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  1. #1
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    Default Happy Birthday Warner Bros. Records ‎ 7599-27320-2

    Van Halen's debut turns 38 today. Be sure to wish it well on it's special day.



    Mark my words: in three years, Van Halen is going to be fat and self-indulgent and disgusting, and they'll follow Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin right into the toilet. In the meantime, they are likely to be a big deal. Their cover of the Kinks' "You Really Got Me" does everything right, and they have three or four other cuts capable of jumping out of the radio the same way "Feels like the First Time" and "More than a Feeling" did amid all the candyass singer/songwriters and Shaun Cassidy-ass twits.

    Van Halen's secret is not doing anything that's original while having the hormones to do it better than all those bands who have become fat and self-indulgent and disgusting. Edward Van Halen has mastered the art of lead/rhythm guitar in the tradition of Jimmy Page and Joe Walsh; several riffs on this record beat anything Aerosmith has come up with in years. Vocalist Dave Lee Roth manages the rare hard-rock feat of infusing the largely forgettable lyrics with energy and not sounding like a castrato at the same time. Drummer Alex Van Halen and bassist Michael Anthony are competent and properly unobtrusive.

    These guys also have the good sense not to cut their hair or sing about destroying a hopelessly corrupt society on their first album. That way, hopelessly corrupt radio programmers will play their music.

    http://www.rollingstone.com/music/al...halen-19780504
    Last edited by Number 47; 02.10.16 at 05:53 AM.

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  3. #2
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    Van Halen

    Classic Rock Review - 1978 - Album of the Year

    Van Halens debut album is a pedal-to-the-metal hard rocker with a distinct approach that thundered onto the scene in early 1978. This self-titled album continues to rank among the top debuts of all time and makes appearances on other straight-up rock album lists. While not particularly original musically, Van Halen was completely original sonically. This was due to the jaw dropping speed and flair guitar work of Eddie Van Halen. With a noted lack of blues-based licks, which were replaced by a furious placement of picked, crunched, and hammered notes, Van Halens leads, solos, and riffs are the most indelible moments on a very memorable album. Forged in the fresh shadow of punk rock, the Van Halen sound showed that musical talent can be every bit as fresh, energetic, and bombastic. With this innovative record which sounds every bit as fresh 35 years after its release, Van Halen has risen to become Classic Rock Reviews album of the year for 1978.

    Van Halen was formed in Southern California in 1972 by the brothers that give the band its name guitarist Eddie and drummer Alex Van Halen. Born in the Netherlands, the Van Halen brothers were the sons of jazz musician Jan Van Halen and were forced to study classical piano at very young ages. When the brothers began playing rock and roll, Alex was actually on guitar and Eddie was on drums. But once Alex heard his younger brother pick up the guitar and play more naturally, he forced him to switch instruments and took over as drummer. In 1974, the group rented a sound system from David Lee Roth and soon invited him to join as lead vocalist. Roth was the son of a renowned eye surgeon, who had considerable wealth and was the nephew of Manny Roth, who built and owned the New York establishment Cafe Wha?, which featured performers such like Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix. Roth possessed an in-your-face charisma that demanded attention (like a true frontman should). While not considered a particularly accomplished crooner, his yelps and screams fit perfectly within the high-energy sound of the group.

    Soon after Roth joined, the band decided to replace their current bass player with Michael Anthony, bassist and lead vocalist from a rival band called Snake, who impressed the Van Halen brothers during an all-night jam session. In subsequent years, the group played everything from backyard parties on a flatbed truck to some of the most famous night clubs on the Sunset Strip. They forged what Roth calls a girl-friendliness to heavy rock. In the summer of 1976, Gene Simmons of Kiss saw Van Halen perform and offered to produce a high end demo tape for the group. After a few recordings in Los Angeles and New York, Simmons opted out of the arrangement after the group declined his suggestion to change their name to Daddy Longlegs and Kiss management told Simmons that they had no chance of making it.

    In mid-1977, Ted Templeman of Warner Bros. Records saw the group perform in Hollywood and was so impressed that he scored Van Halen a recording contract within a week (although the group now laments that this contract was not financially favorable to the members who ended up owing money by the end of 1978). Templeman produced the debut album at Sunset Sound Recorders over a three week period in the Fall of 1977. All of the tracks were recorded with minimal over-dubbing and a simple musical set-up was used to give the record a live feel. After the sessions, the group returned to playing small venues in Southern California until the album was released in early 1978.

