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  1. #1
    Hang 'Em High James in New York's Avatar
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    12.18.17 @ 04:27 AM
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    Default Exclusive VHLinks Review: VAN HALEN @ CAFE WHA? Part 1

    Thursday morning at 6am I jumped out of bed, showered and had some breakfast. Nothing unusual about that. Typical morning for most people. But for me, this would not be a normal day at all. This was a day straight out of a dream. In fact, many times during this day I had to pinch myself to remind me that this was really happening.

    Van Halen would be appearing live at Cafe Wha? right here in NYC and I would be there, somewhere in that small room, representing the VHLinks and relaying info and photos to the site's great leader Brett Norton, who would then post the info for the Van Halen fans all over the world to see.

    Certainly not a typical day!

    I arrived at Cafe Wha? WAY too early and was greeted by five NYPD officers at the door. They were very friendly and said Van Halen had just left the building after sound check. I missed them by minutes!

    I said I am James and I need to get in just for a second to pick up my special pass. They laughed and said NO ONE goes through that door. No way. I said, but I'm like Charlie Bucket, I won the golden ticket. They said, well, show us the ticket. I said, it is INSIDE the club. They repeated, no one goes inside. This went on for a while. Round and round. They said how do we know you're the real James. I said, trust me, I am him. Well...

    From that point on, ALL of the NYPD there called me Steve.

    The whole day. They really had a blast with it, too. Hey look, it's STEVE!

    They knew that they would get me in when the time was right, 7 PM. I contacted Brett and he told me just go have a drink and wait it out. I stopped in a little cafe a few doors down and charged up my phone so I would be juiced up and ready for you guys.

    It was now officially Jack Daniels time. I check my messages and I have this incredible voicemail from fellow Linker, Seenbad! This guy leaves me such an inspiring voicemail that I have to order a second Jack Daniels right after hearing it. JMJ is texting me lyrics to In a Simple Rhyme! Okay, just for that, maybe one more drink.

    Brett is saying, easy there, don't get too drunk. LOL. More Linkers writing great things. I call back Seenbad (John!) and we have a GREAT talk and between this guy and Brett and JMJ (and everyone else!) I am ready to take on VAN HALEN. Whew. There is a knock on the window. It's a cop giving me the thumbs up. Steve! It's time!

    I head outside and now I see a crowd. Fans everywhere. Lines are forming. And there is Jeff Hausman and his beautiful wife! They just arrived and are going for a bite to eat. The excitement is building. Reporters and camera crews are roaming around talking to people. Brett tells me WARF from the DLRArmy is here somewhere. I tell him if I bump into him we will have drinks and there will be peace.

    Comedian Jim Norton gets on line behind me. Eddie Trunk is here. Lots of familiar faces. Jeff is back from a quick dinner. The doors finally open and they are checking names. The cops say good luck James. I reach the girl with the list and I give my ID and she is looking and looking. And looking. And then she says there you are and crosses me off.
    They stamp my hand and I am INSIDE!

    I make my way through the club, it is very small and very tight. It's packed already. A pretty girl leads me to a table near the stage. I see Eddie Van Halen's amps! Alex has one bass drum, small kit. Wolfie's amps. What I don't see is what is right in front of me. And I mean inches away. Someone nudges me and says look. LOOK!

    It's David Lee Roth's microphone stand. It is RIGHT in my face. No, really.

    I am front row. Dave will be standing right in front of me. That's when I meet Dana, who is videoing the event, professionally shooting it. Shelly, who works for Dave. And Leslie, who is Emerald Eyes here on the Links.

    I tell them all, this is NO GOOD. Dave is too close. Dave can touch me. I don't like it. I'm TOO close!

    Even the girls have a few chairs placed in front of them, like a barrier. I have zero barrier. Just the little table that is almost touching the mike stand. Jeff is sitting by me, too. Everybody is psyched. Drinks come, for FREE. Is this really happening? I think of what my fellow Linkers have been telling me, soak it in, enjoy every second of it. There's Matt Bruck. They are getting everything ready. Right across from me is WARF. He is on the other side of Dave's mike stand. He is touching it.

    We high five and have a toast. We're out of our minds. Dana is getting a kick out of our excitement. She's great, smiling the whole time while videotaping. I am a magician, so I do some sleight of hand for them. I'm making things disappear. Napkins, bottle caps, all sorts of stuff. I did some very fast one handed cuts with playing cards. 160 cuts per minute, both hands going, half a deck in each hand. I tell them Eddie and Van Halen inspired it all. Which is true. We are all just having fun. The place is so tight, everyone has a good seat. But we have the BEST seats. We are RIGHT THERE.

