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  1. #1
    Baluchitherium Harpospoke's Avatar
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    Default Van Halen Rising: Spoiler thread

    It occurred to me that there are people who have read the book and people who are still waiting by the mailbox for their book to arrive.

    So how about a separate thread where spoilers are allowed so those still waiting can feel safe reading the other thread? I know I can't be the only person dying to talk about the book with other people who have read it.

    Here are some thoughts I had:

    1-Dave hiring a choreographer for Red Ball Jet and talking those clumsy white musicians into trying a dance routine. Can't help seeing the connection to the Hot for Teacher video. That can't be a coincidence, right?

    2-Dave immune to criticism. So many people thought he was a weird goofball in the early days...including Eddie and Alex! He just doesn't hear it I guess. I think he assumes everyone will eventually come on board with him and see it his way. Although the revelation later in the book that Dave was taking singing lessons early on and got momentarily depressed that the teacher thought he was a bad singer was quite touching. Most would have let that discourage them....but not Dave! As usual, he quickly recharged his batteries and forged ahead. Similar to the devastation following the Bill Aucoin rejection. It was Dave who rebounded first and started firing up the rest of the band.

    3-Someone finally telling Eddie to move from one spot on the stage and the positive reaction it got. That might have been a very important moment in allowing Eddie to be open to the showmanship brought in by Dave later and becoming the great performer he became.

    4-Still a lot of stuff from their childhoods enshrouded in mystery. Nothing about Dave and his uncle Manny or Eddie's introduction to booze and cigarettes for instance. I guess there isn't much more to the "Here son....take a cigarette and some booze" story.

    5-Dave the visionary. This passage summed it up well I thought. “Roth was the go-getter. He got everybody amped up. He was relentless. He did not stop.” Regardless of the pitfalls, he always seemed like he had a plan. “He had mucho huevos, “ Hatch asserts. “Nothing scared him.” I'm pretty sure Eddie and Alex would have had a career in music since they were so talented, but would we even know their names if they had not hooked up with Dave?

    Reading about Dave encouraging them to play the Starwood gig while Eddie was reluctant really illustrated how vital the confidence that Dave brought to the band was to their eventual success. For all his talent, Eddie was insecure and wondered if he was good enough. This actually reminds me of the dynamic of the Marx Brothers. Groucho was immensely talented, but it was his brother Chico who always pushed them to take risks and believed they were good enough to take the next step up the ladder. Groucho was just like Eddie....lacking the confidence that they were good enough.

    6-Looking at it from the cops' point of view, what a pain in the ass VH must have been. Apparently the cops were really “cool” back then and even that wasn't enough. It's not like the cops can ignore noise complaints. I'm sure everyone at the parties thought the cops were a-holes and when things got out of hand no one ever thought maybe they were the problem. I would probably have felt the same way. “Why are the cops hassling us, man!” And would it have killed Eddie to turn down his amp a LITTLE BIT to save the party? That little tidbit about Alex hitting his snare drum right after the cop told them “not another note” might sound all “Rebel without a Cause”, but it's not very nice. Same with him plugging the band back in after the kid was told by the cops to shut down the party. Sounds “rock and roll” for sure...but of course it led to bad things.

    This is why it sucks to be a cop. “Art Agajanian recalls', The cops were really hard on the kids”.....no thoughts about the beer bottles being thrown at the cops, their cars being overturned, or handcuffing one of them to a tree? No thoughts on that, Art?

    7-I see the time honored tradition of the band getting a small cut of the profits was in full force for the backyard parties too. They got $300 split four ways while the kid who hosted the party ended up “a few hundred dollars richer”. I guess he did more than ok if there were 1500+ kids there at a dollar a pop. Minus the beer kegs and stage/light rental...that's a nice haul for the kid hosting the party. Meanwhile, the guys drawing the crowd who spent years perfecting their skills go home with $75 apiece.