    The album is made of nine original compositions, credited to all four band members, along with two re-interpreted covers. Drummer Alex Van Halen and bassist Michael Anthony drive the opener Runnin with the Devil, which arrives like an alien visitor and then comes off heavier than it actually is in reality. It is down-and-dirty but short of hedonistic and got its lyrical inspiration from the Ohio Players song Runnin from the Devil. While released as a single, it failed to chart in 1978 but has become a classic rock radio staple and still a signature tune of Van Halen.

    The instrumental Eruption contains some of the best 100 seconds of guitar ever recorded. This masterpiece by Eddie Van Halen was not intended for the debut album but was overheard by Templeman as Eddie was rehearsing it for a club date and he decided to include it on the album. The piece is the first to feature Van Halens custom two-handed finger-tapping technique which had not been perfected by any other player to that date (but went viral among guitarists in the eighties). Played on his custom Frankenstrat with a custom array of effect units and vintage tube amps, the piece has been named the 2nd greatest guitar solo ever by Guitar World magazine. Eruption works as a perfect lead-in to the kinks cover You Really Got Me, the lone charting hit from this album. You Really Got Me singleThis may be one of the very few remakes that actually best the original, which is saying something since the 1964 tune by Ray Davies is a bona fide classic which features a young session player named Jimmy Page. But Van Halen takes this simple, two and a half minute piece, and brings it to a fevered level of excitement with Eddie performing riffs within riffs, Roth adding vocal ad-lib screams in the chorus, and the post solo guitar dribble leading to a unique mid section with sound effects by both. The song became the lone Top 40 single from Van Halen.

    Although very repetitive, Aint Talkin Bout Love is an extremely entertaining song which borders on being a Van Halen-flavored punk epic, especially with closing Hey! Hey! Hey! chant. Unlike the totally feel-good You Really Got Me, this has a much darker feel, especially with the deep bridge lyrics;

    "Ive been to the edge and there I stood and looked down, you know Ive lost a lot of friends there baby, aint got time to mess around

    Aint Talkin Bout Love displays the effortless expression of the band, which replaces the pretension and self-consciousness of many of their late seventies peers. The hyper-blues shuffle of Im the One, which highlights the entertaining showmanship of the band. With dynamics which range from the monstrous rhythmic surge to the later a cappella do-wop section, Im The One is an underrated gem, which concludes the fantastic first side of the album.

    Although not nearly as memorable, the second side of Van Halen does contain its share of high moments. Jamies Cryin' and Feel Your Love Tonight shows that the band definitely can play pop rock anthems. These two tracks share similar memorable riffs and catchy harmonized choruses and they both sound like they should have been bigger radio hits. Sandwiched between the two is Atomic Punk, an almost experimental song with intro guitar effects giving way to theatrical verses. However, this songs title may be more provocative than the overall tune is actually substantive and the disorganized return after the guitar lead appears to be one of the few faux pas of the recording.

    Little Dreamer is the finest tune on side two and may be the one true band effort on Van Halen. Eddie comes down to Earth with a standard riff and more subtle theatrics while the rest of the group steps forward as Michael Anthonys bouncing bass contrasts yet compliments Alex Van Halens steady drum beat and Roths actual singing is at its finest on this record. Little Dreamer also offers a preview of some of the more substantive music featured on upcoming albums Van Halen II and Women and Children First. Ice Cream Man is cover from Chicago blues artist John Brim, which features David Lee Roth solo on acoustic guitar and vocals for a couple of turns before it finally breaks into a full-fledged rocker, ala Led Zeppelin. Unfortunately, the most forgettable song on the album is the finale On Fire, making for the only true weak spot on this incredible debut. While Eddies guitars are still impressive, the overall vibe makes really feels more like weak, hair-band material from a future Van Halen clone.