    I tell Leslie that she is too close. Dave WILL hit on her. She is in trouble. She is modest and says no way he hits on her. I say wanna bet?

    Someone nudges me again. I look up. David Lee Roth is standing right in front of me. He is about to go on stage, but he is entering from the audience. He is beaming. Hat on, overalls. He looks great. Smiling that smile only Dave and that cat from Alice in Wonderland can do.

    Here comes VAN HALEN!

    (to be continued when I get home from the hospital tonight!)
    Fashion your life as a garland of good deeds.

    - Buddha

  2. #2
    Good Enough
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    12.19.16 @ 05:15 PM
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    cool story so far!

  3. #3
    Baluchitherium sinner's swing's Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 02:41 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by James in New York View Post
    Thursday morning at 6am I jumped out of bed, showered and had some breakfast. Nothing unusual about that. Typical morning for most people. But for me, this would not be a normal day at all. This was a day straight out of a dream. In fact, many times during this day I had to pinch myself to remind me that this was really happening.

    Van Halen would be appearing live at Cafe Wha? right here in NYC and I would be there, somewhere in that small room, representing the VHLinks and relaying info and photos to the site's great leader Brett Norton, who would then post the info for the Van Halen fans all over the world to see.

    Certainly not a typical day!

    I arrived at Cafe Wha? WAY too early and was greeted by five NYPD officers at the door. They were very friendly and said Van Halen had just left the building after sound check. I missed them by minutes!

    I said I am James and I need to get in just for a second to pick up my special pass. They laughed and said NO ONE goes through that door. No way. I said, but I'm like Charlie Bucket, I won the golden ticket. They said, well, show us the ticket. I said, it is INSIDE the club. They repeated, no one goes inside. This went on for a while. Round and round. They said how do we know you're the real James. I said, trust me, I am him. Well...

    From that point on, ALL of the NYPD there called me Steve.

    The whole day. They really had a blast with it, too. Hey look, it's STEVE!

    They knew that they would get me in when the time was right, 7 PM. I contacted Brett and he told me just go have a drink and wait it out. I stopped in a little cafe a few doors down and charged up my phone so I would be juiced up and ready for you guys.

    It was now officially Jack Daniels time. I check my messages and I have this incredible voicemail from fellow Linker, Seenbad! This guy leaves me such an inspiring voicemail that I have to order a second Jack Daniels right after hearing it. JMJ is texting me lyrics to In a Simple Rhyme! Okay, just for that, maybe one more drink.

    Brett is saying, easy there, don't get too drunk. LOL. More Linkers writing great things. I call back Seenbad (John!) and we have a GREAT talk and between this guy and Brett and JMJ (and everyone else!) I am ready to take on VAN HALEN. Whew. There is a knock on the window. It's a cop giving me the thumbs up. Steve! It's time!

    I head outside and now I see a crowd. Fans everywhere. Lines are forming. And there is Jeff Hausman and his beautiful wife! They just arrived and are going for a bite to eat. The excitement is building. Reporters and camera crews are roaming around talking to people. Brett tells me WARF from the DLRArmy is here somewhere. I tell him if I bump into him we will have drinks and there will be peace.

    Comedian Jim Norton gets on line behind me. Eddie Trunk is here. Lots of familiar faces. Jeff is back from a quick dinner. The doors finally open and they are checking names. The cops say good luck James. I reach the girl with the list and I give my ID and she is looking and looking. And looking. And then she says there you are and crosses me off.
    They stamp my hand and I am INSIDE!

    I make my way through the club, it is very small and very tight. It's packed already. A pretty girl leads me to a table near the stage. I see Eddie Van Halen's amps! Alex has one bass drum, small kit. Wolfie's amps. What I don't see is what is right in front of me. And I mean inches away. Someone nudges me and says look. LOOK!

    It's David Lee Roth's microphone stand. It is RIGHT in my face. No, really.

    I am front row. Dave will be standing right in front of me. That's when I meet Dana, who is videoing the event, professionally shooting it. Shelly, who works for Dave. And Leslie, who is Emerald Eyes here on the Links.

    I tell them all, this is NO GOOD. Dave is too close. Dave can touch me. I don't like it. I'm TOO close!

