"Pyro John" blogs his Van Halen tour stories
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  1. #1
    Romeo Delight
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    Default "Pyro John" blogs his Van Halen tour stories

    John Watkins, the guy that did the pyro for Van Halen, has been blogging stories every day about his days with Van Halen. There is some interesting content. He talks about the other artists he's worked with too.

    https://pyro-john.com/?blog=y

  2. #2
    Romeo Delight
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    Some of those reads are Awesome

    Thanx

  3. #3
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    I'm no prude, but I didn't really care for the groupie stories with one girl blowing the whole VH crew. Wish there were more VH-centric anecdotes.
    Little Dreamer

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    Emperor of VHLinks.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Dreamer View Post
    I'm no prude, but I didn't really care for the groupie stories with one girl blowing the whole VH crew. Wish there were more VH-centric anecdotes.
    Agreed. Just boring.
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  5. #5
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    You have to go through a lot of stuff to find the VH content, but he's able to recreate the vibe of 1991 pretty well, a time where VH dominated the scene and was all-powerful. He bailed on the Whitney Houston tour to join the Fuck tour.

    "I felt bad the rest of the night and the next morning but, as soon as my plane was off the ground, I started to look forward to what lay ahead. I was headed for what was supposed to be at least a year long tour with my favorite band, so my pity party abruptly ended. It is impossible to be depressed and think Van Halen at the same time. I settled back in my seat for the flight home and in my mind I paraphrased the name of the new album and just thought things may not have worked out with Whitney, and my marriage might be in trouble, but when it came right down to it, For Unlawful Carnal knowledge Baby, or in other words, “fuck it.”"
    Little Dreamer

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    High praise for manager Ed Leffler. I think we hadn't heard before detailed accounts on why Leffler was a great manager for VH:

    "It is difficult to write about a Van Halen tour because they ran so smoothly. A typical journal might read, “Load in, have fun doing great show, load out, repeat. The best way I can describe it is picturing a young couple passionately in love walking hand in hand in public. Some who have that special someone in their lives will understand and those who do not will never get it and might even get upset calling such a phenomenon a bunch of posing bullshit. How sad for them thinking nobody could ever be that happy, but we were.

    A Van Halen tour in the early 90’s was devoid of the Spinal Tap moments associated with most rock music productions. This was no accident and I credit this situation to manager Ed Leffler wisely guiding the ship. Mr. Leffler was fiercely loyal to his band and his team. It was easy for the people on his team to remain fiercely loyal to him in return. To me he was a great man.

    People who did not have the band’s best interest in mind might share in my high opinion of their manager. The story of Mr. Leffler renegotiating Van Halen’s deal with their record company after the departure of David lee Roth is the stuff of rock legend but things did not even have to be of that magnitude to garner the wrath of Ed.

    Before the tour even began Mr. Leffler established what he considered a fair split of funds resulting from things other than ticket sales, stuff like T-shirt sales and parking, should be. I knew Mr. Leffler to be a reasonable and fair person so I assumed whatever he said was equitable and if the promoters did not agree it was pretty much tough shit for them.

    At one show I was surprised to see Mr. Leffler at the venue way earlier than normal. He instructed our head of vending to stop unloading the souvenir truck until he said different. Apparently, the promoter was pulling a power play and now that we were there, he was trying to hard line Mr. Leffler, never a good idea.

    Mr. Leffler was in the promoters office for a good half hour. Some of the crew was procrastinating, hanging around in the hall to see what was going to happen next. Mr. Leffler finally emerged from the meeting looking none too pleased. He instructed the vendor to pack everything up, every last fucking T-shirt, and put them back on the truck. There would be no souvenir sales that night, and then Mr. Leffler headed for the door to leave.

    Suddenly the promoter came running out of his office yelling, “Wait just one minute, are you out of your fucking mind? You are going to sell any merchandise?”

    Mr. Leffler stopped, turned, and looked the promoter right in the eye and said, “I don’t know about your financial situation but personally I’m rich and have more money than I could ever hope to spend so I don’t give a fuck if we sell any merchandise here tonight or not, but I’ll tell you what, I refuse to be held up by some second rate chiseler who thinks he can hold me over a barrel,” and then as he turned to leave again, “Load the truck and lock the fucking door, merchandise has the night off.”

    The promoter pleaded, “Let’s all just calm down and take a breath, let’s go back into my office and discuss this like rational businessmen.”

    Mr. Leffler followed the promoter back into his office and this time when he emerged it was with a sly satisfied smirk on his face. They did sell merchandise that night and they did it splitting the money at the original rate set up by Mr. Leffler.

    Word of this encounter spread throughout the industry and no promoter ever again tried to renegotiate a deal with Mr. Leffler on show day."
    Little Dreamer

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