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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk Van Squalen's Avatar
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    12.13.17 @ 06:24 PM
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    Default For The Members of Van Halen, and All Their Fans

    So my ten thousandth post has arrived, and I thought to commemorate the occasion I'd present a reminder to the guys in Van Halen, and their fans, and myself, of what Van Halen really is, in its heart, what it represents beyond the soap opera, the group, the individuals, the genre, even the music itself. A redundant accolade considering the recent Hall of Fame induction (congrats, guys, you deserve the award, but it's moot for us diehards...we don't need a donor panel of industry toadies to tell us how you'll go down in history), but I'm gonna express it nevertheless.

    It's a funny thing, finding your favorite something within a wide field of somethings, only to find twenty-some years have passed and it's STILL your favorite something even with the addition of a helluva lot of dirty water under the bridge.

    For those of us who chose to identify most with Van Halen, over Zeppelin or the Stones or Aerosmith or any of the hard rock elite echelon, Van Halen is more than a band, more than a representation of eternal rebellious youth, more than an ensemble of composition and poetry, more than the audio idealization of wine, women, and song.

    They became part of us, just as we, albeit mutually vicarious, became a part of them, their music, their presence not simply a soundtrack behind the events, but an integral component of the events themselves.

    It's a tighter web than we all normally acknowledge. How have the band's lives been affected by Van Halen? Meeting future wives, having children, meeting people who become family friends, charity work for good causes, entrepreneurial opportunities, security, private demons and angels. fame, fortune, and glory...all because of Van Halen. There's that one kid Alex remembers from Dallas who looked him in the eye and smiled a great big smile of happiness, or the smile Sam gets from the weekly letters from a thirty-year fan, or the girl Dave remembers who followed him back to the hotel in Boston and presented herself as a sacrificial lamb, or Eddie recalling the guy who treated him like a regular joe at the supermarket, even though it was obvious he was a huge fan, and Eddie knew it, and an unspoken bond of respect passed between them, or Mike remembering sitting with a teenager dying of cancer.

    David Lee Roth. No man on the planet ever cock-walked his way across the stage with as much swagger and self-assured bravado as yourself. Your Black Oak howling rang in most of our early teen years, lacing our seminal coming-of-age phases along with Plant and Daltrey and Jagger as one of the greats. Don't kid yourself, man; as much as you like the pop shooby-doo-waa ('cause it gets you more chicks, understandable, brothah), your baritone rumble never sounds more unchallenged and powerful as it does when Ed's crunching a deeply devastating power riff. Your best album was not 1984, it was Fair Warning. Boom fuckitty boom, not diddy-shoo-bop. That's where your talents lie, and that's where you went a little awry in your solo career. When you left for Warner's hollow offer, I was certain Van Halen was dead, dirt-napped, done. Who the hell could possibly replace such a charismatic, occasionally addle-headed yet always loveable frontman? It was like thinking Rush could have a lead singer other than Geddy Lee. An irreplaceable voice for a one-of-a-kind band. You are the man.

    Sammy Hagar. Montrose was good 70s rock. The solo stuff before Van Halen, a little less so, but you could sing, nobody could deny that, and you could plunk a good little axe for a lead singer. You weren't thrown into a fair game...we were more than willing and able, after the zenith of 1984, to shred you to pieces. Even as much as we loved Edward's guitar, without Dave, most of us were ready to write Van Halen off as a lost cause. (Some few did, as is evidenced around from time to time ). But then something unexpected happened. That opening intro to 5150, with your Hello Baby, Ed's transmogrified electric sound, still crunchy, still ripping, and strangely, one could actually feel the change in tone of the band, less dark, more excited to play, and you managed to overcome fan hesitance and scrutiny with your easy-going laid-back California party 'tude and those monster pipes of yours, no small feat considering you were replacing what at the time was the (big) mouth of American hard rock. And then something stranger happened. Van Halen still rocked...thanks to you. So don't ever accept that horseshit moniker the media often title you as David Lee Roth's replacement. You've earned the Van Halen brand as much as any of the others. You too are the man.

    Alex Van Halen. The unsung hero. The silent and deadly rock of the entire ensemble. As Ed once told us (he didn't need to, we already knew), there is no brown sound without you. Flaming gongs and Tarzan outfits aside, you are one of the world's great drummers, and no, riding your last name because of little brother wasn't necessary...we would've recognized the massive talent regardless. Every single time....EVERY single fucking time...you finally came out from behind those skins and risers, headband drenched with sweat, and threw your signature fist into the air with that ne'er-do-well grin on your face to twenty thousand screaming fans, arms wrapped around your brothers-in-arms....we were RIGHT there with you, hoarse, throats bleeding, pumping our own fists in the air synchronized with your own post-show victory dance. Alex...you are the man.

