Tag Archives: eddie van Halen

SONIC WAVES…Van Halen/5150

Summer of 1985!

I hear on our  local radio station that David Lee Roth exits Van Halen and is replaced by Sammy Hagar! As a VH/ Hagar fan I’m A-Ok with this move as myself and Muc a year earlier in Oct of 1984 saw Hagar Live so we knew he would deliver.

After I heard that Roth was out I called Tbone stat but he was out at his camp for that summer so I wasn’t gonna phone about any silly OL thing but this was warranted!

So I called. Tbones mother answered and called him to the phone.

The first thing T said to me was it must be true,” I laughed and said “holy shit how did you hear about Dave splitting?”

Tbone said that he was hanging out and they’re was a couple of friends that knew he listened to VH  and they told him that Dave was out! Tbone did not believe it but no sooner is he told this by his camp friends than the phone rings,his mother calls him and tells him that its Deke on the phone….

Tbone knew it was true! Hahahahaha…

Now onto 1986!

In these hallowed pages of Arena Rock their aren’t many times I was out scooped but when it came time for Van Halen to release their Sammy Hagar(Dave Rothless) debut 5150 Tbone hooked up with Jack Loaf and skipped out of our first period Grade 13 class (1986) and went down and picked up 5150! I being the scholar did not skip school that day so when second period rolled around that day Tbone and JackLoaf were back with there that fresh copy release of 5150 at our school(Lakeview High School) I was like and this is putting it mildly….”you two sons of Bitches!!”  Ha! That’s the edited version!

Later that day we were bunkered down in Tbones basement for the Van Hagar debut and Wowzers I likey what I heard and still do….

One Two Three Rock Box!

GOOD ENOUGH- “Helloooooo Baaaaaaby” chirps Sammy and were off with a squeal of delight from Edward Van Halens guitar  and here’s brother Alex joining in on his electronic drums circa 1986 and slammimg straight ahead on bass is the Van Halen brothers favourite human kicking bag Michael Anthony. (Side note ..Ed its 2015,your Billboard interview slamming down Anthony’s contributions was to me sounding like sour pissy grapes….take the high road man..) Good Enough kicks some real good serious straight ahead goofy cool lyrics and some deadly music and we all breathe a sigh of relief! Love the song tempo change after the solo and throw down vocally some Woot Woo… It’s 1986 and we’re all digging Van Hagar! Rack a What?

WHY CANT THIS BE LOVE- I remember this track like it was yesterday. We were like I said earlier in Grade 13 when 5150 hit the street and to build hype VH released Why Can’t This Be Love as a single before the actual release of the full album. Now in one of my classes in High School some rock dudes were kinda hemming and hawing about Hagar singing lead and Roth being gone yada yada. For once I kept my musical trap shut and stayed out of it but one classmate who wore fancy dancy sweaters and played sax in the High School band who I didn’t even know listened to rock(or maybe he did?) pipes up and said ‘ I like the new guy (Hagar) better!” Ha I thought the third floor that we were on was gonna collapse! Boom end of discussion! Bell Rang…Class is now in session! Anyhoo this song starts with  Eddie farting around with the  opening on his Halen synth and Bam here comes the rest of the fella’s and Van Hagar drop a great song into our laps! Hagar shows that he’s no slouch in the lead vocal department and nails done a great vocal and Eddie does a chill solo and Alex Pounds the drums and Mikey holds down the fort with his bass!

GET UP- Ed starts off with some guitar hero snaz and brother Al speaking of drums launches into hyper speed and Get Up puts any doubt to rest that Halen is laying off the gas! GET UUUUUUUUUP! MAKE IT WORK…..sings Sam and him and Mike stand toe to toe with each other vocally and before you know it the song chills out with Ed and Al and then ramps up into Eds solo and my heads gonna blow as WTF Is he doing to that guitar! Love this tune…

DREAMS-power rocker tune fuelled by Eds banging tempo on the keys and Sammy gives her vocally big time on this tune and hits registers that even makes the staunchest of Roth supporters say what?! Dreams rocks in a great way. Great writing on this tune,performance. It’s all here folks!