    8-Jeff Simons of The Rock Corporation was one of those club owners who irritate me. They hire bands that “bring people” instead of the best sounding bands. The guy was pissed at VH and threw them out of his club when they first auditioned, but then later hired them because “they brought in people”. Club owners who do this typically have an empty bar on those nights when the band doesn't bring a crowd and they probably have no idea why. That's because no one comes to the bar because of the bar so you have no crowd. Any random person who shows up hears a mediocre classic rock band or a young band who aren't very good....they never come back. “The bands are terrible there”. I always want to ask those types of owners if they expect the wait staff and cooks to bring a crowd...or do they hire them to do a good job?

    Lucky for Simons that VH was a great band.

    9-Can't help wondering if Dave drew some inspiration for Somebody Get Me a Doctor from Eddie's real-life brush with death after the UFO show. “You better call up the ambulance, I'm deep in shock. Overloaded, baby, I can hardly walk.
    Somebody get me a doctor.

    10-A lot of the Gene Simmons stuff was noteworthy I thought. The description of how different Eddie sounded was, “His influences, too, seemed unusual to Simmons. Instead of the conventional Beck-Page-Clapton blues trinity, what Simmons heard was a much more classical influence.” That reminded me of how some try to claim the Jimi Hendrix had a massive influence on how guitarists played. But in fact, guitarists of the 70s didn't really sound like Hendrix at all. It was all about the Brit blues guys.

    The other thing that stood out to me was what Alex said to Gene backstage after the show: Simmons said, “Well we just wanted to come and see you.”
    Alex powered through his beer and guffawed before saying to Simmons, Well that's fair, because we went to see you at the Forum.”

    That tells me that Alex was quite a character, wasn't intimidated by anyone, and didn't hold back. It also tells me that VH thought enough of KISS to go see them live. From the numerous KISS covers and the way Dave talked to the crowd in those days, I'm not surprised.

    Then, the “I'm not stroking you” line from Gene reminds me what the Billy Squier song is really about. I now wonder if Gene used that line on Billy at one time or if that was the jargon of the day for rock bands dealing with endless promises and claims from would-be agents and industry insiders.

    Whatever one thinks of Gene, he seems like an extremely honest guy. If he says something to you, he means it. Financing their demo, flying them to NYC, buying them clothes...all while the other members of KISS were growing impatient with him spending so much time with VH while they needed rehearse for the upcoming tour. He really did believe in the band and tried to help them. I was very impressed with how much effort Gene put into VH and how passionate he was. He was even angry at Aucoin afterward, “You're gonna eat those words!”. I now wonder if Gene was behind letting some up and coming acts open for the band...like Bob Seger for instance.

    The problem was that Gene didn't have the vision that Templeman had with regard to how VH should sound and it shows on the demo. They got the guy who mixed the album Dressed to Kill and that is a very “meh” sounding record if you ask me. I probably wouldn't be impressed with the band either if I heard it in the 70s. Kinda sounds like any number of other bands.

    Greg described it perfectly....it didn't allow Eddie's uniqueness to shine through like VHI did. I think it was a vital step in the process though. This allowed Eddie to hear what he would sound like double-tracked BEFORE they recorded their debut with WB and led to him telling Templeman he didn't like the way that sounded. Had they been signed to WB without that, it's possible that the first album would have sounded a lot different.

    And the worst thing....having VH play with KISS' equipment for their audition for Aucoin? What was Gene thinking? I know I can't ever be comfortable playing someone else's guitar. It drives me crazy. Everything from the action being different to the weight to the strap being adjusted different. I just can't play anyone's guitar but my own. It sounds like Eddie had the same problem. No wonder they sounded stiff and nervous to Aucoin! Aucoin must have been shocked when he finally heard VHI...that was the first time he ever heard what they really sounded like!

    ….Though I do admit it's kinda cool to know that VH played on KISS' equipment. Another little tidbit this book gives us we haven't heard before.

    The politics behind KISS were interesting too. Greg is such a good researcher he's even uncovering things I didn't know about KISS! So another factor in Paul and Aucoin deciding to pass on VH was because they were taking up too much of Gene's time, eh? Wow... Definitely gives more weight to the claims that Paul really is the guy who runs KISS.

