Classic Rock Bottom



We love any and all Van Halen lineups in this group. Great music since 1978!!! Maybe more to come, who knows???

Members: 10
Latest Activity: Feb 14, 2014

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Biography With their 1978 eponymous debut, Van Halen simultaneously rewrote the rules of rock guitar and hard rock in general. Guitarist Eddie Van Halen redefined what electric guitar could do, developing a blindingly fast technique with a variety of self-taught two-handed tapping, hammer-ons, pull-offs, and effects that mimicked the sounds of machines and animals. It was wildly inventive and over the top, equaled only by vocalist David Lee Roth, who brought the role of a metal singer to near-performance art standards. Roth wasn't blessed with great technique, unlike Eddie, but he had a flair for showmanship that was derived as much from lounge performers as Robert Plant. Together, they made Van Halen into the most popular American rock & roll band of the late '70s and early '80s, and in the process set the template for hard rock and heavy metal for the '80s.

Throughout the '80s, it was impossible not to hear Van Halen's instrumental technique on records that ranged from the heaviest metal to soft pop. Furthermore, Roth's irony-drenched antics were copied by singers who took everything literally. One of these was Sammy Hagar, an arena rock veteran from the '70s who replaced Roth after the vocalist had a falling out with Van Halen in 1985. Hagar stayed with the band longer than Roth, helping the group top the charts through the late '80s and early '90s. However, the group's sales began to slide in the mid-'90s, just as tensions between Hagar and Eddie began to arise. In one of the most disastrous publicity stunts in rock history, Hagar was fired (or quit) and Roth was brought back on, seemingly as a permanent member, but only for two songs on a greatest-hits album. He was subsequently replaced by Gary Cherone, a former member of Extreme.

Through all the upheaval over lead vocalists, Eddie Van Halen and his prodigious talent remained the core of Van Halen. The son of a Dutch bandleader, Eddie and his family moved from the Netherlands to Pasadena, CA, in 1967, when he was 12 years old and his older brother, Alex, was 14. As their father supported the family by playing in wedding bands, Eddie and Alex continued their classical piano training. Soon, both boys were enraptured by rock & roll. Eddie learned how to play drums and Alex took up the guitar, eventually switching instruments. The brothers began a hard rock band called Mammoth and began playing around Pasadena, eventually meeting David Lee Roth. At the time, Roth, who had been raised in a wealthy Californian family, was singing in Redball Jet. Impressed by the Van Halen brothers, he joined forces with the group. Shortly afterward, bassist Michael Anthony, who was singing with Snake, became a member of Mammoth. After discovering that another band had the rights to the name Mammoth, the group decided to call themselves Van Halen in 1974, rejecting the proposed Rat Salade.

For the next three years, Van Halen played throughout Pasadena, Santa Barbara, and Los Angeles, playing both clubs and hotel bars. The band's repertoire covered everything from pop and rock to disco, but they eventually worked in their own original material. Within a few years, they had become the most popular local band in Los Angeles, and Eddie became well known for his groundbreaking technique. In 1977, Kiss' Gene Simmons financed a demo recording session for Van Halen after seeing them at the Starwood Club. On the strength of Simmons' recommendation, Mo Ostin and Ted Templeman signed Van Halen to Warner Bros., releasing the band's debut the following year.

