Tag Archives: eddie van halen

SUNSET STRIP’S BEST ROCK SHOWS OF 2021

BulletBoys frontman Marq Torien rocked an acoustic show, Wolfgang Van Halen sold out the venue, and Dokken was back for the attack at Whisky A Go-Go throughout 2021, providing the Sunset Strip with some of last year’s best shows.

There was a good variety of decent rock shows to check out in 2021 that gave Angelenos something to take their minds off of the pandemic. And while legends like the Rolling Stones, Foo Fighters, and Slipknot rocked Inglewood’s newly-opened SoFi Stadium last year, some of the best intimate shows were happening in WeHo, where rock superstars like Wolfgang Van Halen, Don Dokken, George Lynch, Vivian Campbell, Vinnie Appice, and BulletBoys’ Marq Torien kept the Sunset Strip shakin’ with memorable sold-out shows and timeless stories at the Whisky A Go-Go.

BulletBoys’ Reunion Show Unexpectedly Turned into an Unplugged Solo Set with Frontman Marq Torien Sounding as Smooth as Ever

The hotly-anticipated BulletBoys reunion show at the Whisky A Go-Go in December had been advertised for months. But at the last minute, plans unexpectedly changed on show night, explained frontman Mark Torien from the Whisky’s stage, where he delivered a scorching mostly-unplugged solo set. He didn’t explain why the reunion was cancelled, and instead he invited Whisky fave Ira Black to help out on timeless BulletBoys hits like “Smooth Up in Ya,” “Hell On My Heels,” and “Shoot the Preacher Down.”

Black’s scorching guitar contribution and Torien’s soulful metal pipes immediately had the crowd forgetting all about the reunion as they rocked along. Throughout the 90-minute show, Torien covered most of the best tracks on the L.A. band’s first two albums, BulletBoys and Freakshow. The Whisky crowd seemed won over by the impromptu solo show, especially when he got to the unplugged renditions of “Hard as a Rock” and the BulletBoys’ cover of The O’Jays’ “Money.”

Just as memorable as Torien’s set were the awesome stories he told between songs, about his glory days creating heavy metal history on the Sunset Strip, and getting props from David Lee Roth and Alex Van Halen when performing at WeHo’s Troubadour when he was 16.

Then again, hearing these first-person stories is what makes seeing a show at the Whisky so special. Throughout 2021, other Sunset Strip legends would also share fascinating personal anecdotes about their connection to the Whisky and the Sunset Strip.

Wolfgang Van Halen Marked a Milestone with Mammoth’s Historic Headlining Show at Whisky

When Wolfgang Van Halen’s band Mammoth headlined the Whisky shortly after their North American jaunt opening for Guns N’ Roses, the frontman looked around the room in awe from center stage and reminded the sold-out crowd, “So, this is where it all started…”

He seemed as in awe of the venue and its history as we were, and we all knew what “it” meant, of course. The Whisky’s stage is where his father and uncle’s iconic band launched a career that would make music history over and over again while inspiring countless young musicians whose first taste of world-class hard rock was hearing Van Halen’s self-titled 1978 debut.

Wolfgang seemed to know he had an important family history to uphold, and the former Van Halen bassist then spent the next hour and a half proving that he doesn’t necessarily need his Van Halen cohorts to effortlessly deliver a commanding, amp-shaking performance before a fist-pumping packed house at one of the world’s most iconic—and intimidating—rock n’ roll venues.

Continue reading SUNSET STRIP’S BEST ROCK SHOWS OF 2021

ROCKIN’ DESIGN: ‘FRANKENSTEIN’ LIVES

Van Halen

Add some cool color to a drab wall while saluting a rock icon.

After a few months of being cooped up inside all day during this unprecedented lockdown across the nation, you may find that you now have some free time to chill out and reflect on life and find inner peace. Or, you may have spent the last few months trying to drown your anxiety in whiskey and bong hits as Van Halen blares in the background on Spotify on a constant loop. I chose the latter.

Buzzed and suffering from lockdown boredom, I randomly found some old tubes of acrylic paint that I had lying around the house and I decided to paint over an old canvas that was sitting in the closet.

Continue reading ROCKIN’ DESIGN: ‘FRANKENSTEIN’ LIVES

‘SOUND’ CHECK

JAM: Eddie Van Halen visiting The Jacksons’ “Victory” tour in 1984.

ALEX VAN HALEN WAS NOT THRILLED WITH KING OF POP’S ’80s REIGN

wp-1476319706501.jpgIn his new book, The Speed of Sound: Breaking Barriers Between Music and Tehhnology, electro-pop music wiz Thomas Dolby reveals a couple of great stories about hanging out at guitar legend Eddie Van Halen‘s house.

Ironically, the scenarios happened after the “She Blinded Me with Science” hit-maker nearly insulted Eddie with an off-the-cuff Spinal Tap joke.

Some of the scenarios, however, seem like they could inspire a Spinal Tap sequel.

wp-1476417862098.jpgHere’s a conversation Dolby recounts about meeting Alex Van Halen when Eddie was working on Dolby’s 1992 album, Astronaughts & Heretics:

Thomas Dolby to Alex Van Halen: “I hear you’re not nuts about Eddie [Van Halen] playing on my album?”

