Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Van Halen - Unchained

Meine Damen und Herren, Spader's here again and this is the next to last entry in my odyssey
of rock bands that used to matter to me more than they do nowadays, or something like that anyway.

The first time I heard Van Halen, was down in the basement room of my friend Basse’s. As usual, it was a party and out of the speakers came this eruptive guitar piece called “Eruption” closely followed by “You Really Got Me”. Touchdown! Man those songs hit me hard. This was also a time when we started working out in the small homebuilt gym that Basse had in his basement too, and those two songs, in that particular order became the opening tracks of all my training cassettes for quite a long time.

The albums with David Lee Roth made a huge impact, from the first album up to 1984 it was all dandy and good and it peaked when I got to see them at the Monsters Of Rock tour at Råsunda in 1984, together with Mötley Crue and Ac/Dc. Imagine the shock when the word got out later on (about a week after the show) that David was leaving the band.
And his replacement is announced, Sammy Hagar, who was and is another artist that I have liked quite a bit both before, during and after his years with Van Halen. But somehow a bit of the magic was gone and it was enough to bring the band down from their pedestal.

I think it was a bunch of coinciding things that occurred to make that. The persona of Diamond Dave gone and a new, more modern sound. The fact that I liked Sammy and that the kept on churning out decent hits should have been a success factor for my continuously obsession of the band. But it wasn’t. I kept liking them, I kept buying the records (or at least the following two).
When they released Van Halen III, my interest in the band was completely gone and so was the band itself more or less.

Then in 2012 the story of Van Halen took yet another turn, as David Lee Roth was back behind mike and they released their latest album “A Different Kind Of Truth”.  This could have been a full reunion album, but somehow Alex van Halen rather had his son playing the bass than Michael Anthony.
So, how did this affect my declining interest of the band?
Not a bit. For the magic to return, this would have had to be a killer album without an of the BS that have surrounded the band lately. And it simply wasn’t. Even if it’s not a terrible album I think I have only listened to two or three times. I think it’s down to that I rather cherish my old memories of Van Halen, simple as that.

More info @

Official Van Halen Web
Official Spader Ess Blog

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