    Now, the later claims that Gene was trying to recruit Eddie and Alex for KISS make no sense to me given all the effort he put into getting the BAND a record deal. That's a lot of trouble to go through if you are just trying to steal the guitarist/drummer. What makes some sense is that Gene may have taken Aucoin's doubts about Dave into account after the rejection and was trying to get them to take on a new singer. Plus...why give Mike tickets to KISS shows and leave out Dave if he was trying to get the brothers or just Eddie into KISS? That doesn't make sense.

    And the idea that it is Eddie's solo on the album version of Christine Sixteen? I don't buy that. That sounds like Ace to me. The picking attack and vibrato at the end is so Ace. And it's not like it's an amazing solo just because Eddie wrote it. I would put it up there with his solos on Dancing in the Streets, Where have all the Good Times Gone, and Little Guitars. (Yay for Diver Down!) Nice urban myth though.

    LOL at Dave getting revenge on Gene in 1984....a dish best served cold, right?

    11-I think Greg described this perfectly: “on the same album side that allowed the rock world to discover that no one played guitar quite like Edward Van Halen, listeners learned that no one sang quite like David Lee Roth.”

    12-Kind of amazing how many things I associate with Eddie showed up just months before they recorded their debut. His two-handed tapping technique and the striped guitar. Weird...if they had been signed a year earlier that would not have been a part of their first album...and who knows if it ever would have showed up at all? Timing is everything. Maybe an Eddie Van Halen prepping for an album in 1976 instead of 1977 would have never happened upon the circumstances which led to those things.

    13-Curious why Dave choose to go by “David Lee Roth” instead of “Dave Roth” or “David Roth”. It does have a flow to it so maybe that's why.

    14-Gotta give Sabbath credit for taking VH on again in the US as a supporting act after being scorched by them so badly in England. A lot of acts wouldn't do that. But even they grew tired of being killed every night. They still had more guts than the Rolling Stones....when Mick Jagger had to come out and lay down rules for what they couldn't do.

    15-(edit) Dave's voice lessons right before they recorded the first album made a difference I think. I'm sure Ted also had something to do with it, but Dave's singing is quite a bit different than on the demos and the club recordings imo.
    Last edited by Harpospoke; 09.25.15 at 10:14 AM.

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  3. #2
    Atomic Punk RRvh1's Avatar
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    Great idea for a new thread, Harpo!!!
    Fantastic examples from the book, too
    "There's too many people on this basketball that's floating around the sun, who are too afraid to allow themselves to FEEL" - Edward Van Halen
    "Van Halen was never about the singer..." - a very wise fan.
    "Embrace the past. Live in the moment but keep your eyes on the future, and keep on moving forward..." - Richie Sambora

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  5. #3
    Atomic Punk Bad to the Bone's Avatar
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    I haven't read the book but I'm a big fan of spoilers...lol. it doesn't ruin a thing for me, this book sounds like it's going to be fantastic.

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  7. #4
    Baluchitherium Harpospoke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad to the Bone View Post
    I haven't read the book but I'm a big fan of spoilers...lol. it doesn't ruin a thing for me, this book sounds like it's going to be fantastic.
    Oh it is...you'll lose sleep because of this book.

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    Eruption
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    More please!
    www.facebook.com/revery
    If you like cool, rock music, check out REVERY. We've put out two albums, and an EP. We were signed back in '06 and toured the US (our single Popstar Wedding was all over the radio back then). Our latest album, Adora De Phonic is available on Itunes, Amazon, etc.

  9. #6
    Baluchitherium Harpospoke's Avatar
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    The more I think about that PCP episode Eddie had after the UFO show, the more scary it sounds.

    I mean, obviously the implications for Eddie as a person were scary. But for the world at large...had we lost Eddie Van Halen that night...the entire next decade may have looked very different. A large number of bands may not have existed (i.e. not have been signed), a lot of people would never have picked up the guitar. And though Michael Jackson would have been huge, he may not have broken into the white audience as much without Eddie's contribution to Beat It. And would Ozzy have hired Randy Rhoads if he never saw Eddie on his last tour with Sabbath?