    Van Halen initially peaked at #19 on the U.S. Albums chart and made a reappearance in 1984. By the end of the century, it was certified a Diamond album (over ten million copies sold or 20x platinum) and it made yet another appearance on the album charts in 2012 to coincide with Van Halens latest reunion. The band toured for nearly a year as the opening act for Black Sabbath before returning to the studio in late 1978 to record the follow-up Van Halen II, an album similar in style to their debut.

    http://www.classicrockreview.com/201...978-van-halen/

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  5. #3
    Sinner's Swing! Heisenberg's Avatar
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    Favorite VH Album

    all 7
    Favorite VH Song

    ATBL & The Full Bug
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    Funny- Charles M Young ( the music journalist who wrote that review ) saying VH would be done in three years actually scored his biggest most well known front page article published in Musician Magazine almost exactly three years later in 1984.

    The irony- Proving how shallow and weak critics really are to conveniently flip flop their opinions based upon what happens to be popular at any given time. Especially when a nice piecework paycheck is included.


    Bad Reviews for Van Halen.....

    I can post one million of them.


    Here's one from the Rolling Stones Superdome show in New Orleans 1978 with Doobie Brothers.


    ( Of course there's no pictures from Chalkie Davies of Mick and Keith hanging out with Dave & Eddie......nor any mention of Mick snooping around stage looking at EVH's gear)






    " LOUD TRASH "

    You bet your fucking ass bitches.
    Last edited by Heisenberg; 02.10.16 at 06:16 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

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

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  7. #4
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  9. #5
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    Article written about VH in their early days, this comes from Sounds magazine, May 13, 1978. They were just about to conquer the world

    Columbus, Ohio (3/16/1978). Van Halen, just called back for an encore, are basking in the unexpected adulation. The support band takes a bow. Thank you Cleveland, yells their frontman. Cleveland? Silence. You could hear a piece of popcorn pop.

    Van Halens collective face drops further still, as insults and hard objects are tossed at the stage. The man whose job it is to keep the band informed on such trivia as where exactly they are playing has reportedly been given his marching orders.

    But anyone can put their platformed foot in it once in awhile; and for every one of those, Van Halen has been takings a bigger step forward. Today Hollywood as they said back in the days of movieland glam tomorrow the World.

    Kicking off with an extensive tour of America, supporting and at times upstaging Montrose and Journey, the band are now in Europe and Britain on the Black Sabbath tour, before heading east to the Orient. They might get some time off in October, but the Puritan work ethic, the cornerstone of the Land of the Free, goes down fine with Van Halen.

    I mean, this is the band that not long ago played five sets a night, 24 nights in a row, for a bit of loose change.

    Now were on the road, everyones saying: Van Halen First World Tour. And were going out there and doing a 45-minute set or something like that man, this is like Van Halen World Vacation.

    Spoken in the true spirit of rock and roll by Jim Dandy/Robert Plant hybrid, bumping-and-grinding frontman Dave Lee Roth, who goes on to say: Its been going great. Everybodys been eating it up like crazy. Because its good rock music. Its straight-ahead stuff, really passionate, really intense stuff with none of this dumb blues-rock or anything.

    We put a lot of effort into it and people are responding real well because it translates so much more beautifully live than on the record; because you can really feel the bass. You get the tight pants and all that extra.

    Not to mention lightshows, dry ice, sweat, blood and white-hot physical excitement. Good old rock and roll; wine, women and song. None of this Malibu lie-with-you-in-a-hammock-looking-at-the-highway-laid-back trash. This is the real McCoy. Groupies form a quiet line by the door.

    Van Halen are from California. The land that gave you love and peace and long-legged girls with freckles and braces, and Linda Ronstadt and the Eagles. California seems to do something to its bands. A week in the sun and they turn laid-back and mellow. Look what happened to Fleetwood Mac

    Its not as if California hasnt any heavy metal fans its swarming with them. Just none of them home-grown. Until Van Halen came along and it took them four years to get out of the bars and into a recording studio. Van Halen are not laid-back, but they like California. They used to judge wet T-shirt contests.

    The bands line-up is Dave Lee Roth on lead vocals, Michael Anthony on bass, and brothers Dutchmen Alex Van Halen on drums and (excellent) Edward Van Halen on guitar. Formed four years ago, they originally called themselves Mammoth, until a few choice words from another band of the same name led them to choose Van Halen. Theirs has been called the most auspicious hard rock debut since Led Zeppelin.

