Van Halen’s first manager shares memories of her first meeting with guitar god EVH
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    Default Van Halen’s first manager shares memories of her first meeting with guitar god EVH

    Van Halen’s first manager shares her memories of her first meeting with guitar god Eddie in exclusive Classic Rock extract from new EVH biography ‘Eruption’.

    Van Halen’s first manager, Catherine ‘English Cathy’ Hutchin-Harris, shares her memories of seeing “virtuoso” Eddie Van Halen’s band for the very first time in Eruption, Classic Rock writer Paul Brannigan’s forthcoming biography of the late guitar legend.

    Having set up Transatlantic Management to handle the affairs of Californian hard rock acts Sorcery, Sudden Death and Yankee Rose after relocating to the US in 1967, Londoner Hutchin-Harris tells Brannigan that she was invited to the 1974 gig at vocalist David Lee Roth’s father’s mansion in San Marino, California by the singer, who had received her phone number from a friend, Linda Estrada.

    At the time, the unsigned four-piece band from Pasadena were still called Mammoth (a name later respectfully adopted by Eddie Van Halen’s son Wolfgang for his own band, Mammoth WVH), but, as ‘English Cathy’ recalls, even before they became Van Halen, the group displayed huge potential and were already drawing hundreds of devoted fans to their self-booked backyard parties.

    “When we got to the house, which was in San Marino, there were cars parked everywhere, and my assistant Lynore and I had to park quite a way away, and walk over in our platform shoes,” ‘English Cathy’ recalls. “We could hear the music from streets away, and when we got into the party it was crazy, absolutely crazy.

    The first thing that hit me was Edward. He was unbelievable. He was playing with his fingers over the frets, which nobody did then, and I was absolutely blown away. Lynore and I looked at each other and I said, ‘Oh. My. Goodness. This kid is a virtuoso.’

    They were kinda just another rock band until Edward cut loose. David was brilliant on stage, but it was Edward who really grabbed us.“


    “After they finished playing, I introduced David to Lynore,” Hutchin-Harris tells Brannigan. “When he heard her name he said, ‘How poetic!’, and proceeded to quote Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven to her, as Poe had also written a poem called Lenore.

    Lynore was wearing this beautiful antique negligee as a dress, and when Edward was introduced to her, he accidentally spilled his drink all over her, turning her dress see-through: that appealed to David in particular, I remember. Edward used to drink Singapore Slings – vodka was his drug of choice - and he drank a lot.”

    “The party got so rowdy: I remember kids were throwing beer bottles and they were smashing on the rocks beside the pool. I looked at Lynore and said, ‘We have to leave.’

    I mean, some of these kids were only fourteen or fifteen, and the band were all under twenty-one, so I was concerned that if the police came, I’d be the oldest one there, and I’d be the one to get busted!”

    “David called me afterwards, and he sounded a bit disappointed when he said, ‘Oh, you guys left…’ I told him that I didn’t want to get a night in jail for drinking with under-age kids, but I’d be interested in helping out and getting them gigs.”

    Transatlantic Management began looking after the band’s affairs in late 1974 through to the summer of 1975, by which point the group had changed their name to Van Halen.

    English Cathy’s calendar for Van Halen gigs in March 1975 - revealed here exclusively on Classic Rock for the very first time - shows the Pasadena quartet’s bookings, and agreed appearance fees, at a variety of venues in southern California, from headline appearances at high schools and Los Angeles area clubs (Myron’s Ballroom, Gazzarri’s) alongside a support slot with theatrical rockers Sorcery on March 6 at the prestigious Golden West Ballroom, plus an outing to see the epic final show of Led Zeppelin’s 1975 North American tour at The Forum in Inglewood, California.

    In previously-shared extracts from Eruption revealed exclusively on Classic Rock, Brannigan spoke to Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler about Van Halen’s first UK tour, playing as support to Sabbath in spring/summer 1978, and to Ozzy Osbourne and Thin Lizzy’s Scott Gorham, who recall the quartet’s show-stealing performances on the US leg of Sabbath’s Never Say Die! tour in the second half of 1978.

