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  1. #1
    Sinner's Swing! Heisenberg's Avatar
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    Default Van Halen Rising Book - Forbes Article

    Forbes article written by Ruth Blatt.


    http://www.forbes.com/sites/ruthblat...-entrepreneur/


    The Early Days Of Van Halen, David Lee Roth's Entrepreneuri al Streak And Why Every Creative Team Needs An Entrepreneur



    Entrepreneurial skills aren’t crucial just for starting companies. They are crucial for initiating any creative commercial endeavor. A new biography argues that without the entrepreneurial skills of David Lee Roth, none of us would have heard of Van Halen.

    Histories of Van Halen invariably begin in 1978, when the band released their debut album. Not much is known about the band before then other than that they had gotten their start playing back yard parties and moved up to playing clubs in Los Angeles.

    That is about to change. Greg Renoff, an Associate Professor of History at Drury University and author of The Big Tent: The Traveling Circus in Georgia, 1820-1930, is writing a book about Van Halen’s early days.

    David Lee Roth with Eddie Van Halen (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Renoff explores in depth Van Halen’s reluctant journey from back yard band to superstardom and, in particular, the role of David Lee Roth’s ambition and entrepreneurial skills. Unlike the Van Halen brothers (Alex on drums and Eddie on guitar), Roth came from money. He owned amplification equipment, and he used it to work his way into the band.

    “The Van Halens were always looking to scrounge equipment because they didn’t have a lot of money,” told me Renoff. “One thing that Roth did was use his PA system as leverage. He’d say things like, ‘You guys can use the PA system but how about I sing a song tonight?’” Eddie Van Halen was the band’s singer at the time, and even though he didn’t have a great voice, the band was not impressed by Roth’s vocal abilities either. But they eventually let Roth joined the band, which consisted of Eddie and Alex and bassist Michael Anthony, in 1973.

    Roth’s presence stirred up the band. Whereas the Van Halen brothers were into heavy metal, Roth loved the Beach Boys, Motown and funk. “Those guys wanted to have Roth sing Black Sabbath, but Roth can’t sing Black Sabbath. He wanted to do things like James Brown’s ‘Cold Sweat.’” The outcome of this negotiation was a hard rock band with a pop sensibility.

    Roth also began pushing the rest of the band to think beyond playing back yard concerts. According to Renoff, the Van Halens were content making good money playing shows in the Pasadena area that they would promote themselves for thousands of kids at a time. Roth pushed them to audition at clubs and expand their reach. He also pushed them to start dressing up. He wanted them to become rock stars, and for that they needed to look the part.

    “They were wearing jeans and t-shirts, flannel shirts. It was grunge wear before grunge. They would wear Pendleton shirts and overalls,” said Renoff. “Roth told them they needed to glam it up, to wear stage clothes.”

    Eventually they end up getting a gig playing in a Hollywood club called Gazzarri’s, which became the epicenter of hair-metal in the 1980s. “At the time Gazzarri’s was a dying club. Its moment had passed. It was much more of a 1960s go-go dancer place,” said Renoff. “But the owner, Bill Gazzarri, would advertise on a local radio station and they would say ‘Tonight at Gazzarri’s, Van Halen.’ Their name was on the marquee and it was a start for them.”

    Gazzarri’s was a cover band club, not the kind of place where bands that write original songs get discovered and signed by record labels. Record executives look for bands that have an album’s-worth of original material. But at Gazzarri’s, Van Halen was expected to play disco songs and pop hits.

    Yet Roth was a savvy networker and created opportunities where there were none. He would take advantage of the occasional visit to Gazzarri’s from people like radio DJ Rodney Bingenheimer and Kim Fowley, who managed The Runaways. Roth was a relentless self-promoter and got Van Halen on their radar. “I’m not saying the brothers were completely clueless about business, they weren’t,” said Renoff. “But Roth was the guy who was willing to get out front and promote, promote, promote. Of course they never would have made it without Eddie writing the songs and without their talents. But Roth was the guy who said, ‘Look at me!’”