SUMMER NIGHTS- one of my favs from this album! Ed noodles around at the beginning of this tune and does some Guitar hero action and Sammy tosses down some “lines into the fishing hole. Them girls are biting good tonight!” Sam sez that not me! The chorus is awesome Mikey carries the backing vocals and  Ed flings riff after riff and Al power drives the tune at the end to the fade out…

BEST OF BOTH WORLDS-Ed begins what became a staple in the live show in the Hagar era. Great driving Halen song! These were the good OL happy Hagar daze of yesteryear! Great song and better solo with Mike being Freddy Steady on Bass and Alex flinging around cymbals like Keith Moon!

LOVE WALKS IN- hmmmm very interesting. You know Van Halen as in Ed was tampering with keys already with mid tempo rock tracks(I’ll Wait from 1984 is a Classic in moi’s book!) so it didn’t really surprise me that this kinda song would appear along with Dreams and Why Can’t This Be Love on 5150. Sammy could deliver this stuff with ease and great melodic solo from Eddie. Hate using the term Power Ballad associated with Halen so let’s say Melodic Ass Kicker!

5150-Wowzers the title track and Ed starts off with some nifty picking and Al follows suit on the drums and the song picks up its pace for a few seconds and once Sam I Am starts singing that the ” Love line is never straight or narrow” love the tempo change and the chorus ramps up! Ed flings down some cool twirly cool doodle as fuck solos and it ramps back up again!

INSIDE- Ha! No one ever talks about this track! Time to show it some love! It’s a mix mash of Sammys lead vocals and a background of  yakking and Sammy just me being crazy or just a bit too high! Cool little riff! And better yet is that Al chirping the word “Alimony”in the background? Ha! Hey so that’s what’s going down on the Inside! Ed mashes up some synth with his guitar and the song ends! Boom Done!

IN CONCLUSION- the build up and the hype for 5150 back in 1986 was friggin huge! Imagine the pressure of following Roth and the 1984 album but Sam and his new friends deliver this album in spades and just think a few months later here comes Diamond Dave with Eat Em And Smile! 1986 yeah man,a great year musically speaking for myself,Tbone and others!

Cool Lil Numbers….Van Halen/Panama Live 2015

Blabbermouth is a music site I visit daily to see what’s going on in the hard rock world. When it was announced that Van Halen was putting out a live album on March 31th 2015 the story went abuzz with questions basically what would David Lee Roths vocals be like! Some people were saying that the show that was recorded (Tokyo) from people that watched it thru the youtubes of the world said Roths vocals were a mess to put it bluntly! But man a lot of these shows are filmed by iPhones so take it for what it’s worth.

I did!

So than I read a official press release saying  that the double live album(Yee Ha) is live like totally live, Roths vocals,Alex,Eddie and Wolfie Van Halen all live  no touch ups in the studio. How you heard that night if you were present in Tokyo is how I will hear it on my iPod in Tbay!

Fair enough but really?

Back in early 1993 Van Halen with Sam Hagar on vocals released the live Right Here Right Now double live cd and video. I was pumped until I heard it. The cd was a let down the Mighty Van Halen sounded umm watered down, live the audio was sterile sounding and when I  read Hagars autobiography he says they basically re recorded the whole thing in the studio as Ed And Alex kept tweaking it. Who knows but the video royally sucked I mean I watched it once as they recorded like 3 nights in the same city and in one shot Sam is wearing a green shirt,next shot Sam is wearing a red shirt! They edited all the shows into one concert! This was fucking awful!

So…

Halen(2015 Version) tosses out in advance 2 live tracks from the forthcoming live album (Runnin With The Devil and Panama ) and of course they ended up on Blabbermouth. Ha . So me being the die hard Halen nut I mean I’m gonna buy this thing regardless so I read the comments first before I listened to the audio itself and man Halen was getting verbally hammered by I would say almost everyone as people were ripping on Daves vocals big time. Daves singing is off,bass sounds muddy,mix is aweful hahaha…just getting ripped! I kinda half listened to the audio as I mean I can’t really judge it thru my iPad.

