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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk Get The Show On The Road's Avatar
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    12.16.17 @ 10:35 AM
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    Default Why does Al get off scot free?

    Watched Twister on TBS the other night and it inspired me to go back and re-learn how to play Humans Being as I hadn't really listened to it for a while. Great tune. Anyway, in the process of this I also went back and watched some Balance era live vids on Youtube. I was struck by the amount of comments on there about Ed being an ass for booting Sammy and all the stuff that went on afterward, which we all know has been discussed here ad nauseum.

    But it got me to thinking. Why does no one ever hold Al accountable or call him a douchebag, asshole, you name it? It's always Ed's fault, and Ed's only. I didn't see one post faulting Alex Van Halen for VH's personel problems of that era. There haven't been many here either.

    I have a tough time believing that the older brother of the two, who was VH's "business side" along with DLR when they were first coming up is simply a by-stander when it comes to making decisions like canning Sam/Mike, bringing in Cherone, putting Wolf on bass etc. The idea that Ed simply tells Al, "this is how it is going to be" and Al just nods his head in agreement is ludicrous to me.

    So the natural question is why is it that Ed Van Halen is the overwhelming recipient of fan vitriol when it comes to decisions that are made that they are unhappy with while Al escapes virtually any criticism whatsoever? In my opinion they are basically a single unit and probably deserve scorn equally, if one feels the need to scorn someone at all. And I think a strong argument could be made that Al has had more input in these decisions that Ed, based on the dynamic that I understand to be the case between the two.

    I would like to keep this as an adult conversation without devolving into the Sam/Dave or Wolf/Mike shit. I'm not interested in that, what I am interested with is any thoughts as to why Al is generally held blameless in the VH soap opera. The two reasons I came up with is that 1)Al has been sober for far longer, and 2) he is not in the public eye as a "guitar god" like EVH - neither of which I think are justifiable reasons for why he receives no blame for VH's failures in the past.

    Thoughts?
    The only genre I really know is Van Halen.

  2. #2
    Good Enough right-here-i-say's Avatar
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    12.16.17 @ 06:37 AM
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    Default

    Here is my take:

    1. Al is not the "leader type" of person. He is happy banging on the drums all day...probably isn't very outgoing.....he might just be OK with his position and job...nothing wrong with that, that might just be Al.
    2. Ed, Dave, and Sam got all of the attention. This gave Ed credibility in the band to be the leader/decision maker. Ed probably worked with Al on all decisions....(Al was the one who told Gary it wasn't working) Al might not have been part of the drunk phone call to Sam telling him that DLR was back in the band (Still love that story)
    3. I recall DLR saying Ed and his "creep brother" once....so Al got some blame there

    I would say Al is like James Harrison of the Pittsburgh Steelers. You don't see him interviewing on TV (like say, Ray Lewis), but he is out there killing it during performances. Not a leader.
    Last edited by right-here-i-say; 02.01.13 at 07:55 AM.
    Right here I say....

  3. #3
    Atomic Punk
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    12.04.17 @ 04:15 PM
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    Default

    It IS very strange...You mention Al being "less out-going" - but in all the televised interviews I've seen, Al seems by far the more confident (and articulate) of the brothers - so one does wonder about the dynamic between them behind closed doors.
    I'm FEMALE...Deal with it!

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  4. #4
    Eruption
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    12.15.17 @ 06:41 AM
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    Default

    I think people generally think of the band as Eddie's band since he writes a majority of the melodies, riffs, and thnigs that make you go WOW! F'n Van Halen baby!

    I do however agree with you that Ed and Al are a team and probably make the band decisions together.

    Now that Wolfgang has the keys to the car, do the fans need to hold him responsible for decisions going forward?
    ~ I like the way the line runs up the back of her stockings ~

  5. #5
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    12.16.17 @ 10:37 AM
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    Default

    Because Ed (and whoever the singer is) are the songwriters. If that relationship isn't working then there is no band. Al doesn't need to get along with the singer (it's preferred but not needed, same was true for Mike). Ed did. At least well enough to write songs with the dude. When Ed soured on a singer, it was over. If Al soured on him it didn't really matter.

  6. #6
    Romeo Delight
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    07.30.13 @ 10:47 PM
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    Look at it like this: Al is a drummer. he sits behind and is well protected from every thing by his drum set. If someone throws a beer bottle at the stage, Wolfie, Ed, and DLR (add, omit members depending on era) share an equal percent chance of being struck by the beer bottle if thrown randomly. but between just the brothers, ed shares a greater chance of being struck than Al.

    Ed makes the magic on his guitar that's why every one thinks he is mostly the leader, and would be decision maker. But yes Al shares an overwhelming control of matters himself which is becoming more apparent. ed just doesn't give a crap is how i see it. not much out there from him on sammy's bridge burning business.