Alex Van Halen: “You got that right, bro. Last time we let him do that, he did a solo on that little f—er Michael Jackson‘s record. That was the only reason 1984 got stuck at No. 2 [for five weeks, behind Thriller].”

Trujillo’s Sonic Salute

METALLICA’S ROBERT TRUJILLO DEBUTS MORE DETAILS ON UPCOMING JACO PASTORIUS BIO DOC

Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo – who turns 48 today – has been inspiring young musicians since joining the mega-band in 2003, and even before, during his stints with  Suicidal Tendencies and Ozzy Osbourne.

Now, the musician is paying tribute to his main influence, bass legend Jaco Pastorius (pictured), with a new rock documentary, tentatively titled Jaco, that Trujillo debuted with a sneak-peak at last weekend’s Bass Player LIVE! industry event in Hollywood.

“Jaco was my hero growing up,” Trujillo told USA Today earlier this year, when he announced that he was financing the film, which is being directed Stephen Kijack. “Hearing him was like hearing Eddie Van Halen doing ‘Eruption’ for the first time.”

Trujillo reportedly produced a special teaser clip of his doc for the Bass Player LIVE event, which honored Pastorius with a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award.

Speaking of musical influences: On the night he died in 1987 following a violent encounter with a club bouncer, Pastorius spent the earlier part of the evening crashing Carlos Santana‘s set at a Santana concert, only to be kicked off the stage and out of the venue…and into that fateful fight.

A release date has not yet been set for Jaco. Trujillo will also be seen in Metallica’s 3D concert film in 2013.

Is Van Halen Ready for Some Football?

DAVID LEE ROTH AND EDDIE VAN HALEN HINT AT  — BUT WON’T CONFIRM — SUPER BOWL XLVII GIG

If you read between the lines of a recent posting by David Lee Roth to a fan site and an interview with Eddie Van Halen in USA Today, it looks like Van Halen may be rocking the Super Bowl next year!

The iconic Pasadena band has been tied to recent rumors that the hard-rockin’ hit-makers are the NFL’s first choice to take the center stage spotlight in New Orleans next February as Super Bowl XLVII’s half-time show. The gossip is unconfirmed, but…Eddie revealed a cryptic clue in an interview with USA Today earlier this month.

“In the new year we’ll possibly do something special, but I can’t talk about it,” EVH said about his namesake band, which, following an unexpected hiatus after last month’s show in New Orleans, continues its A Different Kind of Truth tour in November in Japan.

Coincidentally, Roth addressed the Super Bowl rumors last week, posting an open letter to fans on the blog Van Halen News Desk, writing: “…First of all let me say this — be still my pigskin heart. That honor has not been bestowed upon us at this time though it is one we would accept in a NY minute.”

Diamond Dave’s choice of words are suspect. He mentions twice in the letter that an offer has not yet been made “at this time.” Considering that the NFL doesn’t generally announce its upcoming Super Bowl half-time act until much closer to the event, we’re thinking – and hoping – that the band is being coy until the contract is signed. Then, after, they get the go-ahead from Super Bowl publicists, Van Halen will confirm what will undoubtedly be the greatest show the Big Game ever hosted.

WLet’s just hope there’s no nip slip of any kind!

Here’s D-Ro’s full commentary:

An Open Letter

I’m compelled to address the now-rampant rumors that Van Halen is playing the Superbowl. First of all let me say this — be still my pigskin heart. That honor has not been bestowed upon us at this time though it is one we would accept in a NY minute.

Having heard VH blaring through stadium speakers on any given Sunday – more like every given Sunday, the idea of playing there live would be like – ‘okay, now we’re in the game’.

Van Halen’s collective memories are – and with all due respect to each and every one of these memories, teeming with been-theres and done-that’s, but none include playing at the Superbowl. Playing at the Superbowl is a veritable holy grail of musical recognition, a highly prized rite of passage for (game-changing) artists. Not a spiritual rite with snake pits or Hebrew school or anything, but it’s up there.

We are not on Commissioner Goodell’s dance card at this time, but we would be most honored to dance the halftime away in New Orleans.

It’s an honor to be considered and for that we would like to thank the rumormongers all over the World Wide Web.

– D-Ro

Slurpees, Ding-Dongs & Van Halen’s Demise

PUSH COMES TO SHOVE

Although it looks like an ordinary convenience store, this neighborhood 7-Eleven in West Hollywood is the spot that sparked the beginning of the end for the founding members of Van Halen.

In the early ’80s, David Lee Roth was already frustrated that bandmate Eddie Van Halen was pursuing outside guest artist projects when he stopped in his tracks outside this local 7-Eleven and had an epiphany of sorts; one with repercussions that would dissolve one of Southern California’s greatest and most influential rock bands.

Roth recalls that pivotal moment in his 1997 autobiography Crazy From the Heat: …I was in the parking lot on Santa Monica near Sweetzer, the 7-Eleven; there were a couple of butch Mexican gals with the doors open of their pickup truck, and the new Michael Jackson song “Beat It” came on. I heard the guitar solo and thought, now that sounds familiar. Somebody’s ripping off Ed Van Halen’s licks. It was Ed, turns out, and he had gone and done the project without discussing it with anybody, feeling as though I would stand in the way, which, actually, in that echelon of company, I wouldn’t have at all. Quincy Jones is stellar company. Great, go play it. If you’re going to do something, climb the big one. It was at that point I said maybe I’ll do something on the side as well.”