    We were all in rival bands in the LA area, Roth tells the story. And once you play a circuit of so many square miles, you become familiar with the other musicians who are playing around. People who werent terribly, terribly into it, who wanted to drop off and become a lawyer or a junkie or something, would do that, and the four of us were kind of stuck with each other. Its because we were very intense about wanting to get a band together and make a record and go on the road and all that entails.

    They started out playing parties and graduated to bars. At Gazarris on the Sunset Strip, they were paid to keep the kids dancing and thirsty; and they had to run a dance contest twice a week.

    I had to talk to the kids while they all lined up, recalls Roth. Id do a Monty Hall (the American equivalent of Hugie Greene), ask them where do you come from, what do you do for a living, all that kind of stuff, or make a joke about quaaludes and the audience would crack up. And then theyd get up and dance.

    We worked everywhere, see, because we just loved to play. We figured what wed do is play as far and wide as the car would take us in a one-night drive, and eventually enough people would see us and enough of them like us and wed be discovered.

    America is the land of commercials. You advertise everything, from deodorant and hamburgers to plastic surgery, voodoo dolls and religion. Van Halen set about advertising itself.

    After playing the bars for a while we began promoting our own shows. We would make up flyers and rent a hall and start to put on our own shows around the local high schools and junior colleges, wherever young people would be. We were barred from just about everywhere in Pasadena (their locality N.E. of LA) so we started drawing in other Southern Californian areas. The first show we drew maybe 800 people. The last show about eight months ago, before the record came out we drew 3,200 people just with posters. We had no money for radio advertising or newspapers or stuff like that. The local newspaper couldnt stand us anyway. We represented to them the classic rock-and-roll-band bad guy image.

    Their next venture was to rent a bunch of semis (flat-deck trucks), put them together and make a stage; put on a sow, keep enough to pay their bills, and invest the rest in a PA system, then some lights, the works.

    You cant expect to knock on someones door with a demo tape and get a lot, explains Roth. We just wanted to be discovered. It took about four years but we did it.

    The first step on their road to discovery came in the form of one Rodney Bingenheimer, LA hanger-outer, who spotted them bashing out top forty hits at one club, and transported them to another the Starwood (mecca for heavy metal fans), the only club in Hollywood where the walls actually sweat. The second step was an offer by Gene (Kiss) Simmons to pay for a demo tape session. The third was a visit to the Starwood by producer Ted Templeman (of Doobies and Montrose fame) accompanied by a top bod from Warner Records.

    It was a crummy Monday night, just like any other, recalls Roth in a scene so dramatic it could have come straight from the movies. They just showed up, came backstage after the show, and said hey you guys are terrific wanna sign up? And it felt real good. Wed been campaigning for it for so long, and then we got it. So we said: Ah, now stage two. The rest was just eliminations, now youre in the race.

    Their first album, Van Halen produced by Templeman, came out in December. Its an impressive debut. Each song has a great riff, written, says Roth, for instant appeal.

    The whole Van Halen concept is that were very straight ahead. No studio wizardry, no magic of multiple overdubbing or stuff like that. We just wanted to do a real solid, pure product without being too simplistic that same old boring blues riff. Recording the album actually took two weeks. All of that stuff on the record is live. Its all first take or second take stuff. I sang while the band played.

    Maybe three out of ten songs have a one guitar overdub on them. That way it translates real well live, and it makes for a very different sound in this day and age when everybody seems to be soaring vocal harmonies over a progressive background overlay stuff. Its great to make that music, but Im not sure if thats rock music.

    All but two of the songs on the album are communally-written originals. The exceptions are the Elmore James oldie, Ice Cream Man, and their hit single, a remake of the Kinks classic You Really got Me; a throwback to their top 40-playing bar days.

    We had a repertoire of about 300 songs, says Roth, So dont be surprised if theres any old stuff on the next album, or the one after that, or whatever. Because there are a lot of great old songs we used to do that translate well into the 1980 sound.

    That, by the way, is the message theyd like passed on to you.

    This is the 1980s, tell them, and this is the new sound. Its not the 60s, and its not a reflection of the 70s any more. Its hyper, its energy, its urgent is what it is. Our music is exuberant and strenuous to play so were really in shape.

