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  1. #1
    Eruption Naked Wake's Avatar
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    12.09.17 @ 06:49 AM
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    Default Is there a story to why it took VH so long to get signed?

    I'm pulling this from another thread, but I already knew about it. I was just reminded after reading it. Most bands typically seem to get signed and cut a record within a couple of years of forming, but for whatever reason, it took VH about six years.

    Is there any story behind this? Any input from band members about frustrations in the early years of not getting signed? Anything like that? Just curious

    The Grammy Award-winning VAN HALEN was formed in 1972 in Pasadena, California and released its first album in 1978, quickly becoming one of the most influential rock bands in history.

  2. #2
    Baluchitherium
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    12.10.17 @ 11:47 AM
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    I think it was because no one thought Dave could sing. After they honed their craft working the circuit for a few years, it was obvious that it didn't matter. Keep in mind also that they were kids when they were playing Gazzari's and the Whisky.
    "Alcoholism, is like, the only disease you can get yelled at for having" - Mitch
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  3. #3
    On Fire 5150 Mean St's Avatar
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    04.13.15 @ 11:52 AM
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    ^I seem to remember reading some speculation on that, at the very least. The thought was that Roth did not have a conventional voice for a rock group frontman, and thusly that made the whole essence of Van Halen seem "unmarketable". Of course, they proved everyone wrong...but I do believe that was a factor in the beginning.
    The song ain't dirty it's really just the way we sing it...

  4. #4
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    12.10.17 @ 09:35 PM
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    Default

    Dave was the weak link, but I think it was just more timing than anything else, honing their skill, songwriting, like any band. It was only a matter of time.

    Dave got A LOT better too...listen to him on early bootlegs up until the first album was recorded...night and day a better singer. And Ed was 17 in 1972, I seriously doubt VH was thinking about getting signed back then, it was just about playing at that point.

    And Mike didn't join until '74, so they weren't even really VH until then. Mike's voice brought a whole new dynamic.

    I know a couple guys who saw them play at a couple backyard parties in the Valley and they were the shit back then, everyone knew they'd eventually make it.
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  5. #5
    Sinner's Swing! Zahzoo's Avatar
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    11.04.17 @ 06:01 AM
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    Ah... remember back in the 70's with no internet, no CD's, no digital file transfers... news came perdominately from print, radio and TV. Hell we didn't even have cordless telephones let alone cell phones. Point is... things moved a heck of a lot slower back then.

    But the key factor for signing new bands was simple... you had to go out and earn your way into the business. That meant working your ass off to scratch your way to the top of your local market honing your skills and drawing an audience. Even then very few ever got a look or a listen from any major people in the industry.

    Ain't like today a kid can record an album on his computer, spiff it up with pro-tools, upload some video to Youtube and spam mail it to every label around the planet...

    Back then you had to work for your dinner and bar tab for years...
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  6. #6
    Eruption Naked Wake's Avatar
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    12.09.17 @ 06:49 AM
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    Default

    I forgot about this thread. Thanks for everyone's input. I had no idea that DLR would have been considered the "weak link." I mean, it's obvious he isn't a great singer but I think his showmanship and presence more than makes up for it. That alone, from a marketing perspective, back then especially, made him more than worth his weight in gold.


    Quote Originally Posted by Zahzoo View Post
    Ah... remember back in the 70's with no internet, no CD's, no digital file transfers... news came perdominately from print, radio and TV. Hell we didn't even have cordless telephones let alone cell phones. Point is... things moved a heck of a lot slower back then.

    But the key factor for signing new bands was simple... you had to go out and earn your way into the business. That meant working your ass off to scratch your way to the top of your local market honing your skills and drawing an audience. Even then very few ever got a look or a listen from any major people in the industry.

    Ain't like today a kid can record an album on his computer, spiff it up with pro-tools, upload some video to Youtube and spam mail it to every label around the planet...

    Back then you had to work for your dinner and bar tab for years...
    I'm aware of all that. I'm 38, not 18, but if you look back at many of the bands from the late '60's and early '70's they were typically signed and/or released their first album within two years of forming.

    Sabbath, Priest, Zeppelin, AC/DC, etc. That's why I was curious. It seemed abnormal for any band during that time to go five or six years without getting signed.

  7. #7
    Sinner's Swing! Zahzoo's Avatar
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    11.04.17 @ 06:01 AM
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    Nah Nekid... I think you're missing a lot of history there. Sabbath & LZ members worked a lot years in different groups honing their stuff. Hell even the Beatles had to scratch it out for several years in the UK & Europe before they hit it. Look at Page, Clapton & Jeff Beck's history cris-crossing before either hit the right mix.

    Hendrix spent years playing in Army bands then on the Chitlin circuit with Little Richard, the Isely Bros, Curtis May, etc... He had spent a year fronting Jimmy James and the Blue Flames in Greenwich Village before Chas Chandler bailed his guitar out of pawn shop and hauled him over to London...

    Point is... all the big bands worked their asses off in the early days for years before hitting it. VH was one of several So-Cal acts that worked their way up the Sunset strip ladder... 99% went no where. Luckily Mo & Ted saw the potential in Ed and took a chance...
    Woke up this mornin, got Blue Moon in your eyes...
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  8. #8
    Good Enough BlindtotheWorld's Avatar
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    12.08.17 @ 12:14 PM
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    I could be mistaken but I think in VH Unleashed, the band mentioned that WB wanted to replace DLR with Sammy Hagar before the first album was even recorded. Dave proved everyone wrong in the end.

