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What got you into Van Halen?
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  1. #1
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    What got you into Van Halen?

    Pretty bland thread idea on the surface, but I think it could gather some really cool stories and inject some life into this forum.

    So what exactly got you into Van Halen? Was it instant? Did you have to phase into it? Was it paired with good times in your youth? When was it? Is the magic still the same for you?

  2. #2
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    I was only familiar with the Hagar stuff as a kid, because that was what was available on VHS and what Dad played on the TV a couple of times.
    He kept telling me that Van Halen were much better with Dave, but all I'd heard was "Jump".

    Then he downloaded the Best of Both Worlds compilation.
    I must have been 12 or so, and we started listening to it in the car.
    ATBL slayed me, as did "Unchained".
    The other stuff I wasn't that sold on...
    Actually, I enjoyed "I'll Wait".

    But soon Dad downloaded the six pack (well, four of the six pack that he didn't have on CD already).
    Before that, I was listening to the debut and thought that parts of it were insane, but some parts seemed weak (and still do, by CVH standards to my ears).
    But then it all hit me like a tonne of bricks on a road trip with my extended family to the other side of the country.
    I had II, WACF, FW and Diver Down and I became entranced.

    I then went back to school after the summer and drove everyone nuts with my obsession.
    People were legitimately pissed off about it and I was mocked a lot.

    Oh well.

    I don't think the music will ever hit me like that again.
    It's always brilliant, but just that magic in it being fresh and new... Totally blown away by what Ed was doing.
    Yikes.

    What an incredible time.

  3. #3
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    I'm sure that some of you who were around while the magic was happening could give far more interesting stories, so fire away.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by vhfanjack View Post
    I'm sure that some of you who were around while the magic was happening could give far more interesting stories, so fire away.
    it's amazing you were on the younger side introduced to the Sammy years first.... but then discovered and blown away by the 1st era.

    I've loved a handful of bands over the years...but nothing can touch Van Halen. I think a lot does have to do with being young in your formative years -- and so much of VH now can bring back great memories still. But they were larger than life rock gods. Yup, nothing will touch the same way again.

    makes me think of some of the stuff now...people go crazy for electronic or whatever..but essentially a dude on stage playing with a laptop now (like this pic). A lot different than seeing 4 rockstars destroy the stage with real instruments.

    rukes.jpg
    Last edited by thismusicsux; August 6th, 2014 at 12:28 AM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by thismusicsux View Post
    it's amazing you were on the younger side introduced to the Sammy years first.... but then discovered and blown away by the 1st era.

    I've loved a handful of bands over the years...but nothing can touch Van Halen. I think a lot does have to do with being young in your formative years -- and so much of VH now can bring back great memories still. But they were larger than life rock gods. Yup, nothing will touch the same way again.

    makes me think of some of the stuff now...people go crazy for electronic or whatever..but essentially a dude on stage playing with a laptop now (like this pic). A lot different than seeing 4 rockstars destroy the stage with real instruments.

    rukes.jpg
    Van Halen will ALWAYS hold a special spot in my heart.

    I was a kid in the 90s so I guess that's just how it is. I was told from the start that Dave was better, but hadn't heard any of it.

    So any story of your first time hearing VH? When your blood really got pumping from it? Any shows you saw?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by vhfanjack View Post
    Van Halen will ALWAYS hold a special spot in my heart.

    I was a kid in the 90s so I guess that's just how it is. I was told from the start that Dave was better, but hadn't heard any of it.

    So any story of your first time hearing VH? When your blood really got pumping from it? Any shows you saw?
    For me, it was the oldest brother of the kids that lived across the street from me. I hung out with all the kids (they were all 2 years apart), and the oldest would give us rides to baseball practice and things like that. He had a purple Barracuda with an 8-track. I was in 6th grade, an 11-year old wise-ass, and thought Ace Frehley was the greatest. He was giving me and his brother a ride somewhere, and as I got into the front seat he said "I have to play you this new band, the guitarist is the best in the world", and I remember saying "no way, Ace Frehley is the best. This guy can't be better" (I remember saying it really cocky, and really believing that there couldn't be anyone better).

    He said "listen to the guitar in this song" and played DOA. I was blown away, but thought it was just one tune. Then he played the rest of the album and I was shaken. I knew Ace was no longer king (hahaha). From then on, I was always anxious to get a ride, and would ask to hear more VH. The fade of DOA was my favorite part. He would always kind of laugh, and say "so I was right, huh?" I would always agree.

    The thing that stood out for me was the dive-bombing tremolo stuff. I have to say that until "Beat It", I always associated EVH with cool tremolo bar effects, more than tapping. Obviously, tapping became his trademark, but it's still not where the "mad scientist" aspect of his playing is rooted, to me.

    plymouth_barracuda_gran_coupe_purple_1970.jpg
    Last edited by 1234over; August 6th, 2014 at 02:52 AM.
    It can't be "Van Halen" without Roth, any more than it can be "Van Halen" without Eddie.