    Van Halen had original songs, and through Bingenheimer they got a gig playing their songs at the Starwood, a club owned by the infamous Eddie Nash. According to Renoff, the Van Halens were again hesitant about leaving their comfortable Gazzarri’s gig. But Roth convinced them to make the leap to a place where they could showcase their original material and play alongside bands like ZZ Top. It wasn’t long before a deal with Warner Brothers materialized.

    David Lee Roth’s entrepreneurial spirit eventually rubbed off on the Van Halen brothers. In the early 1980s, Eddie Van Halen formed a relationship with Kramer Guitars to make the Eddie Van Halen Guitar and later he created the EVH brand that offers a complete line of guitar, guitar straps, amplifiers, strings and other gear.

    “Eddie’s evolution is really interesting in that he went from a guy who was reticent about promotion, who didn’t want to dress up in stage clothes and who didn’t want to take risks to where now he realizes that you’re a business you have to market yourself,” said Renoff.

    When David Lee Roth left Van Halen in 1985 to pursue a solo career, they replaced him with someone just as entrepreneurial: Sammy Hagar. Hagar founded the Cabo Wabo Tequila brand and restaurant chain, in partnership with the Van Halen brothers, as well as Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum, which he sold to Gruppo Campari for $91 million.

    “By the 1990s, Van Halen had gotten religion about how to run a business,” said Renoff. Having an entrepreneur on their team from the start helped Van Halen turn their musical talent into a successful business.

    Greg Renoff’s book, Van Halen Rising, will be published by ECW Press in 2015.
    Last edited by Heisenberg; 05.25.14 at 11:45 AM.
    " On a scale that ranges from deep dark depression to rip roaring fun ... most people idle between pissed off ...and not too pissed off " DLR 1997

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  2. #2
    Atomic Punk bklynboy68's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heisenberg View Post
    Forbes article written by Ruth Blatt.


    http://www.forbes.com/sites/ruthblat...-entrepreneur/

    "Unlike the Van Halen brothers (Alex on drums and Eddie on guitar), Roth came from money".

    No, he did not "come from money". How did the writer manage to fuck that one up? Unbelievable.
    †"He has a swaggering retro machismo that will give hives to the Steinem cabal" -Camille Paglia on Donald Trump

    "Make way for the bad guy"- Tony Montana

    'This hamburger don't need no helper"- David Lee Roth

    "I wish Bon Jovi would've given me a call before he recorded all of his hits, because the lyrics would've been smarter, the melodies would've been much more smashing, and they would've sold a lot fewer records." -David Lee Roth

    "My beef is people thinking Bon Jovi is good cuz they sold lots of records to housewives." -tango

    "But being number one doesnít really mean jack fuck all. We sold twice as many records as other records that year (1984) that landed in the Number One position." ~Eddie Van Halen

  3. #3
    Sinner's Swing! Heisenberg's Avatar
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    " On a scale that ranges from deep dark depression to rip roaring fun ... most people idle between pissed off ...and not too pissed off " DLR 1997

    " I am the danger ... I am the one who knocks " Walter White 2011

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    Atomic Punk MF5150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bklynboy68 View Post
    No, he did not "come from money". How did the writer manage to fuck that one up? Unbelievable.
    WTF are you talking about dude? Roth didnt come from money?

    That's news to me.

    His father was an opthomologist, owned a 14,000 sq foot house, a chateu and was featured on lifestyles of the rich and famous in 84.

    Roth came from BIG FAT MONEY.
    My man, when you are fantasizing, don't go for attainable, you can get attainable at the local Applebee's. - Dave's Dreidel

  5. #5
    Sinner's Swing! Heisenberg's Avatar
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    Yeah. He also owned the famous Raymond Theatre in Pasedena at one point.

    http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/1706

    But he obtained that wealth through hard work, he wasn't born with it. I assume that is what he meant.
    Last edited by Heisenberg; 05.25.14 at 12:28 PM.
    " On a scale that ranges from deep dark depression to rip roaring fun ... most people idle between pissed off ...and not too pissed off " DLR 1997

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  6. #6
    Atomic Punk bklynboy68's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MF5150 View Post
    WTF are you talking about dude? Roth didnt come from money?

    That's news to me.

    His father was an opthomologist, owned a 14,000 sq foot house, a chateu and was featured on lifestyles of the rich and famous in 84.