    Michael Anthony.
    It's cliched at this point to label you the fan fave, the everyman, the guy who we can relate to the most, the guy who recognizes and validates the core of what you guys wanted when you first started out playing backyards in Pasadena...just to jam. Just. To. Jam. It always looks like you're having the most fun onstage, and the concerts are that much more for it. There are no harmonies in Van Halen without you. To hell with all this last year's whining and crying and griping, all the Other Half turncoat traitor bullshit...You just wanted to play, no contracts or lawyers necessary, and play you can, you can play the fuck out of a boom stick, and anybody with their head not up their ass and cotton not in their ears knows it. Mike..you too are the man.

    Eddie Van Halen. Ah, but I've been a harsh critic of you the last couple of years, which is funny, because if I have any one reigning hero, it's you. My heroes are human, and for that, I'm thankful. That shy dude hooked up with Valerie Bertinelli, that smarmy wistful sheepish grin while ripping it the FUCK up during Hot for Teacher or DOA, those godforsaken red and white leggings, the overalls, the straight-cut Balance era, the coke-and-whiskey saga, Farm Aid, Monsters of Rock...the only reason I noticed any of it was 'cause of you. The groundbreaking genius, coupled with the humility, was utterly inspiring. And while I've emphasized with your millennial difficulties, the cancer, the divorce, the substance abuse, the odd choices in career decisions, the half-assed '04 outing and the porn and all the rest, while I've berated much if not all of it since III, none of my discontent ever overrode my respect for that dude playing gee-tar. Push Comes to Shove. On Fire. Don't Tell Me What Love Can Do. Mine all Mine. Summer Nights. So This is Love. Hear About it Later. Humans Being. Me Wise Magic. The Full Bug. Romeo Delight. These are more than songs, Ed. They are culminations of emotion, creativity, imagination, shaping people's lives and minds and souls like clay and putty. Believe it. No matter how shit goes down in the future, you've already contributed gold to the world, and if you do any favors for yourself, do this...know that it mattered. Through all the hills and valleys, Edward...you are still the man. And from one fellow human being to another, I hope you find the light you're seeking.

    Ya see, it's more than the tunes. How many of us have climaxed with the love of our life during an Eddie solo cranking from a turntable or CD player? A lot, I think. How powerful is that? A lot, I think. How many folks played Van Halen at their weddings? At ball games? At bachelor parties, slumber parties, kegger parties, bar mitzvahs and sweet sixteens and anniversaries and even funerals. A buddy's going through a divorce, he's really bummed out, dark and dreary and at the end of his rope, and we sit and share a beer with our pal hoping his misery will drift away with a little company, and a Van Halen song comes on the radio, perhaps the uplifting diddy of Little Guitars, the cowtipping crunch of Black and Blue, the soothing tempo of Secrets, the dark yet befitting melodies of Feelin', and it's that little boost in spirit, brought on by such a small yet hugely universal thing, that gets that depressed buddy through the night.

    The taste, scent, and vibe of a swollen capacity crowd at a Van Halen gig, the sheer energy and anticipation surging through the masses, waiting to break in a roar of release at lights down and that first note.

    It is a meaningful thing, Van Halen. These days, with contractual obligations and backbiting and grudges and petty bickering, a society of litigation and commerce, a divisive fanbase, it's less so, and that's a shame, 'cause it doesn't have to be that way. The world could still use a little Van Halen. It's not about the music after all. It's about soul.

    We are part of Van Halen, and they are part of us. For better or worse, yesterday, today, and tomorrow. It's too late to change it. That's how art manifests. Through the creator AND the beholder.

    So thanks for the soul, boys. And right back at ya.
    Last edited by Van Squalen; 01.09.07 at 10:37 PM.

  2. #2
    Hot For Teacher Big Dainjerus's Avatar
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    Favorite VH Album

    VH I, Fair Warning
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    Poundcake, dirty movies
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    03.06.12 @ 10:07 AM
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    I just wanted to be the first to reply to your 10,000 post. Beautiful post man. Anything VH related gets my blood pumping. On Cold Pizza 1st and 10 (show on espn) one of the questions was "What group is most deserving of being inducted" and Skip Bayless said, 'Im not a VH fan but anyone who can blend metal hard rock and pop is deserving of this and I must bow down to them' and I got goose bumps.

    Heres to 10,000 more.