    A glance at the supple body on the album cover, and you believe him. By the way, dont expect them to cancel a tour if they come down with flu, anything less than death.

    Says Roth: I cant stand nerks who complain: Oooh, I have the sniffles. I cant go on. There are, say, 10,000 fans who are in love with the act and have been waiting months to see him, and Hes Got The Sniffles! Bars really shape you up. So when your monitors screw up or you get flu or something you dont O.D. on it. We dont go to pieces.

    -Sylvia Simmons

    http://www.themightyvanhalen.net/197...w-columbus-oh/

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    Default Guitar Player 1978

    Eddie Van Halen's First Interview, 1978

    Edward Van Halen's clean, powerful lead playing was first recorded earlier this year on his band's predominately heavy-metal debut album, Van Halen [Warner Bros.]; at the time he was 21. Eddie imigrated to the U.S. from the Netherlands during the rock and roll heyday of the late '60s and soon abandoned his piano for drums and electric guitar. He spent years playing small clubs, beer bars, backyard parties, and dance contests, collecting the band's current lineup along the way. Van Halen's discovery in March 1977-described by Eddie as "something right out of the movies"-came one night when Mo Ostin, then president and chairman of the board of Warner Brothers, and producer Ted Templeman saw their act at the Starwood club in Los Angeles. With Eddie's brother Alex on drums, Michael Anthony on bass, and lead singer Dave Lee Roth, the band recorded 40 songs in three weeks, including "Running with the Devil," a searing guitar solo aptly titled "Eruption," and a remake of the Kinks' classic "You Really Got Me." Eddie joined the legion of musicians on the road when Van Halen embarked on a nine-month tour in February.

    Eddie was born in Holland on January 26, 1957. His father, a professional saxophonist and clarinetist who played live radio shows, got Eddie and Alex interested in playing music at an early age. "We both started playing piano at age six or seven," Eddie recalls, "and we played for a long time. That's where I learned most of my theory. We had an old Russian teacher who was a very fine concert pianist; in fact, our parents wanted us to be concert pianists."

    In 1967 the Van Halens moved to the U.S., and Eddie got his first taste of rock and roll. "I wasn't into rock in Holland at all," he says, "because there really wasn't much of a scene going on there. When we came to the U.S. I heard Jimi Hendrix and Cream, and I said, 'Forget the piano, I don't want to sit down-I want to stand up and be crazy.' I got a paper route and bought myself a drum set. My brother started taking flamenco guitar lessons, and while I was out doing my paper route so I could keep up on the drum payments, Alex would play my drums. Eventually he got better than me-he could play 'Wipe Out' and I couldn't. So I said, 'You keep the drums and I'll play guitar.' From then on we have always played together."

    Eddie bought himself a Teisco Del Ray electric guitar-"a $70 model with four pickups"-and began to copy licks off of records. "My main influence was Eric Clapton," Eddie says. "I realize I don't sound like him, but I know every solo he's ever played, note-for-note, still to this day. My favorites were the Cream live versions of 'Spoonful' [Wheels of Fire, RSO] and 'I'm So Glad' [Goodbye, RSO]. I liked Jimi Hendrix, too. But now no one in Van Halen really has one main thing that he likes. Dave, our singer, doesn't even have a stereo; he listens to the radio, which gives him a good variety. That's why we have things on the Van Halen album that are a change from the slam-bang loud stuff-like John Brim's 'Ice Cream Man.' We are into melodies and melodic songs. You can sing along with most of our tunes, even though many of them do have the peculiar guitar and the end-of-the-world drums."

    Eddie and Al Van Halen formed their first bands while attending high school in the suburbs of Los Angeles. During the early '70s they teamed with a bass player to form Mammoth, the last band they played in before forming Van Halen. "I used to sing and play lead in Mammoth," Eddie explains, "and I couldn't stand it-I'd rather just play. David Lee Roth was in another local band, and he used to rent us his PA system. I figured it would be much cheaper if we just got him in the band, so he joined. Then we played a gig with a group called Snake, which Mike Anthony fronted, and we invited him to join the band. So we all just got together and formed Van Halen. By the time we graduated from high school everyone else was going on to study to become a lawyer or whatever, and so we stuck together and started playing in cities in California-Pasadena, L.A., Arcadia. We played everywhere and anywhere, from backyard parties to places the size of your bathroom. And we did it all without a manager, agent, or record company. We used to print up flyers announcing where we were going to play and stuff them into high school lockers. The first time we played we drew maybe 900 people, and the last time we played without a manager we drew 3,300 people."

