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VAN HALEN, KIDS


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#21 Ryan H.

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:22 AM

Am I just ... showing my age? Is Van Halen beneath the refined tastes here at A&F? Does no one care whether or not the new VH is "the true kick in the butt that arena rock desperately needs"? C'mon! We all need a little arena rock in our lives.

I could live without it. Arena rock drives me up a wall. It's not a snobbish thing (as far as "popular" music goes, I'd have to say my tastes probably trend more towards mainstream stuff than the rest of the folks here at A&F), just a visceral, can't-stand-it reaction. But to each his own. If you can rock out to Van Halen, go for it.

Edited by Ryan H., 09 February 2012 - 09:33 AM.


#22 Attica

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 11:42 AM

Am I just ... showing my age? Is Van Halen beneath the refined tastes here at A&F? Does no one care whether or not the new VH is "the true kick in the butt that arena rock desperately needs"? C'mon! We all need a little arena rock in our lives.

I could live without it. Arena rock drives me up a wall. It's not a snobbish thing (as far as "popular" music goes, I'd have to say my tastes probably trend more towards mainstream stuff than the rest of the folks here at A&F), just a visceral, can't-stand-it reaction. But to each his own. If you can rock out to Van Halen, go for it.


Ironically Van Halen's first album hit at the time when a segment of the music culture was moving away from what they considered to be the overbloated arena rock of Led Zepplin and the like. Van Halen's first album (arguably still their best) hit the scene with a freshness, energy, and a sassy swagger that was really attractive to people who were tired of the arena rock scene. Not to mention that Eddies guitar work on the album, especially on Eruption was revolutionary. That first album really turned heads.

Of course it wasn't long before VH became a leader in the arena rock of the 80's, and by the late 80's they had lost a bit of that fresh edge although they were still obviously a talented band. I remember that by then VH had very much hit the mainstream and some of their early fans had moved on to find the next original group.

Edited by Attica, 09 February 2012 - 11:45 AM.


#23 Andy Whitman

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 12:47 PM


Am I just ... showing my age? Is Van Halen beneath the refined tastes here at A&F? Does no one care whether or not the new VH is "the true kick in the butt that arena rock desperately needs"? C'mon! We all need a little arena rock in our lives.

I could live without it. Arena rock drives me up a wall. It's not a snobbish thing (as far as "popular" music goes, I'd have to say my tastes probably trend more towards mainstream stuff than the rest of the folks here at A&F), just a visceral, can't-stand-it reaction. But to each his own. If you can rock out to Van Halen, go for it.


Ironically Van Halen's first album hit at the time when a segment of the music culture was moving away from what they considered to be the overbloated arena rock of Led Zepplin and the like. Van Halen's first album (arguably still their best) hit the scene with a freshness, energy, and a sassy swagger that was really attractive to people who were tired of the arena rock scene. Not to mention that Eddies guitar work on the album, especially on Eruption was revolutionary. That first album really turned heads.

Of course it wasn't long before VH became a leader in the arena rock of the 80's, and by the late 80's they had lost a bit of that fresh edge although they were still obviously a talented band. I remember that by then VH had very much hit the mainstream and some of their early fans had moved on to find the next original group.

It's interesting the musical tribes we join. 1978 was all about The Clash, The Sex Pistols, Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, Dave Edmunds, Graham Parker, etc. for me. I was aware of Van Halen because it was impossible to listen to the radio and not be aware of Van Halen, but I didn't pay much attention. It wasn't my scene, which was apparently something like Communal Jesus Freak Goes Punk. I think there were about three of us in the scene. I think Eddie's a fabulous guitar player. Not much else appeals to me to this day.

Edited by Andy Whitman, 09 February 2012 - 12:48 PM.


#24 Attica

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 01:38 PM



Am I just ... showing my age? Is Van Halen beneath the refined tastes here at A&F? Does no one care whether or not the new VH is "the true kick in the butt that arena rock desperately needs"? C'mon! We all need a little arena rock in our lives.

I could live without it. Arena rock drives me up a wall. It's not a snobbish thing (as far as "popular" music goes, I'd have to say my tastes probably trend more towards mainstream stuff than the rest of the folks here at A&F), just a visceral, can't-stand-it reaction. But to each his own. If you can rock out to Van Halen, go for it.