    Roth came from BIG FAT MONEY.
    That was later. His dad drove a cab in NYC in order to put himself through school and put food on the table. Dave also had to stay at a relative's farm in Indiana growing up. That's where that famous shot of him on a horse came from. http://www.vhnd.com/2013/09/07/vhnds...avid-lee-roth/

    Contrary to popular belief , Dave wasn't "Little Lord Fauntleroy"
    Last edited by bklynboy68; 05.25.14 at 12:40 PM.
    †"He has a swaggering retro machismo that will give hives to the Steinem cabal" -Camille Paglia on Donald Trump

    "Make way for the bad guy"- Tony Montana

    'This hamburger don't need no helper"- David Lee Roth

    "I wish Bon Jovi would've given me a call before he recorded all of his hits, because the lyrics would've been smarter, the melodies would've been much more smashing, and they would've sold a lot fewer records." -David Lee Roth

    "My beef is people thinking Bon Jovi is good cuz they sold lots of records to housewives." -tango

    "But being number one doesnít really mean jack fuck all. We sold twice as many records as other records that year (1984) that landed in the Number One position." ~Eddie Van Halen

  7. #7
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    i think Bklyn is right on this. The writer could have said Dave's father was wealthy (he was by the time Dave was in VH). But when someone says you're "from money" it implies that you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth. And this is clearly not the case with Dave.

  8. #8
    Atomic Punk bklynboy68's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by It's Mike View Post
    i think Bklyn is right on this. The writer could have said Dave's father was wealthy (he was by the time Dave was in VH). But when someone says you're "from money" it implies that you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth. And this is clearly not the case with Dave.
    Nailed it.
    †"He has a swaggering retro machismo that will give hives to the Steinem cabal" -Camille Paglia on Donald Trump

    "Make way for the bad guy"- Tony Montana

    'This hamburger don't need no helper"- David Lee Roth

    "I wish Bon Jovi would've given me a call before he recorded all of his hits, because the lyrics would've been smarter, the melodies would've been much more smashing, and they would've sold a lot fewer records." -David Lee Roth

    "My beef is people thinking Bon Jovi is good cuz they sold lots of records to housewives." -tango

    "But being number one doesnít really mean jack fuck all. We sold twice as many records as other records that year (1984) that landed in the Number One position." ~Eddie Van Halen

  9. #9
    Sinner's Swing! Heisenberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bklynboy68 View Post
    Dave also had to stay at a relative's farm in Indiana growing up. That's where that famous shot of him on a horse came from. http://www.vhnd.com/2013/09/07/vhnds...avid-lee-roth/ "
    No. That shot of him on the horse might have been from the juvinille detention camp his folks sent him to. He was much younger when he was on the farm in Indiana. By the time DLR hooked up with VH his dad was wealthy.

    Here is the link to the Rolling Stone article where the timeline is mentioned.

    RS: That's a long way from the farm in Bloomington, Indiana, where you started out, isn't it?

    DLR: Yeah, we stayed until I was about six or seven, while Pop worked and went to medical school. There was a big lake, livestock and horses.


    http://www.vhlinks.com/pages/intervi...r/rs041185.php
    Last edited by Heisenberg; 05.25.14 at 01:08 PM.
    " On a scale that ranges from deep dark depression to rip roaring fun ... most people idle between pissed off ...and not too pissed off " DLR 1997

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  10. #10
    Atomic Punk MF5150's Avatar
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    The comparison the author made was between Ed/Al and Dave.

    When they got together Ed/Al's parents were not wealthy. Dave's parents were. Hell, many members of his family were surgeons.

    And I don't think that when somebody says, "they come from money" it implies that they were born with a silver spoon, at all.

    Bill Gates' kids (dunno if he has any but lets assume he does) come from money. That's a fact. Their father is one of the richest men in the world. Doesn't mean their snobby or entitled little bitches. It just means that they come from big money. They could be just as hard working as us common folk.

    Paris Hilton comes from money as well and she IS a snobby, entitled little bitch.

    That's just my take on the phrase though.