    The band worked on their own material and got gigs playing Southern California clubs and auditoriums, including the Santa Monica Civic, the Long Beach Arena, and the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. Soon they where working as the opening act for performers including Santana, UFO, Nils Lofgren, and Sparks. Their appearance at the Golden West Ballroom in Norwalk, California, brought them to the attention of Los Angeles promoter Rodney Bingenheimer, who booked them into the Starwood. They played the club for four months, and there met Gene Simmons, Kiss' bass player, who financed their original demo tape sessions. "We made the tape," Eddie says, "but nothing really came out of it because we didn't know where to take it. We didn't want to go around knocking on people's doors, saying, 'Sign us, sign us,' so we ended up with just a decent sounding tape." While playing the Starwood, the band also came to the attention of Marshall Berle, who would eventually become their manager. It was through Berle, Eddie explains, that the band had its fortuitous meeting with Ted Templeman and Mo Ostin: "We were playing the club one rainy Monday night in 1977, and Berle told us that there were some people coming to see us, so play good. It ended up that we played a good set in front of any empty house and all of a sudden Berle walks in with Ted and Mo Ostin. Templeman said,' It's great,' and within a week we were signed up. It was right out of the movies."

    Van Halen entered the studio, and within three weeks they emerged with enough material for at least two albums. "For the first record," Eddie recalls, "we went in to the studio one day and played live and laid down 40 songs. Out of these 40 we picked nine and wrote one in the studio--'Jamie's Cryin'.' The album is very live--there are few overdubs, which is the magic of Ted Templeman. I would say that out of the ten songs on the record, I overdubbed the solo on only 'Runnin' with the Devil,' Ice Cream Man,' and 'Jamie's Cryin''-the rest are live. I used the same equipment that I use onstage, and the only other things that were overdubbed were the backing vocals, only because you can't sing in a room an amp without having a bleed on the mikes. Because we were jumping around, drinking beer, and getting crazy, I think there's a vibe in the record. A lot of bands keep hacking it out and doing so many overdubs and double-tracking that their music doesn't sound real. And there are also a lot of bands that can't pull it off live because they have overdubbed so much stuff in the studio that it either doesn't sound the same, or they just stand there pushing buttons on their tape machines. We kept it really live, and the next time we record it will be very much the same.

    "The music on Van Halen took a week, I would say, including 'Jamie's Cryin''-I already had the basic riff for that song. My guitar solo 'Eruption,' wasn't planned for the record. Al and I were picking around rehearsing for a show, and I was warming up with this solo. Ted came in an said, "It's great, put it on the record." The singing on the album took about two weeks."

    Eddie's strategy within the band, he says, is "I do whatever I want. I don't really think about it too much-and that's the beauty of being in this band. Everyone pretty much does what they want, and we all throw out ideas, so whatever happens, happens. Everything is pretty spontaneous. We used to have a keyboard player, and I hated it because I had to play everything exactly the same with him. I couldn't noodle in between the vocal lines, because he was doing something to fill it up. I don't like someone else filling where I want to fill, and that's why I've always wanted to play in three-piece bands."

    Eddie assembled his main guitar with parts he bought from Charvel. "It is a copy of a Fender Stratocaster." He says. "I bought the body for $50 and the neck for $80, and put in an old Gibson PAF pickup that was rewound to my specifications. I like the one-pickup sound, and I've experimented with it a lot. If you put the pickup really close to the bridge, it sounds trebly, if you put it too far forward, you get a sound that isn't good for rhythm. I like it towards the back-it gives the sound a little sharper edge and bite. I also put my own frets in, using large Gibsons. There is only one volume knob-that's all there is to it. I don't use any fancy tone knobs. I see so many people who have these space-age guitars with a lot of switches and equalizers and treble boosters-give me one knob, that's it. It's simple and it sounds cool. I also painted this guitar with stripes. It has almost the same weight as a Les Paul."