Van Halen became a hit due to strong word of mouth, constant touring, and support from AOR radio. Within three months the album had gone gold, and five months later it went platinum. It would eventually sell over six million copies, thanks to the album rock staples "You Really Got Me," "Jamie's Cryin'," and "Runnin' With the Devil." Van Halen II, released in 1979, continued the band's success, as "Dance the Night Away" became their first Top 20 single. Women and Children First (1980) didn't have any charting singles, but was a success on the album charts, reaching number six. The band supported the album with their first headlining, international arena tour, and the group was quickly on their way to being superstars. Released in 1981, Fair Warning wasn't quite as popular as their previous records, yet it still peaked at number six. Diver Down, released in 1982, was a huge hit, spawning a number 12 cover of Roy Orbison's "(Oh) Pretty Woman" and reaching number three.
While all of their previous albums were successful, Van Halen didn't become superstars until 1984, when their album 1984 became an across-the-board smash. Released on New Year's Day, 1984 rocketed to number two on the strength of the number one single "Jump." Like many songs on the album, "Jump" was driven by Eddie's new synthesizer, and while Roth was initially reluctant to use electronics, the expansion of the group's sound was widely praised. Throughout 1984, Van Halen gained steam, as "I'll Wait" and "Panama" became Top 15 singles and "Hot for Teacher" became a radio and MTV staple.
Despite the band's breakthrough success, things were not well within the band. During their 1984 tour, each member played separate solo sets and were physically separated on the stage. Roth was unhappy with Eddie's appearance on Michael Jackson's 1983 hit "Beat It," and Eddie grew tired of the comic antics of Roth. In 1985, Roth released a solo EP, Crazy from the Heat, which spawned hit covers of "California Girls" and "Just a Gigolo/I Ain't Got Nobody." When Roth delayed the recording of Van Halen's follow-up to 1984, he was fired from the band. Most observers were taken by surprise when Sammy Hagar was named as Roth's replacement. The former lead singer of Montrose, Hagar's solo career had been sporadically successful, highlighted by such arena metal hits as "Three-Lock Box" and "I Can't Drive 55." Though many critics suspected Hagar wouldn't be able to sustain Van Halen's remarkable success, his first album with the band, 1986's 5150, was a huge hit, reaching number one and spawning the hit singles "Why Can't This Be Love," "Dreams," and "Love Walks In." Released in 1988, OU812 was just as successful, earning stronger reviews than its predecessor and generating the hits "When It's Love" and "Finish What You Started." For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge, released in 1991, was another number one hit, partially due to the hit MTV video for "Right Now." Van Halen followed the album with their first live record, the double album Van Halen Live: Right Here, Right Now in 1993. By the spring 1995 release of Balance, tensions between Eddie Van Halen and Sammy Hagar had grown considerably. Eddie had recently undergone well-publicized treatment for alcoholism, and Hagar was notorious for his party-hearty ways, even writing a paean to Amsterdam's hash bars with "Amsterdam" on Balance. Furthermore, the band had become subject to criticism that it simply repeated a formula. While Balance was successful, entering the charts at number one and selling two million copies shortly after its release, it stalled quickly afterward. The band wanted to release a greatest-hits collection, but Hagar balked at the idea, escalating tensions even further. Following a skirmish in 1996 over the recording of a song for the Twister soundtrack, Eddie decided to make a change by switching singers. Van Halen began recording new material with Roth without informing Hagar, who went ballistic upon learning of the group's reunion. According to Hagar, Eddie fired him shortly afterward; Eddie claimed Hagar quit. Roth proceeded to record two new songs for Van Halen's Best Of, Vol. 1, and once the reunion became public, the rock media reacted positively to the news; MTV began airing a welcome back commercial days after the announcement. However, the reunion was not to be. Following an appearance at the MTV Music Awards, Eddie Van Halen fired Roth from the band, claiming that he was only on board to record two new songs. Roth said that he was duped into recording the songs, believing that the reunion was permanent. Former Extreme vocalist Gary Cherone was announced as the band's new lead singer. Though the resulting Best Of, Vol. 1 was a success, Eddie's reputation as a nice guy was tarnished once the entire affair was over. Cherone's long-awaited debut with Van Halen, entitled Van Halen III, was finally released in March of 1998. Although the album debuted high on the charts, crashing in at number three, it quickly slipped down the charts, since the reception to the album from fans, critics, and radio was mixed. After Van Halen III proved to be the worst-selling album of Van Halen's long and illustrious career (the ensuing world tour was poorly attended as well), Cherone was dismissed from Van Halen in 1999. Immediately, rumors began to swirl once more of an impending David Lee Roth/Van Halen reunion. Things were kept completely hush-hush in the Van Halen camp until early 2001, when David Lee Roth went public on his website with an update, confirming that he had recorded several new songs with the band (tracks that Roth described as amazing, phenomenal, and astonishing), but hadn't heard back from them since the previous summer.
Only a few days after Roth's news, Eddie Van Halen admitted to the public that he was battling cancer, but was told by his doctors that chances were good for a complete recovery. In the summer of 2001, Eddie told MTV News that the band's remaining members had penned a total of three albums' worth of new material and that they were still unsure of who their next singer would be. Months later, fans were shocked to hear that the band parted ways with Warner Bros., its label since 1979. The bandmembers blamed the label for promoting younger bands, while also admitting that they had not yet found Cherone's replacement and were no longer considering Roth.

