SAMMY HAGAR AND MICHAEL ANTHONY CELEBRATE 35TH ANNIVERSARY OF LIVE WITHOUT A NET
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    Default SAMMY HAGAR AND MICHAEL ANTHONY CELEBRATE 35TH ANNIVERSARY OF LIVE WITHOUT A NET

    Bassist Michael Anthony and vocalist Sammy Hagar celebrated the 35th Anniversary of Van Halen's Live Without A Net.

    Michael Anthony: "The second show in 'New Halen'. We rocked it, no fixing or re-recording any of it, what you see and hear is how it actually went down!!!

    I seem to remember Ace Frehley stumbling in backstage after the show to say hi, I don’t think we recognized him without his make up!!! Fun times for sure…"

    Sammy Hagar: "We actually filmed two nights in New Haven for this release but the first night management told Eddie he had to be completely sober because there was so much money on this shoot.

    Let’s just say he killed it when we played / filmed a second night!

    Ha ha... goes to show you some guys got to do it their own way!

    Back in those days it cost around 350K - that was real money!"


    Live Without A Net was recorded / filmed in New Haven, Connecticut at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in 1986 and released later that year.

    The show was part of the 5150 Tour, supporting the album of the same name, and Van Halen's first tour with Hagar.

    When Van Halen rolled into New Haven, Conn., in August 1986, they arrived with a purpose. The pair of dates on Aug. 26 and 27 at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum were being filmed for a planned live concert release. Live Without a Net was released just few months later, in November 1986.

    There was a lot riding on the shows. For one, the video would be the band’s first-ever official live recording to be released. It also offered a chance for fans who weren't able to attend a Van Halen show to see what all the excitement was about.

    More than that, it was an opportunity for everyone - from casual fans to devotees to budding guitar players - to get a closer look at Eddie Van Halen. Finally, there'd be a way to analyze just how he managed to get those sounds out of his instrument.

    The band also had a new singer to show off. Sammy Hagar had stepped into the frontman role formerly held with great flair by David Lee Roth. The colorful showman parted ways with Van Halen the previous year, and the group was in the midst of a successful rebound with Hagar at the helm.

    Their debut album with the former Montrose singer, 5150, arrived on March 24, 1986. A few days later, they were already on the road, playing their first show in Shreveport, La.

    As Hagar recalled during a 2014 interview with UCR, nerves were running high as Van Halen took the new lineup on tour for the first time: “It was really scary to say, ‘Wow, we’re going to walk out there and play the 5150 record,' and this is sold out.”

    He was aware that ticket sales for the gigs were trading heavily on their past, and fans would be expecting older material from the band's catalog as well as Hagar's solo work. “Because that’s who sold it out,” he explained. “But it worked, and I just remember opening up with ‘You Really Got Me,’ and it was like the frickin’ barricade went down and it was like, 'Okay, the nerves are gone.'”

    Five months into the trek, Van Halen arrived in New Haven. 5150 went to No. 1 and was already platinum, so the album's songs - including the singles “Why Can’t This Be Love,” “Dreams” and “Love Walks In” - were pretty well-known.

    Ray Tripp, a longtime fan, was in attendance with his older brother and a group of friends both nights in New Haven. They had prime seats - front-row center for the first night and three rows from the stage, right in front of Eddie Van Halen, for the second.

    Although both performance were filmed, footage from the first concert was unusable because of technical difficulties.

    “There were so many problems going on," Tripp tells UCR. "In particular, the problems were with Eddie. His wireless [unit] was cutting out as the songs were progressing on that first night. They literally came out and hooked [his guitar] up via a cord and plugged him in.”

    Van Halen had no such problems the second night. “We are renaming this town - this town is now New Halen. New Halen,” Hagar proclaimed, following a high-energy performance of “There’s Only One Way to Rock,” a favorite from his 1982 solo album Standing Hampton.

    The members of Van Halen bounded onstage, with bassist Michael Anthony sprinting to his position and digging out the initial notes with visible enthusiasm and a big grin on his face. Hagar and Van Halen, both with guitars, went back and forth across the stage, eventually ending up shoulder-to-shoulder as they wrapped up a dueling solo.

    “We were flying all over the place, and we were running from one end of the stage to the other, jumping off of shit,” Hagar recalled. “Man, I’m surprised we could even play our instruments, doing what we were doing.”

    They were so enthusiastic that even Tripp, who went into the gigs a bit skeptical, was converted. Hagar's stage presence was a major contributing factor in winning him over. "Seeing him with the band, I thought they were great together,” he says. “I thought he was great as a frontman for the band. He had great chemistry with Eddie and the band.”

    The set list went heavy on material from the new album, mostly staying away from songs recorded during the band's Roth era. They democratically landed on a pair of songs from each of their respective pasts. “During the last week of rehearsal, we decided to do ‘You Really Got Me,’ ‘I Can’t Drive 55,’ ‘One Way to Rock’ and ‘Jump,’” Hagar said during the 2014 conversation with UCR. “Two of mine and two of theirs, and ‘Jump’ was going to be the encore,. I was going to bring a guy up to sing it. I wasn’t going to sing it myself. ... It was stupid that we rebelled against our pasts.”

    Live Without a Net is filled with stage banter; the individual solos are even better. Eddie Van Halen’s guitar solo is classic, and reason one to see this video. But Alex Van Halen’s drum solo is also notable, as he makes his kit sound like some sort of engine.

    And even though Anthony's bass solo is a polarizing topic among fans, it's entertaining and original when compared to the typical bass solo, and far from the waste of time some claim.