Itunes last week thru down the preorder to Live In Tokyo and Yep me buyee! ($12.99 for 25 Tracks)With the preorder came  two tracks (Panama and Runnin With The Devil) Boom to my iPod for a Crank Job in the Sonic Deptmartment at Arena Rock!

My prognosis?!

Yep I agree with the masses Daves vocals are different to say the least! He’s yammering, talking rushing through the words trying to keep up haha. This is Dave 2015 . Roth is screwed at this point! If he sings it note for note perfect everyone will call him out for doctoring (fixing up)his vocals in the studio! As in this case he does it live and people rip on him for his vocals being shot!

The brothers VH and Eds Kid Wolfie bring the chops to the shop. Wolfs bass(kid can play)is mixed on the left side and Ed on the right side and Als drums are everywhere. Ed and Wolfs backing vocals on the two tracks are good,no complaints..

I wish VH though would dig back in the vaults and toss us all a live show say from the Fair Warning Tour(1981) or the 1984 Tour…

But….

Its live and good on VH for putting it out how it’s supposed to be but I guess I will have to wait for the other 23 tracks to be released but yeah who knows how I would feel if I thought VH was kinda there and not a fanboy..who knows but for now I’m good with this…

Bring it….

SONIC WAVES…..VAN HALEN/Diver Down

This is the mixed bag of Halen albums. Half covers/Half originals! At the time of its release in 1982 to say I was confused as a 15 yr old listening to Diver Down at the time would be the understatement of well …..1982!

My Halen collection up Til that point consisted of Fair Warning and Women & Childern First! So when I heard on our radio in town here(580 CKPR ) playing Oh Pretty Woman (Roy Orbison cover) and Eddie Van Halen is doing his whammy bar divey things and David Lee was leading the circus and conducting Alex Van Halen on drums and Michael Anthony on bass I was sold!

So it was off to Tbays Sam The Record Man to buy the 45 of Pretty Woman. This was a good couple of months before the actual Diver Down album release. So I buy the 45 race home put on Pretty Woman yeah man this is good and I flip the 45 and its Happy Trails! Hahaha! There Ya go Halen messing with a 15 year olds mind!

Bottoms Up……

WHERE HAVE ALL THE GOOD TIMES GONE- so HALEN kicks off the party with a Kinks cover tune! But they Halenize it and if it wasn’t for the credits I would have thought that Dave and Company Halen wrote this! Daves vocals are smooth on here! Eddie just nails out a cool EVH like solo! Of course man he’s the best and Ed locks in and out of the solo.with Al and Mike! Great rock track!

HANG EM HIGH- Ed rips out of the gate on this original and man to this day this is one of my fav songs! Al’s drums are smashing at full throttle and Mad Anthony keeps up on the bass and  Dave lays down a low voice “Somewhere, he lost it in a turn”and whoah the solo is so fuckin good like what could i add to it other than it sounds like Eds guitar is gonna explode and during the solo Als double bass drumming is smashing and throttling down of a cliff! This is a crash course in over the top drumming its the deal! Of course the end of Hang Em High it’s a free for all workout on the instruments! I have had my sonic senses kicked and kicked hard!

CATHEDRAL- this is Ed nodding around on his guitar and when I mean noodling more like classic playing which to this day he still incorporates into his live solo now! Great story as well I have to share…when me and Tbone were punching out the Current River Hodder To Hell (early 1993)tape Tbone late one night was doing his half sauced half assed version of Cathedral on his younger bros (Rugg) guitar as Rugg was at work! I was half asleep on a couch in a adjacent room and thats all you could hear through Tbones house …Tbone doing Cathedral at high volume thru his amp..wah wah wah with the volume knob on the guitar for what seemed like 15 minutes ..wah wah wah and than SILENCE! Followed by a loud “Shit”from Tbone it seems he did it so much that the volume knob on Ruggs guitar seized…..I Roared with laughter(nice guy I know) but shit  that was hilarious! Tbone had a half hour to take apart the guitar and fix as Rugg was coming home from work! Tbone pulled it off fixed and all was good and him  being the nice guy fessed to his brother……so whenever I hear Cathedral a little bit of it takes me back to those winter months of 1993! ( the vid at the top is Ed from 2012 doing Cathedral. I could not find good footage from 1982 or for that matter of Tbone from 1993 doodling Cathedral. I should have filmed it!)

