the fella can play! Check out Everybody Wants Some and Romeo Delight for points of reference or the dual bass/guitar in Chinatown! That shit is real! Second he can hold his own vocally in the background dept! Plus he has his ear on the ground in regards to the song selection of those first 6 Halen albums! For that Wolfie …thanks a million dude!
So if you want a real Live album check the Tokyo Dome show out……