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  1. #1
    Good Enough
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    Default Article from Pittsburgh on past Van Halen friends

    I thought this was interesting insight from these guys point of view....


    Van Halen's devotion to music reaches far and wide
    By Regis Behe
    TRIBUNE-REVIEW
    Thursday, April 24, 2008



    Spandex. Brown M&Ms. A revolving door of lead singers.

    These are some of the things that come to mind when Van Halen, which visits the Mellon Arena on Wednesday, is mentioned.

    But Rick Granati of the Granati Brothers has a different, more atypical view. He and his siblings -- Dave, Hermie and Joey -- toured with Van Halen in 1979 and 1981, and stay in touch with brothers Alex and Eddie.

    "They're actually just wonderful people," Rick Granati says. "Eddie is a sensitive, deep person who is totally devoted to music."

    The Van Halens and the Granatis -- by name alone sounding like a couple of Shakespearean street gangs -- met in 1979. The Beaver County siblings were in Los Angeles, opening for the New Wave Brit band the Fabulous Poodles at the Whiskey A Go-Go when they were tabbed to open Van Halen shows in Pocatello, Idaho, and Logan, Utah.

    The Granatis showed up in a van. The Van Halens had two large tour buses. The Granatis were experts at pitch-perfect pop and rock harmonies. Van Halen made music that seared the flesh of weaker human beings.

    The Granatis collectively thought they were in over their heads. But the first night in Pocatello, the crowd demanded an encore. Being the opening act, they were reluctant to go back onstage. Noel Monk, then Van Halen's production coordinator and later manager, told them to go back on, and made sure Eddie Van Halen was aware of what was happening. Intrigued, Eddie invited the Granatis on the rest of the tour.

    "They treated us as equals, like we were their brothers," Rick Granati says. "They made sure we had a sound check and never shorted us with the amount of stage available to us."

    The Granatis would meet up with Van Halen again in 1981 when the Fair Warning Tour came to Pittsburgh at the then-Civic Arena. They assumed the Van Halens would ignore them.

    "But when Eddie saw us, he said, 'Hey,' grabbed us and gave us a big group hug," Rick Granati says. "After the show, we ended up hanging out until five in the morning."

    Eddie Van Halen also promised he would do something for the band, which had just lost its recording contract. Thinking Van Halen would help them get another deal, the Granatis were stunned when, a few days later, they were asked to join the Fair Warning Tour in Philadelphia for the remaining 48 dates.

    The Granatis ended up being confidantes (and yes, partners in mayhem) with the Van Halen crew. Rick Granati remembers visiting Eddie in the '80s at his lavish home in Los Angeles during recording sessions.

    "He puts so much pressure on himself," Granati says. "He told me, 'I'm a prisoner of my success. I can't walk down the street, I can't take my son to McDonald's or Disneyland. I'm thrilled everyone likes my music, but everybody wants something from (me).'"

    In 1985, the Granatis were among the first to learn that the Van Halens were replacing lead singer David Lee Roth with Sammy Hagar. They protested, telling Eddie, "you can't do that; you're the Led Zeppelin of our generation." But the Van Halens were fed up with Roth's antics and side projects and wanted to move ahead with the band.

    Shortly after, Roth came to Pittsburgh with a new band that included guitarist Steve Vai. He hooked up with the Granatis and made a startling confession.

    "He said he'd made the biggest mistake of his life," Rick Granati recalls. "He said, 'You guys get along with Eddie and Alex. You gotta tell them I want back in the band.'"

    But when the Granatis relayed the message a few weeks later, the Van Halens were not amused, happy or inclined to say anything favorable about Roth.

    "They erupted," Rick Granati says, saying they went on for 20 minutes about their displeasure with Roth.

    "And now, they're finally back together," Granati adds with a laugh. "It only took 22, 23 years."

    While those days are in the past, the Granatis still have the rock 'n' roll bug. They are currently working with Peter Bennett, a promoter who worked with the Rolling Stones and the Beatles, on a Beatles tribute show scheduled for October at the Lincoln Park Performance Arts Center in Midland.

    Van Halen memories

    It's like the debate in the old Miller Lite commercials. But instead of "tastes great" or "less filling," Van Halen fans often are divided among which lead singer was better, David Lee Roth or Sammy Hagar. (Sorry, Gary Cherone fans, but he's sort of like the old "Wayne's World" mantra: not worthy.)

    Wednesday's show in Pittsburgh features Roth, which means the emphasis will be on the band's more abrasive rock sound. But no matter which Van Halen singer is at the mic, the group did exert an influence on musicians who bought into Roth's theory that "there's a little Van Halen in all of us."

    Here's the rest of the story if interested...
    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_563825.html
    Model Citizen, Zero Discipline


    "***"...now please take off my VanHalen t-shirt, before you jinx the band and they break up..." (The wedding singer)"

    *Thanks SNIC for my AWESOME new avatar!*

  2. #2
    Future's in the past....
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    Good reading there. Thank you for posting it up!
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  3. #3
    Romeo Delight
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    04.30.09 @ 08:39 PM
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    Not to nitpick.... but If you follow the timelime, they visited Eddie in Los Angeles in the 80's and Eddie told them he was a prisoner of his own success and that he couldn't take Wolf to Mcdonalds or Disneyland. Well. Wolf wasn't born in the 80's.

  4. #4
    Banned!
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    08.19.10 @ 08:10 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by VanHalenRules View Post
    Good reading there. Thank you for posting it up!
    Yep, exactly! Thanks!!

  5. #5
    Good Enough pal1800's Avatar
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    06.02.16 @ 09:13 AM
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    Interesting read. It's hard to imagine Roth admiting to making a mistake back in 1986. Who knows?

  6. #6
    Hot For Teacher drummr's Avatar
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    04.21.16 @ 10:55 AM
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    Cool read. Thanks for sharing.

  7. #7
    On Fire 3_6_9 time's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roksbug1 View Post
    Not to nitpick.... but If you follow the timelime, they visited Eddie in Los Angeles in the 80's and Eddie told them he was a prisoner of his own success and that he couldn't take Wolf to Mcdonalds or Disneyland. Well. Wolf wasn't born in the 80's.


    That is the first thing that popped in my mind when I read this. I think maybe these guys are trying to pump themselves up.

 

 

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