SECRETS- this is another track that never gets talked about but it should! This should have been a huge single! Dave sings a real good vocal and great backing vocals as always from Micheal Anthony! Great rip out of a solo but of course it’s Eddie and no one was touching him back than in the land of guitardom!

INTRUDER-this short little creepy Intro is propelled by Alex’s drums and bizarro smoldering synth and guitar and boom into….

PRETTY WOMAN-and heres Halen making Roy’s tune there own and man I hope OL Roy got some royalty cheques from this! This single was huge and Ed keeps the song simple but man him playing stuff simple is so cool….great song…right into Daves Backyard for a barbecue!

DANCING IN THE STREETS- another single but I guess Dave likey and the rest of Halen not so much or so the story goes. Myself it’s there and it’s kinda weird that I would say that about a Halen tune. But in there defence they did not write it!

LITTLE GUITARS(Intro)- Ed plays a mean little guitar classical style thingy than….

LITTLE GUITARS-  drums and Ed and his sound take over another  great opening and another sure fire classic! Dave and Mikey carry the tune vocally and The VH  brothers do the rest! Love the pre chorus on this ‘Catch as Catch,Catch as Catch” yeah whatever Dave..however you  were saying things back than you made them sound cool!

BIG BAD BILL IS SWEET WILLIAM NOW- hey the Bros get there Dad (Jan Van Halen RIP) on clarinet and Ed and his acoustic with Al on the brushes make this song there own! Love the shuffle of the beat the strumming guitars! It’s all here folks…..’doin up the dishes mopping up that floor!”…..awesome!

FULLBUG- some crazy ass acoustic starts the Full Bug and boom HALEN kicks down the walls to the party shack with this song! Dave knows a woman who bite yo ass! Party Halen has rummaged thru your house and destroyed everything in site and Dave is telling the ladies he will give you the best part of a man! Cool Dave chugs on the harmonica! With the Halen boys scorching riff rock underneath! Classic very underrated track!

 

HAPPY TRAILS-ADIOS…….NUFF SAID!

 

SONIC WAVES….Van Halen/Women And Childern First

Well, ladies and the gents! Here it is the gamechanger that set my world on fire and which to this day is my número Uno all-time #1 studio album. Here’s my story…

January 1981. Beatles and Lennon solo records were flying out the door of all record shops at a frenzied rate, and we all know why. How could you not be impacted by Lennon being gunned down by Chapman I mean I had just turned 13 and on my walls were Kiss/Cheap Trick/ACDC/Judas Priest and then this happens. So I couldn’t wrap my head around that fact someone would gun down a musician of all things. So with so much Lennon being heard I went and took my allowance and went down to the local record shop (Sam The Record Man) to buy a Beatles album. When I walked into SAMs and kicked the snow off of my boots sure there was a massive display of Beatles/Lennon albums but off to the left at the front of the hard rock section was a green cover with 4 long haired dudes doing a pose in true Rockstar fashion. I was drawn to it. I picked it up, and wow look at these renegades. That picture on the front cover sold it to me along with with the song titles as well and the fact that it came with a poster! ( more on that  later!)

So well the Beatles/Lennon purchases would have to wait. I was mesmerized, it’s like that picture of the band on the back cover was calling me ‘ c’ mon little Deker come and join the party’ uh ok sez I, I’m only like 13 but ….yeeeeeeeeeah! So there it began friends once I got home and dropped the needle on the vinyl I was hooked! The liveness, rawness, the songs, the musicianship, the vocals man these guys were heavy but heavy in my way that was in line with what I was listening too…..and ah here’s the poster that came with it ..I remember clear as day the sticker on the outside of the album that said VH poster included. Well much to my dismay the poster was not of VH but Roth topless tied to chain link fence!!? Arrrrrrrgh ..hello trash can! But who cares about the poster here’s comes the tunes and Boy were they are rocking! Now what you are about to read below I can’t really add anything new to it cause this is VH for god’s sake, but I will give my spin on how I felt and still do in regards to this Maximus Opus!