  3. #3
    Atomic Punk fast98dodge's Avatar
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    08.07.17 @ 08:14 PM
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    I thought you didn't give a shit about post counts, VS???
    Jet City Super Stealth
    Marshall 50th Anniversary JCM-1H and Class 5 Combo
    Austin Speaker Works KTS-60

  4. #4
    Atomic Punk
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    Favorite VH Album

    the classic 6 pack
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    hmmm...everybody wants some
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    12.11.17 @ 01:35 PM
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    fuck me runnin bro!

    greatest post EVER!

    just about brought a fuckin tear to my eye

    brett u need to just sticky this and close the thread and archive the fuckin thing

    someone should read this at the induction

    unfuckinreal

    squal-unbelieveable!


    unFUCKINreal

    i am beside myself

    man, i'll read that again later
    "you can't change JMJ, it's legendary"- Brett Norton 9/24/07

    "It's the "JMJ" everyone had grown to love, man! Time to blow the roof off this place!"
    -Zachenfoot 2/23/10

    "The links just look a little better with JMJ. Always has, always will." -Hurricane Halen 2/24/10

    "I'm doin' the victory dance. Told ya I'd be back. Tell me ya missed me. Say it like ya mean it" - Blood and Fire. =VH= 2012. Welcome back boys :headband:

    "I don't give a flying fuck about Motley Crue. I give about a half a fuck about Rush. I like Van Halen and don't give a flying fuck how many tickets they all sell. Any questions?"- jimmyw

  5. #5
    Outta Space Cowboy Scotty's Avatar
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    12.13.17 @ 05:44 PM
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    Beautiful read, bro.

  6. #6
    Eruption VHwasCoolestWithDLR's Avatar
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    Favorite VH Album

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    Impossible to name only one
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    01.08.17 @ 09:19 AM
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    Does that come in paperback?

  7. #7
    Eruption markp's Avatar
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    06.08.17 @ 10:06 AM
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    That was awesome. Thx

  8. #8
    Romeo Delight dgarc88's Avatar
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    05.11.13 @ 08:52 PM
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    Very well put....

    Got a chuckle out of this part:

    "How many of us have climaxed with the love of our life during an Eddie solo cranking from a turntable or CD player?"

    I'm wondering how many around here have climaxed by themself with VH/Eddie playing in the background ?

    Not that there's anything wrong with that.....
    We Belong, in a world that MUST be strong!
    --------------
    54 40 x 3, Aaron Kwok, AC/DC, Aerosmith x 2, Andy Lau, Black Crowes, Bon Jovi x 4, Bryan Adams x 3, David Lee Roth, Deep Purple, Def Leppard, Don Henley, Duran Duran, Eagles, Franz Ferdinand, Genesis, Guns n' Roses, INXS x 2, Jacky Cheung, Jeff Healey, Jet, Kim Mitchell, Linkin Park, Metallica, Michael Learns to Rock, No Doubt, Oasis, Ozzy Osbourne, Pearl Jam x 2, Pink Floyd, Queensryche, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Robbie Williams, Rod Stewart, Rolling Stones x 3, Rush, Sammi Cheng x 4, Sammy Hagar x 4, Scorpions, Steve Vai, Tom Cochrane, Tragically Hip x 2, U2 x 2, Van Halen x 8, The Who, Zhang Hui Mei (A*Mei) x 3

  9. #9
    On Fire STC5150's Avatar
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    Favorite VH Album

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    04.19.12 @ 02:48 AM
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    Kudos to you, sir, kudos.

  10. #10
    Eruption
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    Atomic Punk
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    05.26.17 @ 11:48 PM
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    Great post VS!

    I hope some of the VH boys read it somehow! Because that is what it is all about.

  11. #11
    Little Dreamer
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    04.24.13 @ 04:57 AM
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    Been Lurking for years, but that post was worthy!!!! Great Reading
    Excellent

  12. #12
    5150 RAGEN_40's Avatar
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    09.22.10 @ 01:03 AM
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    This is the reason that the toastmaster himself should be the one to give the induction speach. He has outdone himself.

    .
    I raise my whiskey glass to you Sqaulen and to Van Halen...SKOAL!!!
    Sometimes you feel like a nut...Sometimes you feel like a screw!

  13. #13
    ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ Number 47's Avatar
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    Nice job Squalen, it got me a little misty!

  14. #14
    Eruption servoguy101's Avatar
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    04.03.12 @ 11:26 AM
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    and I thought you just bitched..... great read, must have pulled out some spare brain cells for that one
    Sam, Dave,Gary... who cares. its all about what makes you feel good.

  15. #15
    On Fire
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    04.24.11 @ 06:35 PM
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    Nice thoughts, Squalen...I especially liked the part about how some of us eschewed the Stones or Zep or whatever...why VH? Must be magic.

    Hope your 20,000 post is just as nice (and who knows...maybe you'll be lauding Wolfie and Gary in there)

    grouch

 

 

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