    Eddie's other guitars include an Ibanez copy of a Gibson Explorer, which, he says, "I slightly rearranged. I cut a piece out of it with a chainsaw so that it's now a cross between a [Gibson Flying] V and an Explorer, and I put in different electronics and gave it a paint job. I've also recently bought a Charvel Explorer-shaped body and put a Danelectro neck on it and an old Gibson PAF pickup. And I also found a 1952 gold-top Les Paul. It's not completely original-it's got a regular stud tailpiece in it, and a Tune-o-matic bridge. I have rewound Gibson PAF pickups in it, too. I use a Les Paul for the end of the set because my Charvel is usually out of tune, and the Les Paul's sound is a little fatter.

    "Nobody taught me how to do guitar work: I learned by trial and error. I have messed up a lot of good guitars that way, but now I know what I'm doing, and I can do whatever I want to get them the way I want them. I hate store-bought, off-the-rack guitars. They don't do what I want them to do, which is kick ass and scream. Take the vibrato setup, for example. You have to know how to set it up so it won't go out of tune, which took me a long time to get down. It has a lot to do with the way you play it-you can't bring it down and not bring it up. Some people just hit the bar and let go-you have to bring it back right. Sometimes you'll stretch a note too far with your fingering hand, and it'll go flat. Here you have to pull the bar up to get it back to normal. I've also found that gauged set of strings will work better than one you make up. Like, I used to use heavier bottom strings with light top strings, and it didn't work very well. I also buy a different spring from Fender for my vibrato-one that's a little looser-and this makes a big difference. You also have to watch out for the little string retainers Fender uses, because sometimes the strings can get caught in them and go out of tune."

    Onstage, Eddie uses an Univox echo unit that is concealed in a World War II practice bomb. "I had a different motor put in it," he says, "so it would delay much slower and go really low. I use this for 'Eruption.' I also use two Echoplexes and a flanger for subtle touches. And I use an MXR Phase 90 phase shifter that gives me treble boost for solos, too."

    On a recent return flight from Japan, Eddie's original 100-watt Marshall amps were lost in air freight, and he's replaced them with Music Mans, Laneys, and new Marshalls. "I like three 100-watt amps for the main setup," he says. "After I do my guitar solo I change guitars and amps to the second setup, and the third setup, also three amps, is for back-up. I have each guitar plugged into a different setup so that if anything goes wrong all I have to do is grab another guitar. This saves my worrying about trying to fix the amp. I use voltage generators, which can crank my amps up to 130 or 140 volts. Amps sound like nothing else to me when they are cranked so high, but you have got to keep a fan on them because they blow so often. You have to retube them every day, and they usually don't work for more than ten hours of playing."

    Eddie seldom formally practices with his guitar, preferring instead to "play when I feel like it. But I am always thinking music," he says. "Sometimes people think I'm spacing off, but really I'm not. I am always thinking of riffs and melodies. Lately I've thought up acoustic-type riffs."

    Nine months on the road has given Eddie a fair share of experiences, but it hasn't altered his feelings about rock and roll. "I have never given up on rock," he says. "There are people out there who used to say that rock is dead and gone-bullshit. It has always been there, and it is still the main stadium sellout thing. If you want to be a rock guitarist you have to enjoy what you are doing. You can't pick up a guitar and say, 'I want to be a rock star' just because you want to be one. You have to enjoy playing guitar. If you don't enjoy it, then it's useless. I know a lot of people who really want to be famous or whatever, but they don't really practice the guitar., They think all you do is grow your hair long and look freaky and jump around, and they neglect the musical end. It is tough to learn music; it's like having to go to school to be a lawyer. But you have to enjoy it. If you don't enjoy it, forget it."

    Asked about his plans for the future, Eddie Van Halen answers, "Man, just to keep rocking out and playing good guitar!"

    http://www.guitarplayer.com/artists/...iew-1978/23649

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    Great album!!
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    In 2012, the phoenix has risen!!

    "High speed, low drag."

    "Look at all the people here tonight!!!" - 10/5/07, 5/20/08 Mohegan Sun

    Congratulations to Van Halen as part of the Class of 2007 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!

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