Ironically Van Halen's first album hit at the time when a segment of the music culture was moving away from what they considered to be the overbloated arena rock of Led Zepplin and the like. Van Halen's first album (arguably still their best) hit the scene with a freshness, energy, and a sassy swagger that was really attractive to people who were tired of the arena rock scene. Not to mention that Eddies guitar work on the album, especially on Eruption was revolutionary. That first album really turned heads.

Of course it wasn't long before VH became a leader in the arena rock of the 80's, and by the late 80's they had lost a bit of that fresh edge although they were still obviously a talented band. I remember that by then VH had very much hit the mainstream and some of their early fans had moved on to find the next original group.

It's interesting the musical tribes we join. 1978 was all about The Clash, The Sex Pistols, Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, Dave Edmunds, Graham Parker, etc. for me. I was aware of Van Halen because it was impossible to listen to the radio and not be aware of Van Halen, but I didn't pay much attention. It wasn't my scene, which was apparently something like Communal Jesus Freak Goes Punk. I think there were about three of us in the scene. I think Eddie's a fabulous guitar player. Not much else appeals to me to this day.


Another thing about VH is that they were a forerunner of the lighthearted, slightly meaningless but fun lyrics and attitude that was to very much take the forefront of 80's music. Interestingly enough, it was later on after they became more mainstream, that VH lyrics started to take on a more thoughtful, meaningful tone, which was because of Sammy's influence.

Of course The Clash, and the Sex Pistols, and the whole Punk movement in general was at least partially about moving away from the overbloated arena rock vibe which was felt to be a bit insincere and overdone....... much like the alternative scene of the 90's. There is always a segment of music fans that want something fresh and real, that relates to their life experience, and once a band becomes big enough to move into the arenas they have often (or are at least perceived as) moved away from this. I enjoyed some of The Clash's tunes back in the day (still do now and again).

Edited by Attica, 09 February 2012 - 01:38 PM.


#25 Greg P

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 01:36 PM

By way of Christian's FB post this afternoon, I present Klosterman's take. He has this to say about Eddie's tone -- which is, after all, the visceral key to VH's early greatness. I'm happy to see Chuck has obviously read some of my earlier posts here ;)

The most crucial aspect of Van Halen — more than the virtuosity or the attitude or the cocaine — is Eddie Van Halen's guitar tone. It's the most jarringly singular post-Hendrix guitar tone anyone has ever produced (EVH calls this the "brown sound," which never seemed accurate to me ... but it's his sound to name). The finest Eddie Van Halen tones are found on 1978's Van Halen, 1979's Van Halen II, and those '76 demos (now referred to as "Van Halen Zero" in bootleg circles). The fact that he can still shred is secondary.... (But) his leads are almost always propulsive, and you can't really criticize his tone; the only thing you can say is that sometimes that tone is better and sometimes that tone is worse. And it was better in '76 (at least to me). It was better when it was analog

Agreed. Eddie got boring the more effects he utilized and the the more technology he employed to flesh out his sound. The key to his early genius-- just like Hendrix-- was his conservative use of effects pedals and his reliance on sheer volume and primitive, physical techniques to melt skulls, sonically.

After sitting and listening to the new album, I agree with this completely:

I unconsciously suspected my takeaway would be, "This is a bad album, but I love it nonetheless." My actual sentiment is closer to, "This is a good album, but I just don't like it, no matter how much I try." And I'm disappointed in myself for feeling that way, somehow, which only proves that the things I understand most will always confuse me forever.



#26 Attica

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 05:40 PM

After sitting and listening to the new album, I agree with this completely:

I unconsciously suspected my takeaway would be, "This is a bad album, but I love it nonetheless." My actual sentiment is closer to, "This is a good album, but I just don't like it, no matter how much I try." And I'm disappointed in myself for feeling that way, somehow, which only proves that the things I understand most will always confuse me forever.



I was pretty lukewarm on the album the first 2 or 3 times through but it's starting to grow on me. I'm really diggin "stay frosty" and "big river".

#27 Ward in SC

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 01:35 PM

If this is truly the only Van Halen thread on this forum, it really shouldn't go any further without a link to the isolated DLR vocal track from Running With the Devil.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IArxakPsPE0

Edited by Ward in SC, 12 February 2012 - 01:35 PM.