  7. #7
    Atomic Punk Get The Show On The Road's Avatar
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    12.16.17 @ 10:35 AM
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by right-here-i-say View Post
    Here is my take:

    1. Al is not the "leader type" of person. He is happy banging on the drums all day...probably isn't very outgoing.....he might just be OK with his position and job...nothing wrong with that, that might just be Al.
    2. Ed, Dave, and Sam got all of the attention. This gave Ed credibility in the band to be the leader/decision maker. Ed probably worked with Al on all decisions....(Al was the one who told Gary it wasn't working) Al might not have been part of the drunk phone call to Sam telling him that DLR was back in the band (Still love that story)
    3. I recall DLR saying Ed and his "creep brother" once....so Al got some blame there

    I would say Al is like James Harrison of the Pittsburgh Steelers. You don't see him interviewing on TV (like say, Ray Lewis), but he is out there killing it during performances. Not a leader.
    I think you're on to something here. The instrument that Al plays does not lend itself to "being up front" so to speak, so he get far less publicity. How many guitar magazines are there versus drum magazines? Ed is interviewed so often that I already know what he is going to say before he says it. Not so much with Al.

    I think the casual fans (and even some of the more hard core ones) think Al just sits in the back banging on the drums and doesn't do much else. I think he is much more involved than alot of people think.
    The only genre I really know is Van Halen.

  8. #8
    Atomic Punk Get The Show On The Road's Avatar
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    12.16.17 @ 10:35 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by It's Mike View Post
    Because Ed (and whoever the singer is) are the songwriters. If that relationship isn't working then there is no band. Al doesn't need to get along with the singer (it's preferred but not needed, same was true for Mike). Ed did. At least well enough to write songs with the dude. When Ed soured on a singer, it was over. If Al soured on him it didn't really matter.
    Agreed, but I think if Al got into it with the singer and told Ed that he wanted the guy gone, said singer would be gone too.
    The only genre I really know is Van Halen.

  9. #9
    Unchained vhouttaspacejj's Avatar
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    09.07.15 @ 02:12 PM
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    Default

    If I'm not mistaken it was Al's relationship with Ray Daniels sister that led to Ray Daniels becoming their manager which led to the sour relationship with Sam and Dave too in 96 and which led to Gary coming in.

    And there are numerous interviews where Al has talked about the lineup changes and he seems pretty forward when talking about the issues.
    Janie Liszewski did the IMPOSSIBLE she helped Eddie Van Halen get better. Deal with it.

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  10. #10
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    12.16.17 @ 10:37 AM
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Get The Show On The Road View Post
    Agreed, but I think if Al got into it with the singer and told Ed that he wanted the guy gone, said singer would be gone too.
    well of course, my point was merely that Al and Mike merely needed to tolerate the guy enough that they could work with them. Ed needed more than that.

  11. #11
    Atomic Punk Raldo's Avatar
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    12.16.17 @ 03:10 AM
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    Default

    When you think of Van Halen, who do you think of first...Ed or Alex?

    I also like the idea that Al not the leader-type so he just sits in the background.
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  12. #12
    Atomic Punk Eddymon's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 07:37 PM
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    Its the brothers' band, but Eddie appears to be the CEO. Al has input but its ultimately Eddie's band and I think Al just shows up when Ed wants to jam/record.
    Alex got a lot of flack in regards to the "Crazy Eddie" we all saw in public between 2004 and 2006 because in many of our eyes he didn't protect his little brother from himself back then. He along with Sammy got blamed for the 2004 even happening with Ed's state of mind being what it was calling that tour just a cash grab. Wasn't it reported that Ed didn't want to do it?

    I also do not think that Wolfie has the keys yet. He has had input it seems and he and I'm guessing Janie are the ones most responsible for the uncredible reconstruction of Eddie Van Halen and should get credit for that.

    They say Ed is a recluse, I think Al is an even bigger one.
    '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.

  13. #13
    Unchained Mister T.'s Avatar
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    12.11.17 @ 04:39 PM
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    Because nobody gives a shit about the drummer as everybody knows that drummers are pretty much mindless musicians that can be replaced with a freaking beat-machine. It's a wonder why drummers are even considered musicians to begin with. And don't think Eddie hasn't already threatened Alex with that shit! They're almost as bad as bass players . . . f'ing talentless hacks...















    Last edited by Mister T.; 02.01.13 at 09:48 AM.

  14. #14
    Little Dreamer ricardo7670's Avatar
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    06.22.14 @ 07:56 AM
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    Remember the ed joining kiss story from around 81 i read an interview that ed gave in which he states that when al found out about this he told ed quote "you stay and you play" unquote. I believe this was around the fair warning era when ed was becoming frustrated. Shows that maybe al has more say than people think

  15. #15
    Top Of The World EdyVelDen's Avatar
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    05.09.17 @ 09:23 PM
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    Eddies the face of the franchise...sort of like the quarterback of a football team.. he probably gets a little more credit than deserved when things are going great.... and gets too much blame when things are not so good.

 

 

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