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Van Halen: Exuberant California / Zen Rock'n'Roll (New Book)
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  1. #1
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    Red face Van Halen: Exuberant California / Zen Rock'n'Roll (New Book)

    Van Halen: Exuberant California / Zen Rock'n'Roll (New Book):

    Link: http://van-halen5150.blogspot.com/20...ornia-zen.html
    Van Halen Blog 2.0 (New Blog):
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  2. #2
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    Post Van Halen: Exuberant California / Zen Rock'n'Roll (New Book): Matter

    Van Halen
    Exuberant California / Zen Rock'n'roll

    JOHN SCANLAN

    Van Halen, a critic once noted, seemed to be ‘halfway between a Los Angeles traffic jam and an abstract painting.’ It was an observation that seemed to sense that whatever this thing Van Halen was … it might be a lot less obvious than it first seemed.

    Van Halen explores the cultural circuits of a phenomenon that, somewhat bizarrely, set itself up as ephemeral, stupid, and meaningless – or, in other words, as impervious to critical evaluation. ‘I hate the word maturing,’ singer David Lee Roth once said. ‘I don’t like the word evolving – or any of that bullshit. The point is to keep it as simplistic, as unassuming, and as stupid as possible.’

    Van Halen 1, Critics 0.

    This is a book that seeks to capture Van Halen’s pursuit of an art of artlessness and to understand the ways in which they came to be characteristic of what historian Kevin Starr has identified as ‘Zen California’ – it was a state of mind, a way of being, that above all else, celebrated ‘the now’. In rock’n’roll terms it stood for the unregulated expenditure of energy; for a youthful exuberance that seemed destined to extinguish itself.

    Van Halen: Exuberant California / Zen Rock'n'roll is not a standard biography or life story, but a cultural genealogy of an attitude and how it informed the music. The book nonetheless takes a roughly chronological approach to its subject in order to understand the key developments in Van Halen's career in the years 1974-1985. In tracing the aesthetic dimensions of this ‘Zen rock’n’roll’, Van Halen's roots are seen in a number of less obvious influences – the unique Southern Californian climate and its relation to a sense of cultural exuberance; the echoes of Beat aesthetics in David Lee Roth’s attitude to creativity; and, Eddie Van Halen’s ‘bebop’ sensibility, and the real roots of the so-called ‘Brown’ sound.

    This book will appeal to fans of the music of Roth-era Van Halen, readers with an interest in the history and aesthetics of rock’n’roll, and the cultural history of California, as well.

    Book in press, to be published in 2011-12

    John Scanlan writes on the philosophy and sociology of culture, and is Reverberations series editor.

    Note: http://reverberations-series.blogspo...alifornia.html
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  3. #3
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    This same author wrote the 1984 Classic Rock cover story, i was recently talking about.
    He did a fantastic job, writing one of the better, more informed articles i've ever read.
    However, he mentioned that the cover to DIVERDOWN was a reference to Edward's iconic frankenstrat, and was used to appease the guitarist, because DD was such a Roth informed VH record.

    That was the first i've ever heard of that, and i'm not sure it's accurate.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by unchainedguitars View Post
    This same author wrote the 1984 Classic Rock cover story, i was recently talking about.
    He did a fantastic job, writing one of the better, more informed articles i've ever read.
    However, he mentioned that the cover to DIVERDOWN was a reference to Edward's iconic frankenstrat, and was used to appease the guitarist, because DD was such a Roth informed VH record.

    That was the first i've ever heard of that, and i'm not sure it's accurate.
    I just read that part, and he was quoting a review by a different writer....
    It can't be "Van Halen" without Roth, any more than it can be "Van Halen" without Eddie.


  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1234over View Post
    I just read that part, and he was quoting a review by a different writer....
    I'm reading the same book, too.
    It's a great read, very absorbing...

    It's weird, though, i never equated the cover of DD with Ed's guitar, though in a way, it
    would seem a sort of obvious reference.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by unchainedguitars View Post
    I'm reading the same book, too.
    It's a great read, very absorbing...

    It's weird, though, i never equated the cover of DD with Ed's guitar, though in a way, it
    would seem a sort of obvious reference
    .
    yeah, it made me think about it.

    I can't get enough of that book.
    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
    yeah, it made me think about it.

    I can't get enough of that book.
    The author is coming at it from such an interesting angle.

    I never liked that Christie bio, because it was all "cut & paste", stuff i already knew it read.
    This book goes to the root of the movement, the culture surrounding it, the enviornmental/outside
    things that made Van Halen, Van Halen.

    And it's not all philosophical, it's loaded with cool information of the band's early period.

  8. #8
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    Well I guess I'll just throw this one on top of the very large pile of books I want to read. I'm actually reading 3 at one time now just to try to get through them all. (My American Century by Studs Terkel, Jack Kennedy-Elusive Hero by Chris Matthews, and Chronicle by Bob Dylan) I don't think it's a good strategy. I'm starting to mix them up......last night I was thinking that Bob Dylan was once the President of the USA.
    "I won't go down in history, but I will go down on your sister."
    -David Lee Roth-



  9. #9
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    So I have been re-reading this book, after finding it at a library, and one passage that I must have missed had a surprise for me.

    "During this time -around the year 2000- the band, along with Roth, worked again on new songs in the 5150 studio, reportedly recording an albums worth of material with The Dust Brothers (producers of Beck's Odelay album) - but it ended again in acrimony without the results ever being made public. Lawyers had been engaged by Roth after it was discovered that a deal had been cut with Warner Brothers in the mid-1990's over Van Halen's Roth-era catalogue which saw the rest of the band reaping comparative riches for continuing sales as Roth earned a mere 30 cents per album sold."

    I couldn't find ANY other reference to the band working with The Dust Brothers, but if true, I would really hope some of it would be released.
    Last edited by 1234over; November 12th, 2014 at 05:45 PM.
    It can't be "Van Halen" without Roth, any more than it can be "Van Halen" without Eddie.


  10. #10
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    I thought it was the Chemical Brothers. They also worked with the Stones on parts of " Bridges To Babylon ". I do also recall Mike mentioning either the Chemical or Dust brothers in an interview.

    Dave later did a Chemical Brothers tune on the Back Yard BBQ video. Have to look into this.

 

 

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