    Even the girls have a few chairs placed in front of them, like a barrier. I have zero barrier. Just the little table that is almost touching the mike stand. Jeff is sitting by me, too. Everybody is psyched. Drinks come, for FREE. Is this really happening? I think of what my fellow Linkers have been telling me, soak it in, enjoy every second of it. There's Matt Bruck. They are getting everything ready. Right across from me is WARF. He is on the other side of Dave's mike stand. He is touching it.

    We high five and have a toast. We're out of our minds. Dana is getting a kick out of our excitement. She's great, smiling the whole time while videotaping. I am a magician, so I do some sleight of hand for them. I'm making things disappear. Napkins, bottle caps, all sorts of stuff. I did some very fast one handed cuts with playing cards. 160 cuts per minute, both hands going, half a deck in each hand. I tell them Eddie and Van Halen inspired it all. Which is true. We are all just having fun. The place is so tight, everyone has a good seat. But we have the BEST seats. We are RIGHT THERE.

    I tell Leslie that she is too close. Dave WILL hit on her. She is in trouble. She is modest and says no way he hits on her. I say wanna bet?

    Someone nudges me again. I look up. David Lee Roth is standing right in front of me. He is about to go on stage, but he is entering from the audience. He is beaming. Hat on, overalls. He looks great. Smiling that smile only Dave and that cat from Alice in Wonderland can do.

    Here comes VAN HALEN!

    (to be continued when I get home from the hospital tonight!)


    Now THIS should be the piece that everyone reads in the papers. Well done man. Looking forward to the rest. Take er easy.

  4. #4
    Atomic Punk
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    Holy shit James, this is an excellent review. I felt like I was right in your seat experiencing what you were at that very moment.

    Well done. Can't wait for Part 2, buddy
    "I respect that youre passionate about this but what your saying is complete idiocy..." - MF5150 on McDonald's "preying" on young kids.

    "He was born a human, he's a horse's ass by proxy." - It's Mike on Eddymon.

  5. #5
    Hot For Teacher
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    Awesome, James! Looking forward to part two! :-) Hope all is well with your mom.

  6. #6
    Atomic Punk Eddymon's Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 11:10 AM
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    So envious of you James, no one deserved that evening more than you.

    That story reminds me of when Eddie and Gary did the Hard Rock thing in Boston, but you got the WHOLE band.
    'Old Van Halen, when I was in it-classic Van Halen-makes you wanna drink, dance and screw, right? And the new Van Halen encourages you to drink milk, drive a Nissan and have a relationship.' - David Lee Roth.

  7. #7
    Romeo Delight
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    Got goosebumps readin' that....

  8. #8
    Romeo Delight
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    thx for the post, James - especially amidst recent family events. My best wishes to you and your Mother!
    Give me ambiguity or give me something else!

  9. #9
    Good Enough
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    Jesus James that is awesome! Prayers for your mom too when I go to church this evening. Can't wait for the rest.

  10. #10
    On Fire
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    We watched the videos yesterday, no review needed.. but good job.
    Last edited by sinners__swing; 01.07.12 at 08:49 AM.

  11. #11
    Eruption DiveBomb's Avatar
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    James, I love that you're putting more than just facts into the review...all the details about how you were feeling, and the atmosphere of the place really are a treat!! Rock on, brotha!
    Van Halen will rock your face off!

  12. #12
    Atomic Punk
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    Quote Originally Posted by sinners__swing View Post
    We watched the videos yesterday, no review needed.. but good job.
    Brett sent James to the event and he was our "representative." Not to mention James is the very definition of a Van Halen superfan.

    I think his review is a revelation, to be honest.
    "I respect that youre passionate about this but what your saying is complete idiocy..." - MF5150 on McDonald's "preying" on young kids.

    "He was born a human, he's a horse's ass by proxy." - It's Mike on Eddymon.

  13. #13
    Little Dreamer
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    Awesome review man!! Makes me feel like I was there lol! Cant wait for the rest of the story.

  14. #14
    Good Enough wham bam will rock's Avatar
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    06.26.17 @ 04:51 PM
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    Thanks, James.

    The 'ol arm hair is appropriately raised.
    "Never is just reven spelled backwards." -House

    "Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?" -THE Rob Gordon

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZachenFoot View Post
    Brett sent James to the event and he was our "representative." Not to mention James is the very definition of a Van Halen superfan.

    I think his review is a revelation, to be honest.
    I got ya. I have no clue who he is. He did a good job with his review. The videos sum up the experience for me personally but the reviews are cool.

 

 

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