Also of note, I caught Halen live on the 2012 tour, and they played three tracks from W&CF which were Cradle Will Rock, Everybody Wants Some and Romeo Delight!

Let’s see how Dave/Eddie/Alex/Micheal took a 13 yr old boy (me) at the time and gave him a swift hard kick of musical supremacy outside the head!

AND THE CRADLE WILL ROCK- wow man, this is a keyboard driven through a Marshall stack! The VH boys lay it down thick and hard right out of the gate and Dave begins the album as the ringleader and when he says….’have you seen Junior’s grades” holy shit! Dave must be talking to my Parents about my grade 8 math marks through the grooves of the album!

EVERYBODY WANTS SOME- Alex lays down some Amazon war tribe beats as Dave interrupts swinging off of his vine with some off-key Tarzan yodeling and then Eddie interjects with his guitar and holy crap I have never heard the guitar at this time sound so heavy on record. Man it’s just plain sick and geez were not even 10 minutes into this album and VH is my favorite all time band circa 1981!

FOOLS- Eddie makes noodling guitar thingy noises at the beginning. With Dave as his sidekick and then the long intro sounds like the ending of the song but actually, it’s the beginning of the song. The band with Mike and Alex just chug along, and Dave lays down his sermon on all things like  School and being tired of Golden Rules, being tired of pushing broom in the workplace and they don’t want no class reunion the circus just left town! F*%k, Dave has spoken, and I’m a follower! All Hail Roth-isms!

ROMEO DELIGHT- what an opening few bars of Edward doing whatever it is he’s doing and then Mikey and Alex blasting in at super speed and here comes Dave telling us about his quest to find a squeeze for the night! Wow, four songs down and this is so friggin good! Why could KISS not sound this heavy on studio albums?? Especially since cash flow in the late 70s was not an issue for $immon$ and Stanley….man what a song and what a way to end side 1 Whew…

TORA TORA-is basically when cranked in your house a VH B-52 Bomber dropping military shell after shells onto your senses. Take cover people there’s no escaping VH.

LOSS OF CONTROL- is basically that. It’s VH being Loss Of Control at the speed of sound! This song just pounds whatever senses you have left into the ground! No wonder they called there Women and Children Road Trip the Van Halen 1980 Invasion Tour. Yep there taking no prisoners! Eddies solo can peel paint off of the barn door with this little number!

TAKE YOUR WHISKEY HOME- if memory serves me correct this my brothers (Todd)if not fav but one of his fav VH tunes ever. Ed strums some acoustic Dave rolls off some lyrics out his baby not wanting him around…and then Alex and Mike join the bash and they say f*#k that were drinking the whiskey before anyone goes home.

COULD THIS BE MAGIC- wow VH makes a u-turn heads into the liquor store parking lot and realize they’re a little short on the change to buy some Jack Danniels or Whiskey and pull out the acoustics and try and panhandle for the rest of the money to buy there stash. Dave and Eddie take it all acoustic it’s a little break in a pretty damn heavy album!

IN A SIMPLE RHYME- this song ends the album with a hard kick to the crotch. It’s VH flying on all the cylinders and headed towards the finish line kicking ass and taking names later. The solo in this song is so friggin good.

GROWTH or TANK- take your pick. This was a little outro of the album that was gonna segue into the next studio album(Fair Warning), but it never happened cuz um VH forgot!

IN CONCLUSION – This album assaulted my senses back then and still does to this day! Perhaps if Fair Warning was my first purchase or 1984 was those could easily be my fave or actually any of the Dave era albums. Pretty surprising that Women And Children First could overtake another fav album of my at the time ACDC Back In Black, but VH did! Amazing how It only took VH under 35 minutes to change my musical landscape forever!