  9. #9
    Baluchitherium
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    11.25.17 @ 04:30 AM
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    Zahzoo and Brett nailed it: no Internet and timing. Word of mouth was the order of the day. And Van Halen were not playing - rather, writing - the type of music that would get them Top 40 radio play. Sure, they were playing some Top 40 tunes, but Van Halen was not a Top 40 band, and the music scene was changing.

    --- --- ---

    As a musician, I always knew that there was no such thing as an overnight success. Bands slogged it out in the trenches for years because that's how Van Halen did it. Doing that was inevitable.

    Then in 1991, Ugly Kid Joe got signed after their eighth gig.

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  10. #10
    Summer Nights in Cabo SNIC's Avatar
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    10.19.17 @ 06:44 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metal Marc View Post
    Zahzoo and Brett nailed it: no Internet and timing. Word of mouth was the order of the day. And Van Halen were not playing - rather, writing - the type of music that would get them Top 40 radio play. Sure, they were playing some Top 40 tunes, but Van Halen was not a Top 40 band, and the music scene was changing.

    --- --- ---

    As a musician, I always knew that there was no such thing as an overnight success. Bands slogged it out in the trenches for years because that's how Van Halen did it. Doing that was inevitable.

    Then in 1991, Ugly Kid Joe got signed after their eighth gig.

    Don't forget the kid from Edmond, OK, that does a Lady Gaga song at a talent show and gets signed the next weed.

    Artists I Have Seen: 1D, 38 Special, Aerosmith, Alabama, Bad Company, Bad English, Billy Squire, Bob Seger, Bon Jovi, Boston, BTO, Cheap Trick, Chicago, Chickenfoot, Cinderella, Daughtry, Dave Matthews Band, Default, Def Leppard, Dio, Dokken, Drowning Pool, Eagles, Earth Wind & Fire, Eddie Money, Eric Clapton, Farenheit, Fleetwood Mac, Foreigner, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Glass Tiger, Heart, Huey Lewis and the News, Jackson Browne, Jimmy Buffett, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Joe Bonamassa, John Mellencamp, Journey, Keel, Kingdom Come, Kings X, KISS, Kool and the Gang, Krokus, Lionel Richie, Little River Band, Lou Gramm, Loverboy, Los Lonely Boys, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Metallica, Michael Bolton, Nickelback, Night Ranger, Paul Stanley, Peter Frampton, Pink Floyd, Poison, Red Rider, REO Speedwagon, Santana, Sammy Hagar, Shinedown, Steely Dan, Steve Miller Band, Styx, Ted Nugent, Tesla, The 1975, The Black Crowes, The Roots, The Wallflowers, U2, Van Halen, Whitesnake, Zac Brown Band, ZZ Top

  11. #11
    Baluchitherium
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    11.25.17 @ 04:30 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by SNIC View Post
    Don't forget the kid from Edmond, OK, that does a Lady Gaga song at a talent show and gets signed the next weed.

    Yeah...that jackball. Ugh! See, YouTube and MySpace can get you signed just like that [snaps fingers], but you're here today and gone tomorrow. There are no more long-term/long-career rock stars anymore. Or at least there won't be anymore.

    "The shit I read on this site." -- Dave's Dreidel (Nov 6th, 2013)

    "Don't ever confuse talent with fame." -- Bob Lefsetz

    "There's very little greatness in this world, but in the crucible of quality there's a special corner reserved for Van Halen." -- Bob Lefsetz

  12. #12
    Good Enough
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    The band I'm in is relatively new. We've been gigging for all of three months or so, but last night we had a girl at the show and she was singing the words to one of our originals. So that's one fan down, 10 million to go.

    Seriously, the number of bands out there is amazing, and the competition to get into someone's head is just as tough. The get-signed-quick artists might make the news, but I'd bet my house that most big bands pay their dues and play all the shitty dives on the way up. Even with an EVH on guitar, that's the process.

  13. #13
    Little Dreamer LLEADD's Avatar
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    02.24.12 @ 02:00 PM
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    The were somewhat outcast in 78 because they weren't punk and most labels thought metal was dead, at least not commercially viable. I mean metal as in long hair, loud riffs, musicianship.

  14. #14
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    12.10.17 @ 08:27 PM
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    Default

    At the time, DLR was thought of as a Jim Dandy clone who couldn't sing as well. But he improved on his schtick and made it his own, and really improved his vocals.

    If you listen to the old bootlegs from them in 1974-1975 and compare them to the live boots from the 1979 tour (his best vocals night in and night out by far - not even close), the improvement in DLR is amazing.
    Taylor Swift is nice to look at. Adele can sing.

    Emperor Brett - "I can't believe you guys are analyzing song-by-song Van Halen III? What next, analyzing the script of Stroker Ace looking for some shred of Citizen Kane?"

    David Lee Roth did the impossible. He made Van Halen better. Deal with it!

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  15. #15
    Baluchitherium
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    12.06.17 @ 01:26 PM
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    Eddie was trying to wait until the invention of the Eraser-Mate pen.
    Posted from yo' mama's house.


 

 

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