    Paul Brannigan's Eruption: The Eddie Van Halen Story is published in the UK by Faber & Faber on September 23.

    The book will be published on August 30 in Germany by Ullstein, under the title Eddie Van Halen: Ein Leben, and later in the year by Permuted Press in the United States.
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    Great read! Thanks James
    "People ask me how far I've come. And I tell them twelve feet: from the audience to the stage." - David Lee Roth

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    Who knew there was a Los Angeles-based rock band in the 1970s and '80s called Yankee Rose?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yankee_Rose_(band)

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    Quote Originally Posted by KS 5150 View Post
    Great read! Thanks James
    You're welcome, KS 5150

    Quote Originally Posted by I Coulda Hada VH View Post
    Who knew there was a Los Angeles-based rock band in the 1970s and '80s called Yankee Rose?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yankee_Rose_(band)

    Cool connection, Coulda!
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    I find it strange that no one has ever mentioned this lady as one time VH manager. She doesn't appear in Greg Renoff's book, and that book was really well researched. Also, she's saying EVH tapped in 1974, which is disputed by most credible sources. I would take anything she says with a huge grain of salt.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Dreamer View Post
    I find it strange that no one has ever mentioned this lady as one time VH manager. She doesn't appear in Greg Renoff's book, and that book was really well researched. Also, she's saying EVH tapped in 1974, which is disputed by most credible sources. I would take anything she says with a huge grain of salt.
    Like most people, she probably has the dates mixed up. At one point she saw Ed tap, but she probably in her memory assumes he always did.
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    Beauty is life when life unveils
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    Beauty is eternity gazing at itself
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    But you are eternity
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    -Kahil Gibran

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    Quote Originally Posted by James in New York View Post
    Even her own website says, "booked Van Halen on an informal basis". I dont think she's lying or trying to jump on the VH bandwagon for undeserved credit. As DD said, probably has a few details and dates mixed up. Not shocking considering it was nearly 50 years ago.

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    K but the title is "Van Halen's first manager" - we've all read hundreds of Dave/Al/Ed/Mike interviews - her name wasn't even mentioned once by anyone!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Dreamer View Post
    K but the title is "Van Halen's first manager" - we've all read hundreds of Dave/Al/Ed/Mike interviews - her name wasn't even mentioned once by anyone!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Dreamer View Post
    K but the title is "Van Halen's first manager" - we've all read hundreds of Dave/Al/Ed/Mike interviews - her name wasn't even mentioned once by anyone!
    Dude, she got them gigs while they were barely out of high school. I was probably a VH fan for twenty years before I knew who their managers had been...when they were famous.

    Not surprising no one talked about them. No one in the band talked about Mark Stone either.
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    There was a band called Yankee Rose in Southern California in the 70’s.

    Cool.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave's Dreidel View Post
    Dude, she got them gigs while they were barely out of high school. I was probably a VH fan for twenty years before I knew who their managers had been...when they were famous.

    Not surprising no one talked about them. No one in the band talked about Mark Stone either.
    Well, it's pretty simple. To the question "who was VH's first manager," the answer up until now was "Marshall Berle." I do not see sufficient evidence to support any claim that this woman deseves the title.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Dreamer View Post
    Well, it's pretty simple. To the question "who was VH's first manager," the answer up until now was "Marshall Berle." I do not see sufficient evidence to support any claim that this woman deseves the title.

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    You're splitting hairs, but for some reason you want to die on this mountain, so have at it. Is she even calling herself that or is it the journalist who interviewed her? Even if she is, who cares, AGAIN her own website stated she booked shows for them on an "informal" basis.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JUNGLE DRUMMER View Post
    You're splitting hairs, but for some reason you want to die on this mountain, so have at it. Is she even calling herself that or is it the journalist who interviewed her? Even if she is, who cares, AGAIN her own website stated she booked shows for them on an "informal" basis.
    Ok then.

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