The next three years found various members tending to situations both personal and professional. Eddie and longtime wife Valerie Bertinelli separated, Michael Anthony began making regular appearances with Sammy Hagar's Warboritas, and in a surprise move, David Lee Roth and Hagar hit the road together for the popular Heavyweight Champs of Rock & Roll Tour. In 2004, the band announced that Hagar would return to the fold for an American tour in support of a new greatest-hits collection, The Best of Both Worlds. The shows were undeniably successful, but tensions were high and Hagar and Anthony returned to the Warboritas the following year. In 2007, Van Halen were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and rumors of a reunion tour with Roth began to circulate again. Those rumors were confirmed on August 17th when the group announced legitimate dates, along with a controversial lineup change that replaced Michael Anthony with Eddie's son Wolfgang on bass. The tour kicked off in September and went on to gross over 93 million dollars.

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine & Greg Prato

Miscellaneous Videos:

Studio Albums:

Van Halen (1978) Diamond
Van Halen II (1979) Platinum X 5
Women And Children First (1980) Platinum X 3
Fair Warning (1981) Platinum X 2
Diver Down (1982) Platinum X 4
1984 (1984) Diamond
5150 (1986) Platinum X 6
OU812 (1988) Platinum X 4
For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge (1991) Platinum X 3
Balance (1995) Platinum X 3
Van Halen III (1998) Gold

Live Albums:

Live: Right Here, Right Now (1993) Platinum X 2

Compilation Albums:

Best Of Volume 1 (1996) Platinum X 3
The Best Of Both Worlds (2004) Platinum


Live Without A Net (1986) Platinum X 2
Live: Right Here, Right Now (1993) Gold
Video Hits Volume 1 (1996) Gold

Discussion Forum


David Becker, Getty ImagesAll signs point not just to a full recovery and return to the road for Eddie Van Halen, but some…Continue

Tags: bottom, rock, classic, rjhog, van halen

Started by RJhog (Admin). Last reply by Scott Mar 7, 2013.

Well...... 1 Reply

From melodicrock.comVAN HALEN CANCEL POSTPONE USA DATES FROM JUNE 26: Van Halen have postponed all tour dates after June 26 without warning and without explanation. This comes not long after adding…Continue

Started by Jon. Last reply by RJhog (Admin) May 18, 2012.


Rank the 11 Van Halen studio albums from your favorite to your least favorite.  The albums are: Van HalenVan Halen IIWomen And Children FirstFair WarningDiver Down19845150OU812For Unlawful Carnal…Continue

Tags: class rock bottom, classic rock, rjhog, van halen, rank van halen studio albums

Started by RJhog (Admin). Last reply by Scandal 2000 Feb 2, 2012.


What are your top 10 Van Halen songs from the David Lee Roth era?  Of course, that would be from the first 6 albums: Van HalenVan Halen IIWomen And Children FirstFair WarningDiver Down1984 I'll post…Continue

Tags: classic rock bottom, classic rock, rjhog, david lee roth era, top 10 van halen songs

Started by RJhog (Admin). Last reply by Mike Mills Feb 1, 2012.

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of VAN HALEN to add comments!

Comment by RJhog (Admin) on February 14, 2014 at 11:24am

We'll see.  I sure hope so.

Comment by Jon on February 14, 2014 at 10:06am


It's been pretty quiet on the VAN HALEN front lately but we've now found out why – they're working on a new album. ALTER BRIDGE guitarist Mark Tremonti broke the news when he was telling VH1 Radio Network's Dave Basner about how new music is coming along with his solo band, TREMONTI, which includes VAN HALEN bassist Wolfgang Van Halen.

Said Mark: "With Wolfgang in the band now, he does a lot of work with VAN HALEN right now, they're putting together a new album, so it's going to be hard to get everybody's schedules to line up."

When VH1 Radio Network asked Tremonti if Wolfie tells him how the new VAN HALEN music is sounding, Mark said: "You know, he doesn't. He just says, 'Yeah, sounds great, man. Sounds great.'"

After singer David Lee Roth said in an interview last summer that VAN HALEN has started work on its 13th studio album, the next question was whether the material will be freshly written or pulled from the band's vaults. Many of the songs on 2012's "A Different Kind Of Truth" originated from demos going back to the group's earliest days, and Wolfgang Van Halen told The Pulse Of Radio that there's more where that came from. "There's plenty of other ideas lying around and some new stuff that we've been working on too," he said. "You never know what'll happen."