    Van Halen have released only three live sets. The first two, this one and 1993’s Live: Right Here, Right Now, both come from the Hagar era; 2015’s Tokyo Dome Live in Concert collected a Roth show, though it's one from 2013 during the midway point of the band’s reunion with its original singer

    Live Without a Net presents the most pure and unvarnished look at Van Halen as a performing unit. Roth isn't in the best vocal shape on the Tokyo Dome album, and the 1993 release, according to Hagar’s memoir, was heavily doctored in post-production, and its video companion features many jarring edits that make it a tough watch at times.

    But Live Without a Net captured Van Halen in their prime with Hagar. No better visual document exists of the band from this era and none delivers better proof of the band's lasting power.
    Beauty is life when life unveils
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    Quote Originally Posted by James in New York View Post
    Bassist Michael Anthony and vocalist Sammy Hagar celebrated the 35th Anniversary of Van Halen's Live Without A Net.

    Michael Anthony: "The second show in 'New Halen'. We rocked it, no fixing or re-recording any of it, what you see and hear is how it actually went down!!!
    Unfortunately it was edited as it's not the entire show. Still a classic though.

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    Why never any links, James?

    I see the start of this is from BraveWords https://bravewords.com/news/sammy-ha...ally-went-down

    But the rest looks like it's from somewhere else. ???

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    Quote Originally Posted by Number 47 View Post
    Why never any links, James?

    I see the start of this is from BraveWords https://bravewords.com/news/sammy-ha...ally-went-down

    But the rest looks like it's from somewhere else. ???
    I think it was Ultimate Classic Rock...
    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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    For a great live band, to have such an overall poor video and audio official legacy is pretty piss poor.

    You look at all the old fan awards from Hit Parader, Creem, etc., Van Halen was the fan favorite live act for years and years.

    And all they released from that is one classic concert video (LWAN), one ridiculously doctored live album (RHRN), an almost unwatchable concert video (RHRN), and then an incredibly lackluster live recording of VH Mach IV.

    It's a head scratcher.

    LWAN, for us Dave fans, is begrudgingly the best live representation of Van Halen in concert, and it isn't even close.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave's Dreidel View Post
    For a great live band, to have such an overall poor video and audio official legacy is pretty piss poor.
    With Van Halen it truly is a "you had to be there" experience!

    I like bootlegs, but sometimes I think it's pretty cool there is so little Van Halen video from the early days. It helps build the romance and mystique of how INCREDIBLE they were back then. I wish I could have been there!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave's Dreidel View Post
    For a great live band, to have such an overall poor video and audio official legacy is pretty piss poor.

    You look at all the old fan awards from Hit Parader, Creem, etc., Van Halen was the fan favorite live act for years and years.

    And all they released from that is one classic concert video (LWAN), one ridiculously doctored live album (RHRN), an almost unwatchable concert video (RHRN), and then an incredibly lackluster live recording of VH Mach IV.

    It's a head scratcher.

    LWAN, for us Dave fans, is begrudgingly the best live representation of Van Halen in concert, and it isn't even close.
    It's pretty clear why. EVH was an ultra perfectionist. Even when others would tell him he played like a God, he always thought he could've done better. That attitude, while great in a way (he was pushing himself to always be better), was detrimental to the release of live recordings and videos. And with VHIV Tokyo Dome, I guess he just gave up and said "fuck it."
    Little Dreamer

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    love this video. I've watched it thousands of times now...lol

    best official concert video I've seen

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sammy Hagar re: Live without a Net
    We actually filmed two nights in New Haven for this release
    So there was, in fact, a net.

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    Beauty is life when life unveils
    her holy face.

    But you are life and you
    are the veil.

    Beauty is eternity gazing at itself
    in a mirror.

    But you are eternity
    and you are the mirror.

    -Kahil Gibran

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    Not a big deal but they did touch up the audio. I remember an interview with the guys saying they had a portable recording studio in a truck which they touched up the audio. Only big missses. I do kind of doubt Eddie having to be sober. Not because they are lying just that Eddie stated he couldn't play sober. Plus we all know he was lit up during Fargo, US Festival, the South American shows, etc and yeah he could have missed a thing here or there, he wasn't the weakest link.

    I love LWAN. Such a great show. Too bad there isn't a directors cut with Good Enough and other songs that were omitted. Has great energy and they really did capture the mood of the band at the time. Also prefer nothing was piped in like keys.

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    I dont believe what Sammy is saying about night 1. Ed looked pretty hammered all though the video and was drinking all though it.
    I also remember reading that Mike went straight into the recording truck or whatever is was straight after the show and redid all of his BV's.
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    Great video, but nowhere near the peak of VH as a live band.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchie5150 View Post
    I dont believe what Sammy is saying about night 1. Ed looked pretty hammered all though the video and was drinking all though it.
    I also remember reading that Mike went straight into the recording truck or whatever is was straight after the show and redid all of his BV's.
    I think that was Sam's point. Ed was pressured by the powers that be to be sober onstage, which he was on the first night. Sam is saying that Ed played better on the second night doing it "his way", which is to say with alcohol. As you say, it's obvious that Ed is drunk on LWAN, the footage of which is from the second, alcohol-infused show. Ed just played like a God that way, proving the powers that be wrong about a sober performance being a better performance. Twenty years later they'd have been right. But, Ed was still at his physical peak in 86 and his body could handle it.

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    lwan changed my life as a child, let me see eddies magic guitar and imprinted a likeness i will never rid of as long as i continue to live. i’m grateful as hell for that.

 

 

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