  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1234over View Post
    For me, it was the oldest brother of the kids that lived across the street from me. I hung out with all the kids (they were all 2 years apart), and the oldest would give us rides to baseball practice and things like that. He had a purple Barracuda with an 8-track. I was in 6th grade, an 11-year old wise-ass, and thought Ace Frehley was the greatest. He was giving me and his brother a ride somewhere, and as I got into the front seat he said "I have to play you this new band, the guitarist is the best in the world", and I remember saying "no way, Ace Frehley is the best. This guy can't be better" (I remember saying it really cocky, and really believing that there couldn't be anyone better).

    He said "listen to the guitar in this song" and played DOA. I was blown away, but thought it was just one tune. Then he played the rest of the album and I was shaken. I knew Ace was no longer king (hahaha). From then on, I was always anxious to get a ride, and would ask to hear more VH. The fade of DOA was my favorite part. He would always kind of laugh, and say "so I was right, huh?" I would always agree.

    The thing that stood out for me was the dive-bombing tremolo stuff. I have to say that until "Beat It", I always associated EVH with cool tremolo bar effects, more than tapping. Obviously, tapping became his trademark, but it's still not where the "mad scientist" aspect of his playing is rooted, to me.

    plymouth_barracuda_gran_coupe_purple_1970.jpg
    That was great!

    I thought that Jimmy Page was the greatest. I'd heard Yngwie and the lot, but even back then guys like that had something missing. As soon as I became entranced with Eddie, I didn't want to listen to anyone else. I actually thought that everyone else was a hack and became a huge Van Halen elitist.

    What blew me away the most was the riffs and rhythm playing, when it came down to it. They just kept coming, and coming and coming.

    The tremolo association with Ed is pretty much dead and buried now. Those bar squeals are now called "Dimebag squeals" or something of that like... That's just ridiculous.

  8. #8
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    I'm similar to 1234. 4/5th grade would hang w my friend across the street. He had an older brother that was about 16 and always blasting Van Halen from his room next door. His room was filled with posters and those old tapestries on the ceiling (Rush, Ozzy, etc)

    I was a little late to VH... this was late 1981, but I remember mostly hearing WACF and then RWTD, YRGM, ATBL. I can remember getting into VHII and Fair Warning soon after.

    So by the time 1982 rolled around I was full blown VH addict and waiting for Diver Down to come out. Even though people like to blast that record, I'm still pretty fond of it - partly because it was 'my' first new VH release. But I like songs anyway...have some vivid memories of listening to that record and just staring at the cover/art/back/sleeve of all the pics. I can remember taping and watching the US Fest about a million times in 1983.
    Last edited by thismusicsux; August 6th, 2014 at 03:16 AM.

  9. #9
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    My family moved from Australia to England in 1978, I was 12. I was into Kiss, The Sweet and Status Quo. Once I'd settled into school and met like minded people I began to pick up music from new friends, mainly English stuff, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Eric Clapton. My friends and I really looked up to one of the guys older brothers group of friends. They had long hair, smoked cigarettes and the music was all coming from them. One of those guys, Toby, once bought a guitar and amp to school, an SG and Marshall. He played Paranoid, real loud, and it blew me away, the energy, the volume, it was just phenomenal. Once he stopped, he said something like, "listen to this guy, he's the latest thing" and he put on the first VH album.

    I was awe struck, right from the get go. I remember thinking how cool that song was. It was of course, Runnin With The Devil. I'd been listening to guitar based music since I was quite young, playing air guitar all over the house, but this was a whole new game, the production was immense, so in your face, and this guy was Runnin with the fuckin devil, how cool is that? We were the rebellious kids at a religious school, so the devil thing suited us just fine. Eruption came on and it was just mesmerising. I had no idea what was going on, but I was captivated by it and have been ever since.

    I went back to the UK in 2010. I hadn't seen those guys in 28 years, they still see each other regularly. We managed to get the group back together for a reunion. We blasted great old music all night, including that album, drank way too much, smoked some weed and passed out, just like we did when we were 16. We certainly didn't feel 16 the next day.
    Last edited by CalFB; August 6th, 2014 at 05:55 AM.
    "Iíve got a white Kramer Pacer, and that just goes with every outfit. Thatíll go with my purple spandex, my zebra spandex, everything. And Iíve got a lot of spandex, so itís good to have a versatile guitar thatíll go with your spandex.". - Satchel

  10. #10
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    ^ great story. And hanging out w your old pals blaring VH is a good time.

    RWTD. I remember the vibe I got from this song at first. "Devil" music and heavy metal seemed to be a thing. So I always thought this song was part of that group. At the time like Sabbath and playing Zep albums backwards to hear weird hidden messages.

 

 

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