    Roth came from money in that when Van Halen was formed and got big his family was loaded. Ed and Al's parents were not.
    My man, when you are fantasizing, don't go for attainable, you can get attainable at the local Applebee's. - Dave's Dreidel

  11. #11
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MF5150 View Post
    The comparison the author made was between Ed/Al and Dave.

    When they got together Ed/Al's parents were not wealthy. Dave's parents were. Hell, many members of his family were surgeons.

    And I don't think that when somebody says, "they come from money" it implies that they were born with a silver spoon, at all.

    Bill Gates' kids (dunno if he has any but lets assume he does) come from money. That's a fact. Their father is one of the richest men in the world. Doesn't mean their snobby or entitled little bitches. It just means that they come from big money. They could be just as hard working as us common folk.

    Paris Hilton comes from money as well and she IS a snobby, entitled little bitch.

    That's just my take on the phrase though.

    Roth came from money in that when Van Halen was formed and got big his family was loaded. Ed and Al's parents were not.
    I think it was just a poor choice of words on the writer's part. Saying someone is from a wealthy family and being "from money" imply two different things. If i hit the lottery then my kids would have wealthy parents. Bill Gates' kids came from money. These are two different things.

  12. #12
    Atomic Punk bklynboy68's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heisenberg View Post
    No. That shot of him on the horse might have been from the juvinille detention camp his folks sent him to. He was much younger when he was on the farm in Indiana. By the time DLR hooked up with VH his dad was wealthy.

    Here is the link to the Rolling Stone article where the timeline is mentioned.

    RS: That's a long way from the farm in Bloomington, Indiana, where you started out, isn't it?

    DLR: Yeah, we stayed until I was about six or seven, while Pop worked and went to medical school. There was a big lake, livestock and horses.


    http://www.vhlinks.com/pages/intervi...r/rs041185.php
    Good catch, Dave was obviously older in that shot. Point is, he did not "come from money". As Mike pointed out, when you say that about someone it implies they were born with a silver spoon in their mouth. Not the case with Dave.

    "I've been rich and I've been poor
    Rich was better, totally better
    Requires a degree of acceptance
    As in "must accept as is"
    †"He has a swaggering retro machismo that will give hives to the Steinem cabal" -Camille Paglia on Donald Trump

    "Make way for the bad guy"- Tony Montana

    'This hamburger don't need no helper"- David Lee Roth

    "I wish Bon Jovi would've given me a call before he recorded all of his hits, because the lyrics would've been smarter, the melodies would've been much more smashing, and they would've sold a lot fewer records." -David Lee Roth

    "My beef is people thinking Bon Jovi is good cuz they sold lots of records to housewives." -tango

    "But being number one doesnít really mean jack fuck all. We sold twice as many records as other records that year (1984) that landed in the Number One position." ~Eddie Van Halen

  13. #13
    Atomic Punk MF5150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by It's Mike View Post
    I think it was just a poor choice of words on the writer's part. Saying someone is from a wealthy family and being "from money" imply two different things. If i hit the lottery then my kids would have wealthy parents. Bill Gates' kids came from money. These are two different things.
    Semantics, IMO.

    If your family is wealthy...you're from money. Money is wealth.
    My man, when you are fantasizing, don't go for attainable, you can get attainable at the local Applebee's. - Dave's Dreidel

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    Sammy did not sell SBBR to Gruppo Compari either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by It's Mike View Post
    I think it was just a poor choice of words on the writer's part. Saying someone is from a wealthy family and being "from money" imply two different things. If i hit the lottery then my kids would have wealthy parents. Bill Gates' kids came from money. These are two different things.
    I guess I'm not hip to the meaning of "came from money" either. I may have written the same thing. Dave certainly was rich when he joined VH and may have understood business and self-promotion better than they did. That was the point I took away from it.

    Speaking of the point, we've often heard the claim that VH would never have made it without Eddie (true), but it may be equally true that Dave was just as important. I even wonder how much of a showman Eddie ever would have become if Dave never entered the picture. I can imagine him being quite shy onstage before Dave. And in fact, even in old footage, Eddie often seems to shrink back a bit and let Dave take on the crowd....after he comes forward for some showmanship. I've also wondered what effect Dave had on Eddie's playing.....would he have been less "flashy" without Dave around?

 

 

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