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VHND - The Private Photo Shoot that Sparked a War Inside Van Halen
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  1. #1
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    VHND - The Private Photo Shoot that Sparked a War Inside Van Halen

    http://www.vhnd.com/2015/02/25/the-p...ide-van-halen/

    What a great article, I can't tell you how excited I am for this book!

    This story really has it all when you think of the conflict between these guys. Roth comes up with a great idea to have a world-renowned, famous photographer who has only worked with a few super famous musicians, and it leads to conflict...

    Roth was obviously trying to gain attention for himself, but it was a damn good idea, because for a band like VH, being associated with Helmut Newton is a big status boost. Puts them in the big leagues. But of course, the rest of the band didn't even know who he was...in 1979 I was 11 years old, and I knew who Helmut Newton was!

    The Brothers had/have NO CLUE how to present the band, they are just oblivious. And what happens to bands that don't have their own concept of how to present themselves, is that the record company, or the manager, does it for them, and the band ends up looking either cheesy, or nondescript.

    They grudgingly do the photo shoot, but are late, rudely keeping Helmut Newton waiting. So Roth starts without them...then they bitch. Now they WANT to do another photo shoot....and of course, the greatest, most definitive VH portrait of all time is the result.

    Typical.
    It can't be "Van Halen" without Roth, any more than it can be "Van Halen" without Eddie.


  2. #2
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    Great story and great pics.......
    I was always under the impression that Dave did this alone w/o other members of the band. At least by the way it was described in his book anyways.

    Speaking of VH ...
    I bet there is so much out there that we dont know about them circa inception-84 but we have little stories like the one above that are cool but indicates a little tension going on earlier then expected.
    I heard on the radio earlier Whitesnake is coming again which seems like they come around here every 2 years or so and it got me to thinking.

    Why does VH do so fucking little?

  3. #3
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    But the iconic WACF photos ended up from a second photographer, not Newton.

    In many ways, i can understand the brothers being aggravated by Dave posing solo.
    Alex & Eddie have always, especially at that time, been about the music.
    It was their upbringing & also intense passion for playing.

    Dave working with this renowned fashion photographer, chained solo to a fence, seems
    a bit odd for an up & coming hard rock band.

    I remember, at the time, opening the vinyl (my first VH record), and thinking, "This seems
    kinda Tiger Beat, considering their sound."

    Of course, later, i could appreciate it, because it was so Roth, but at the time....

    Regardless, fascinating & well written piece.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by unchainedguitars View Post
    But the iconic WACF photos ended up from a second photographer, not Newton.

    In many ways, i can understand the brothers being aggravated by Dave posing solo.
    Alex & Eddie have always, especially at that time, been about the music.
    It was their upbringing & also intense passion for playing.

    Dave working with this renowned fashion photographer, chained solo to a fence, seems
    a bit odd for an up & coming hard rock band.

    I remember, at the time, opening the vinyl (my first VH record), and thinking, "This seems
    kinda Tiger Beat, considering their sound."

    Of course, later, i could appreciate it, because it was so Roth, but at the time....

    Regardless, fascinating & well written piece.
    I know the classic photos weren't from Newton.

    The point is that they didn't want to do it, but it forced a conflict, THEN they got interested, and things eventually turned out great. They NEEDED that conflict to motivate them. They had to see Roth turning it into self promotion in order to give a fuck about a cover photo session. I don't think Roth was consciously trying to push them, I think he was trying to get the focus on himself. But I think this kind of thing fueled the band the whole time.

    I was certainly taken aback when I saw it, but I knew that it added a cool fashion element to the packaging. It was designed to provoke.

    The footage from the Seeff sessions would be so cool. To see a "Kids Are Alright" style movie...it would be incredible.
    Last edited by 1234over; February 26th, 2015 at 02:39 AM.
    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 Achilleslastand View Post
    Great story and great pics.......
    I was always under the impression that Dave did this alone w/o other members of the band. At least by the way it was described in his book anyways.

    Speaking of VH ...
    I bet there is so much out there that we dont know about them circa inception-84 but we have little stories like the one above that are cool but indicates a little tension going on earlier then expected.
    I heard on the radio earlier Whitesnake is coming again which seems like they come around here every 2 years or so and it got me to thinking.

    Why does VH do so fucking little?
    Yeah, Roth took some liberties with that story in his book....
    I am still baffled why they can;t seem to get things together. It's not that hard, they used to record an album in 3 weeks!
    It can't be "Van Halen" without Roth, any more than it can be "Van Halen" without Eddie.


  6. #6
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    Some more from the Seeff session...
    http://ichrentino.blogspot.com/2012/...otography.html

    He takes great pics!
    It can't be "Van Halen" without Roth, any more than it can be "Van Halen" without Eddie.


  7. #7
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    Always found it a bit ironic that Van Halen's heaviest album also had the most "interesting" inner sleeve pic. Kind of shows perhaps what kind of audience Dave was aiming at. Though I wouldn't pin the split on just this one item.
    Ready, Eddie!

  8. #8
    Dave should've approached the rest of the guys first. There still might have been a conflict but it's more of how things are done rather than what.

  9. #9
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    What LLEADD said. Dave's approach was all wrong. And why was it wrong to the band? Cuz it was all about it him. He was doing it, for himself, with or without them. That "me" mentality was their demise. You're dealing with musicians who could care less about promoting or impressing. They're about creating and playing music. That dynamic was never going to last.

    I'm sure once they found out who Newton was they figured they better do it. Since they had already dun a hundred shoots by then it would seem ridiculous to pass on his.

    As far as the sleeve, years later I could appreciate the artistic approach but at the time (and now) I don't like it. It certainly never shoulda been allowed. Do that stuff in a mag or something. If you're putting anything in a record it should be the whole band.

  10. #10
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    I still think the brothers were in the right.
    Hindsight is one thing, but this was 1980, only the third record.
    VH was a band, not the Roth show.
    Do we think Aerosmith would allow a solo poster of Steven Tyler inside
    the "Rocks" album cover?

    If it was a band photo via Newton, yes, that would be a plus for the band.
    But his only focus was Dave.
    Use that in a magazine, or in a rock/fashion publication.

    This was an early example of Roth's ego nearly sinking the entire operation.
    Roth is brilliant, yet he sometimes get's in the way of himself.
    You can push the band & promote it, but you gotta be able to look at the other
    personalities in your band & consider them.

    As a kid buying the album, the poster made little sense to me.
    I always wondered why one guy got the spotlight, while the band was amazing.
    Had it been a solo album, then it would have made sense in that context.

    I am surprised the brothers agreed to include it.

 

 

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