According to The Pulse Of Radio, Roth told comedian Jim Florentine back in August: "I was up at [guitarist] Edward's [Van Halen] house three days ago, and we're starting to put music together. We're writing; I write lyrics routinely and the band plays together routinely, at least three times a week up at Ed's place."

But Roth also cautioned that fans should not expect to hear the finished follow-up to 2012's "A Different Kind Of Truth" for at least 18 months.

"A Different Kind Of Truth" was the first new VAN HALEN album in 14 years and the first since 1984 to feature Roth, the band's original singer, on lead vocals.

The disc debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard album chart, selling 187,000 copies in its first week of release.

The group toured through the spring and early part of the summer of 2012 behind the album, but abruptly pulled off the road that June due to "exhaustion." A severe intestinal disorder later sidelined Eddie Van Halen, restricting the band to only sporadic live shows since.

Comment by RJhog (Admin) on December 3, 2013 at 8:20am

I saw that yesterday.  I can easily live with 18 months.  But if it happens, it will be longer than that.

Comment by Jon on December 3, 2013 at 8:17am
Comment by RJhog (Admin) on June 23, 2013 at 10:26pm

Complete Van Halen show from Tokyo:

Comment by RJhog (Admin) on April 10, 2013 at 9:54pm


Van HalenWarner Brothers

Former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony says he was flattered by comments his former bandmate David Lee Roth made about wanting him back in the famous group recently. As he jokingly noted, “He never used to talk like that when we were all playing together.”

In an interview with Eddie Trunk, Anthony touched on a number of topics, including the possibility of joining hisChickenfoot (and former Van Halen) bandmate Sammy Hagar on the singer’s upcoming multi-band career retrospective tour (“Sammy wants me to be a part of that, because I was a part of that”) and the future of their current band (“We’ll get back together as soon as the schedules align… probably in the fall”).

When asked about Roth’s comments, Anthony, who was replaced by Wolfgang Van Halen when Eddie and Alex Van Halen reunited with Roth in 2007, seemed legitimately touched. “I really don’t know what to say to that. It was flattering that he said that.” But he also makes his priorities clear: “At this point in your life and career and whatever, the career aside, it’s more about the friendship and just people. And if the music side of it, if that happens, if that comes about, all the better, but that’s not what it’s really about at this point.”

Comment by RJhog (Admin) on March 12, 2013 at 9:39pm
Van Halen European Tour Not Happening, Says Irving Azoff
MARCH 12, 2013 | 6:27PM EDT


Comments by Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth that the band will tour Europe beginning late this year are incorrect, according to Irving Azoff, manager for founders Alex and Eddie Van Halen and bassist Wolfgang Van Halen.

In comments picked up by multiple media outlets, Roth said on the Sirius Opie & Anthony radio show yesterday that Van Halen were "going to be playing Europe -- probably 50 or 60 shows starting at the end of this year."

Azoff begs to differ. "All the announced dates, which include the date in Australia, the dates in Japan and a date in Wisconsin, are confirmed and on sale and those are real," Azoff tells Billboard exclusively. "I manage the Van Halens, and I know nothing about any European tour."

While he wasn't sure what Roth was talking about, Azoff confirms that Roth will indeed front the band that will play the scheduled dates, which include the Stone Music Festival in Sydney on April 20; June 21 at the Tokyo Dome, and June 24 and 26 at Osaka's City Central Gymnasium.

Van Halen will also headline the final night of Rock USA festival July 20 at Ford Festival Park in Oshkosh, Wis.

The band played 46 shows last year and grossed $54 million, with attendance of 522,296, according to Billboard Boxscore, eighth among all touring acts for the year.

On the recording front, Wolfgang Van Halen RECENTLY TOLD BILLBOARD that the group is open to following up 2012's "A Different Kind of Truth," which debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 in February.

"Oh yeah, there's plenty of other ideas laying around, and some new stuff that we've been working on, too," Van Halen says. "You never know what'll happen."

Comment by RJhog (Admin) on March 12, 2013 at 10:23am

Comment by Jon on October 11, 2012 at 6:17pm

This is interesting:

Comment by RJhog (Admin) on March 28, 2012 at 9:16am


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