    Greg's main point in the book's title as well....does heavy music not make a big comeback without Van Halen? I even wonder if Metallica would have been as big without the VH types of bands to contrast to what they were doing.

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  11. #7
    Good Enough
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harpospoke View Post
    The more I think about that PCP episode Eddie had after the UFO show, the more scary it sounds.

    I mean, obviously the implications for Eddie as a person were scary. But for the world at large...had we lost Eddie Van Halen that night...the entire next decade may have looked very different. A large number of bands may not have existed (i.e. not have been signed), a lot of people would never have picked up the guitar. And though Michael Jackson would have been huge, he may not have broken into the white audience as much without Eddie's contribution to Beat It. And would Ozzy have hired Randy Rhoads if he never saw Eddie on his last tour with Sabbath?

    Greg's main point in the book's title as well....does heavy music not make a big comeback without Van Halen? I even wonder if Metallica would have been as big without the VH types of bands to contrast to what they were doing.
    Speaking of altering the course, I think the landscape might be different if Rhoads hadn't died, in a way, maybe. His gifts were more comparable to Ed's in terms of composition and personality and of course, technique. But the latter was secondary to the former, whereas all the shredders that tried to fill the void behind him kind of lost the plot, largely. Rock went from improving upon the established power trio formula to becoming a parody of itself. Had Rhoads lived, there may have been another proponent of taking classic rock to the next level, along with what VH was doing.

    As for spoilers, I'm curious about what everyone means about having more respect for Dave...

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  13. #8
    Baluchitherium Harpospoke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by E-roc View Post
    As for spoilers, I'm curious about what everyone means about having more respect for Dave...
    For me, it's reading about how Dave changed the band and how it could be argued that he is just as important as Eddie in their journey. They were really into things like Sabbath and Cream. They played the entire sides of albums by artists like that "note for note". Eddie was the singer and stood rooted in one spot the entire show. I doubt he made eye contact with the audience very often. Jeans and flannel shirts...that was their stage wear.

    Dave started working on them and slowly got them to play shorter songs with more "up". He insisted the people wanted to dance and have fun. He also convinced them that they should dress like rock stars if they wanted to be rock stars. That's why poor Mike ended up in gold lamé on his first gig with the band. Probably noteworthy that their dress scaled down quite a bit after Dave left the band. I can't help wondering if Eddie would have ever striped his guitar if he had not met Dave.

    Eddie went from:




    To:



    Thank you Dave!

    And then their was Dave's indefatigable personality. He believed in them when it was time to take the next step to the Starwood and when Bill Aucoin sat them down and told them they didn't really have what it takes to make it. If Dave wasn't around, they probably would have stayed at Gazzarri's playing covers and we would have never heard of them.

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  15. #9
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    So appreciate all the kind word and enthusiasm here in this thread for the book. Thank you guys - after working on this for so long, you can imagine there were some days when I thought, "Will this actually work out okay?" Thank you for embracing the book.

    Along those lines, if those who have read it would consider reviewing the book over at Amazon, I'd be most appreciative - even if you didn't buy it there (I know everyone here bought it via the VHStore - which really came through for us), you can still review it at Amazon.

    http://www.amazon.com/Van-Halen-Risi...dp/1770412638/

    Thanks! Greg
    Van Halen Rising: How a Southern California Backyard Party Band Saved Heavy Metal
    ORDER VHR here: http://goo.gl/CBKzZs
    Facebook: facebook.com/VanHalenRising
    Twitter: twitter.com/GregRenoff
    Blog: http://vanhalenrising.com/vip.php

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harpospoke View Post
    ...He (DLR) also convinced them that they should dress like rock stars if they wanted to be rock stars.

    ....Eddie went from (Thanks to DLR):




    To:



    Thank you Dave!
    Ugh! the EVH mooseknuckle!
    "Always hopeful, yet discontent,
    He knows changes aren't permanent
    But change is!"

