Thread: My Encounter With VH (long)
05.18.12, 08:15 PM #1
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- Los Angeles
- Favorite VH Album
Van Halen II
- Favorite VH Song
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11.30.16 @ 06:01 AM
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My Encounter With VH (long)
I was an Eddie freak since 1982 when I first heard “Intruder/Pretty Woman” on the local rock station in the little town I lived in just outside of New Orleans. I missed the early years of VH due to a strict religious [no-rock] upbringing, which is sad somewhat, since I was in 6th grade when VH came out with their first album and at the perfect influential age. But hey…I had no control over that! For the next 3 years I enveloped myself in all things Eddie, even attempting my first P.O.S. Franky “replica” pieced together from guitar parts I had lying around and some pinstripe tape. It failed miserably.
My schooling in Ed’s playing/tone was short but nevertheless intense.
When 1984 came out, I began a slow weaning of my enthusiasm for the band. The drums sounded too electronic, the guitar tone took a southward turn and the songwriting –save a couple of gems -seemed “too evolved” for my liking. I focused my energy on VH’s earlier years at that point, eventually tuned 5150 out and pretty much VH – the band post DLR – off. I loved Sammy’s solo stuff but it just wasn’t working for me as the singer in VH. That said, I eventually got arrested for not returning a video tape of “Live Without A Net” from a rental store so go figure. But that’s a whole other story.
I was always an Eddie fan though. And that enthusiasm never waned. I just never paid attention to what he was currently doing at the time after 1984. I was a “Six Packer” for life.
My buddy moved to L.A. in 1989. He worked at the Ralph’s at the bottom of Coldwater Canyon. Eddie’s local grocery store. He’d have frequent Ed sightings. If it wasn’t Ed showing up in his Lamborghini or motorcycle, it was my buddy helping Ed with cat litter. I loved whenever he’d give me updates.
I finally moved out later that year to pursue music. At that time, I really had no idea what the band was outputting. I was just an Ed fan. So much so, that a female friend of mine came to visit and I drove her up to the gate of Ed’s house just to show her a close “rub” with celebredom. BTW, Dennis Miller was his neighbor at the time and was pulling his trashcans in while we sat on the side of the street. Win-win for my friend.
Fast forward to 1994 and my band, in which I was the singer/songwriter/guitarist, landed a deal. We eventually aligned with a booking agency out of NYC – Premier Talent. They’ve been around forever and represented many top notch bands from Led Zeppelin to U2 to …gasp!…Van Halen.
We were touring through NYC in 1995. I got a phone call from our agent at the Columbus Square hotel we were staying at. “What are you doing tomorrow?” “Nothing,” I said. “Great. Meet me out front at Noon.” Hmmm…I really didn’t know what was in store, but I had nothing else to do. We had a day off between gigs so, what the hell.
The next day at Noon I exited the hotel and saw my agent, a cute little blonde, waiting for me in front of a large, stretch limo. I got in and sat down. There were a handful of people inside. One of which was the late Barbara Skydel. Do your research on her. She’s a legend in the industry. She introduced herself as the head of Premier Talent and offered me a drink. I gladly obliged.
She asked how our tour was going and other small talk. She was very friendly. She introduced me around to the other occupants and, in particular, the limo driver. He was an older man. Been doing this for decades. And he had stories for me. Lots of them. Again, that’s a whole other can of worms that I won’t go in to. Anyway…Barbara asked me if I’d like to know where we’re going today. Of course I did! “We’re going to pop in and say hello to my boys in Van Halen. We thought you’d like to come with us. You know…we know you’re a big fan of Ed’s.” Fuck me. This is unbelievable.
We drove down to Camden to what was then the Blockbuster/Sony Arena or something. Now it’s Susquehanna something or other. We watched the band soundcheck from the guard rail up front. Ed waved hello to Barbara from the stage. I waved too. Mostly because I’m a dork.
After soundcheck our little entourage moved to the dressing room. A large table was set up for dinner. It was steaks. A couple of bottles of red wine were on the table too. We sat on the couches for a few minutes and then…my hero and the band came walking through the door. Hugs and niceties went around the room. Sammy was first to shake my hand as Barbara introduced me. “Very nice to meet you. Can we get you anything?” “No thanks. I’m all good, man.” Cool.
Mike was next. He came right over and shook my hand without an introduction from Barbara. “I’m a big fan,” I said. “Thanks! I really appreciate that.”
I missed Alex for some reason. But that didn’t matter so much to me. My focus was elsewhere. “Ed, this is Brett. He’s in a band we represent called XXXXX,” said Barbara. “Hey! How are you? Nice to meet you,” he said. “Man, the pleasure is definitely mine.” “Hey…you have BLUE HAIR!!!”, he replied. Yeah…I did. Manic Panic in the house. We chit chatted briefly, I think I probably wet myself and we eventually left them to their dinner.
On the way out, Barbara talked to their manager about the possibilities of getting us an opening slot. The gist was that VH made their own decisions on that one, but they’d listen to the CD. Alas, the opening slot would never come to pass. Oh well.
We watched the opening band, Our Lady Peace, and half the Van Halen set before having to head back to Manhattan.
One of the best days of my life. Thanks for listening.
BTW, my little blonde agent eventually took me to Atlantic City with herself and her best friend – both single. But that’s, once again, a whole other story.
Last edited by Dirty Faced Kid; 05.18.12 at 08:25 PM.
05.18.12, 08:29 PM #2
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- Vaughan, Ontario, Canada
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like them all, no favourite
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