#28 Greg P

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 08:47 PM

If this is truly the only Van Halen thread on this forum, it really shouldn't go any further without a link to the isolated DLR vocal track from Running With the Devil.

My favorite one is the flash-animated page that allows to click on quotes from the song and get little snippets of DLR's isolated glory. Hilarious. Especially 1:26, which has to be one of the greatest/most ludicrous moments in frontman history.

1:50 might be a close second. Love it!

Edited by Greg P, 12 February 2012 - 08:49 PM.


#29 Christian

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 08:52 PM


If this is truly the only Van Halen thread on this forum, it really shouldn't go any further without a link to the isolated DLR vocal track from Running With the Devil.

My favorite one is the flash-animated page that allows to click on quotes from the song and get little snippets of DLR's isolated glory. Hilarious. Especially 1:26, which has to be one of the greatest/most ludicrous moments in frontman history.

1:50 might be a close second. Love it!

3:08-3:12 is my personal fave. Nice kicker.

#30 morgan1098

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 02:07 PM

When I was going to a Christian junior high and high school, Van Halen was the go-to band to express your rebellion. I just heard "Hot for Teacher" on the radio the other day and was delighted all over again by the perfect tackiness of it all.

Speaking of Van Halen and Christian school, there was this story/anecdote floating around back then that someone (an MTV VJ?) asked Eddie Van Halen "What's it like being the greatest guitarist in the world?" and EVH answered, "I don't know; ask Phil Keaggy!" Oh, how we loved this story. But I'm guessing now it's just an urban legend and I'm too lazy to do the research to find out for sure...

#31 Christian

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 02:44 PM

Speaking of Van Halen and Christian school, there was this story/anecdote floating around back then that someone (an MTV VJ?) asked Eddie Van Halen "What's it like being the greatest guitarist in the world?" and EVH answered, "I don't know; ask Phil Keaggy!" Oh, how we loved this story. But I'm guessing now it's just an urban legend and I'm too lazy to do the research to find out for sure...

A record-store clerk once told me the same story, but substituted Eric Clapton for EVH.

#32 Andy Whitman

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 03:24 PM


Speaking of Van Halen and Christian school, there was this story/anecdote floating around back then that someone (an MTV VJ?) asked Eddie Van Halen "What's it like being the greatest guitarist in the world?" and EVH answered, "I don't know; ask Phil Keaggy!" Oh, how we loved this story. But I'm guessing now it's just an urban legend and I'm too lazy to do the research to find out for sure...

A record-store clerk once told me the same story, but substituted Eric Clapton for EVH.

And I've heard it was Jimi Hendrix. According to Phil Keaggy (I asked him), it never happened.

#33 Christian

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 03:46 PM



Speaking of Van Halen and Christian school, there was this story/anecdote floating around back then that someone (an MTV VJ?) asked Eddie Van Halen "What's it like being the greatest guitarist in the world?" and EVH answered, "I don't know; ask Phil Keaggy!" Oh, how we loved this story. But I'm guessing now it's just an urban legend and I'm too lazy to do the research to find out for sure...

A record-store clerk once told me the same story, but substituted Eric Clapton for EVH.

And I've heard it was Jimi Hendrix. According to Phil Keaggy (I asked him), it never happened.

I've heard the story that Phil Keaggy says this never happened. I think it's an urban legend.

#34 J. Henry Waugh

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 04:18 PM

I first heard that story on a bus ride to to a festival to see Keaggy play in the early 90s. It was Hendrix in that version.

Plenty of links about it online.

I still want to think there's some kernal of truth that sparked the telephone game, even if it was someone from Herman's Hermits saying that Keaggy is a halfway decent banjo player.

#35 Kent

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 11:36 AM

Not that it matters, but "A Different Kind of Truth" debuted at number 2 on the Billboard album chart, right behind Adele's "21" (based on the strength of promotions for her upcoming Grammy comeback performance, no doubt). Just can't seem to nab that #1 spot. "1984" spent a period of time at #2 behind some album called "Thriller" by some guy named Michael Jackson.

#36 Greg P

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 06:14 AM

Rollins defends Van Halen