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  19. #11
    Atomic Punk I Coulda Hada VH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wombattt View Post
    Ugh! the EVH mooseknuckle!
    Those pants are like a cheap hotel ... no ball room ...
    "It's so lonely at the top because it's so crowded at the bottom" - Diamond David Lee Roth

    "If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving is not for you"

    "Be careful what you wish for because you just might lose what you already have"

    "Women and Children First ... The REAL Van Halen III"

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  21. #12
    Baluchitherium Harpospoke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ffoner View Post
    Along those lines, if those who have read it would consider reviewing the book over at Amazon, I'd be most appreciative - even if you didn't buy it there (I know everyone here bought it via the VHStore - which really came through for us), you can still review it at Amazon.

    http://www.amazon.com/Van-Halen-Risi...dp/1770412638/

    Thanks! Greg
    Done!

    Quote Originally Posted by wombattt View Post
    Ugh! the EVH mooseknuckle!
    I was thinking there had to be a cheap joke in there, "Why you looking at his crotch?" ....but it is kinda hard to ignore I guess.

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  23. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harpospoke View Post
    For me, it's reading about how Dave changed the band and how it could be argued that he is just as important as Eddie in their journey. They were really into things like Sabbath and Cream. They played the entire sides of albums by artists like that "note for note". Eddie was the singer and stood rooted in one spot the entire show. I doubt he made eye contact with the audience very often. Jeans and flannel shirts...that was their stage wear.

    Dave started working on them and slowly got them to play shorter songs with more "up". He insisted the people wanted to dance and have fun. He also convinced them that they should dress like rock stars if they wanted to be rock stars. That's why poor Mike ended up in gold lamé on his first gig with the band. Probably noteworthy that their dress scaled down quite a bit after Dave left the band. I can't help wondering if Eddie would have ever striped his guitar if he had not met Dave.

    Eddie went from:




    To:



    Thank you Dave!

    And then their was Dave's indefatigable personality. He believed in them when it was time to take the next step to the Starwood and when Bill Aucoin sat them down and told them they didn't really have what it takes to make it. If Dave wasn't around, they probably would have stayed at Gazzarri's playing covers and we would have never heard of them.
    **Spoiler Alert!**

    The keyboardist's hands in the top picture, are clearly outlining the chords to Why Can't This Be Love?
    The seeds were sown... Haha
    "There's too many people on this basketball that's floating around the sun, who are too afraid to allow themselves to FEEL" - Edward Van Halen
    "Van Halen was never about the singer..." - a very wise fan.
    "Embrace the past. Live in the moment but keep your eyes on the future, and keep on moving forward..." - Richie Sambora

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harpospoke View Post
    For me, it's reading about how Dave changed the band and how it could be argued that he is just as important as Eddie in their journey. They were really into things like Sabbath and Cream. They played the entire sides of albums by artists like that "note for note". Eddie was the singer and stood rooted in one spot the entire show. I doubt he made eye contact with the audience very often. Jeans and flannel shirts...that was their stage wear.

    Dave started working on them and slowly got them to play shorter songs with more "up". He insisted the people wanted to dance and have fun. He also convinced them that they should dress like rock stars if they wanted to be rock stars. That's why poor Mike ended up in gold lamé on his first gig with the band. Probably noteworthy that their dress scaled down quite a bit after Dave left the band. I can't help wondering if Eddie would have ever striped his guitar if he had not met Dave.

    Eddie went from:




    To:



    Thank you Dave!

    And then their was Dave's indefatigable personality. He believed in them when it was time to take the next step to the Starwood and when Bill Aucoin sat them down and told them they didn't really have what it takes to make it. If Dave wasn't around, they probably would have stayed at Gazzarri's playing covers and we would have never heard of them.
    Every time I see that top picture I think one thing. I hate keyboard players too! You know that what he's thinking.

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    Three days, we need $325 to save the Links! That's just 11 people give $30 bucks!

    Let's go fuckfaces.


    Bring it!
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    - Buddha

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