SONIC WAVES……Van Halen/OU812

 

1988 a ton of releases made there way to my house via my wallet. One of em was OU812 by the mighty Halen. We all know the deal with Dave leaving and Sammy joining at the time I was a little perplexed by this Halen album but over time I have come to appreciate its different style of Rocka Rolla compared to Halens early offerings and the fact that with Hagar in tow this was gonna be a different band from album to album like 5150 was different (to my ears) than OU812.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it…..

MINE ALL MINE- wow some synthey keys and Eddie and the band joins in and were off to the races 1988 style! This is Halen headed into new frontiers and I’m willing to join em hell yeah change is good but there are naysayers out there. But nope, Ed and Alex are forging ahead with there new sound and well hey I’m ok with everything. Being it’s 1988 and earlier in the year we got Dave’s Skyscraper and now a few months later were getting ou812!  More music,more bang for the buck and the bucks I did contribute !

WHEN ITS LOVE- wow second song in and were headed into to the I don’t wanna say it but how about slower paced tempo tune! Ha. This is a good song and the vid got a ton of spins on Muchmusic. Once again like any Halen album there’s  Anthony and his backing voice and man the dude can belt it out.( Remember Get Up from 5150? )Good song and better solo but it’s EVH were talking about.

A.F.U(all fired up)-Alex torpedo’s the song out of the gate and were off  and man were on tour with Halen 90 days on the road and my axe is cutting me deep….alright Sammy is a little aloof with the lyrics here but but hey he’s trying to keep the party raging on the road so I salute him for that! Once again Super Duper EVH solo…as with any Halen you  know that’s the theme  right if you already hadn’t noticed!

CABO WABO- Sammy’s watering hole and hey he wrote a song about it so to make a long story short go to CABO,drink and than fall face down into the sand and kiss the ground! This is 7 minutes of  a slow Halen mover and you know what? It’s ok to chill after being AFU for  90 days so….go to CABO!

SOURCE OF INFECTION- ok,so music is good, lyrics not so much I mean Sammy was kinda I think not to inspired maybe he thought hey I  will write goofy Poison like lyrics! But Sam your in The Band! C’mon man..but than again I would never have the balls to say that to Sammys face Mano to Mano circa 1988 that the lyrics to Source Of Infection were goofy. I would tell Sammy that TBone said it!!! Ha!

FEELS SO GOOD- ok so we go from a previous goofy party tune to a great song from the guys so Eddie starts it with some wavy like keyboards action and boom comes Alex and Mike and Sam this is a fantastic written piece of work! Well done! Man still one of my faves!

FINISH WHAT  YOU STARTED- cool acoustic and cool video and man Halen does not sell out and Sammy sings pretty chill in this tune like he had a big spliff and a shot of sumthin and here comes Ed with some real nasty cool  picking! All these years later this one of there well known Sam tracks!

BLACK AND BLUE-so the story goes on this one as I remember from when Sam/Ed were on Rockline. Warner Brothers was bugging the guys for a single and Halen gave em Black N Blue. This is a sleaze ball grinder of a tune. Catchy tune but the lyrics now are like….Hahahaha……..

SUCKER IN A 3 PIECE-man this song is one of my faves. Ed peels a little bunch of wang dang guitar at the beginning and than to my ears it sounds like a little ACDCish in the music and of course Sam does his super chill cool voice halfway thru…u want a Sucker..look at all that money gooooo! Ed rips into the heavens on a crazy assed solo Wowzers, For Those About To Be A Sucker..VH Salutes u!

A APOLITICAL BLUES-hiccup…these fellas dipped into the sauce and punched this out as a bonus track for the cd and cassette only I think but hey it goes to show that Halen can get still get sauced and punch out sumthin goofy which we can all lap up and think it’s the coolest thing ever!Just don’t tell Chairman Mao!

IN CONCLUSION-OU812 is I think over all this time my fav Hagar era album. The songs are good and it’s a good continuation of 5150 and why not keep the party going will ya?! You think I gonna tell Sam/Mike/Ed and Alex to leave? Nope just turn off the lights when u split! This one took many a year but it was a real slow grower on me and well it’s a classic. The only fault I can find with it is the production. Some of the sonics on some songs sound better than others. But when it comes to the playing and singing,no complaints man,no complaints!