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Serious Question. What is it about this place and Van Halen?

Phineas Ball

Fuzz
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,680
Very interesting, thanks. Not a troll thread btw. I think hair metal was among the worst eras of recorded music and as some of you are pointing out, Van Halen opened the door. I dislike everything about that world from the music to the hair to the drugs. Sort of like the club scene now. I guess if you hate grunge you’d hate Nirvana for the same reasons.

And I guess if you revere the hair metal scene then VH would be your God. So this board must have a lot of 50 ish year olds (now) whose minds were blown by Eddie’s playing back when. I can get that.

But the fact that someone sarcastically compared them to The Beatles is just unbelievable to my ears. “Might as well Jump!” vs Something??

Tastes are what they are I guess.
Holmes. Hair metal misses the point. If you play guitar and don't grasp why Eddie's contribution was significant to the history and development of guitar, well... you'll get around to some fun learning eventually, once your ego learns humility. Dude had the gift.

Comparing any Beatles masterpiece to any of Van Halen's work is apples and oranges. "Something" is a deep work that combines sublime lyrics with exceptional harmony and melody, and is supported with adequate musicianship. Van Halen, on the other hand, put forward one truly exceptional musician (Eddie, duh) with otherwise adequate support and great - not sublime, merely great - songwriting. Put "Something" on at a party and a bunch of record collectors pull on their beards and discuss whether the hi-fi is hi-fi enough, whereas you drop "Hot For Teacher" and half the party will roll their eyes and the other will bust out an air guitar. And back in 1984, the female half would share that which was under their shirts, if it was hot enough outside. Reaction, baby. Make me care.

VH sold millions because they wrote fun songs, but as regards EVH's legacy, IMO songwriting is beside the point. Drop all preconceptions and listen to what he played. "Atomic Punk," "I'm The One," "Eruption," "Ice Cream Man," "Ain't Talking 'Bout Love".... that's five songs from ONE ALBUM... move ahead to "Unchained," "Mean Streets," "Hot For Teacher," "Drop Dead Legs"... all of which wrote chapters in the Book of Guitar Players Singing Like Gods. And there are others, but I'm only a casual fan so I don't where else to point. Eddie earned a spot on the Mt. Rushmore of guitar players.

Curious: do you get Angus Young? Have you ever noticed that however bothered by the classic-rock-ish-ness of AC/DC you may be, you can sing every one of his solos? Of how may guitar players can you say the same? Maybe five.

Eddie is one of those. One of the best.
 

coffeecupman

Member
Messages
227
I can’t tell you how many ridiculous guys wore flannel shirts and screamed into a mic about how some chick broke their heart.. seriously you think chicks want that? Some whining punk all pouty and throwing a tantrum into a mic? Chicks were too busy following the fun guy..
Totally on your side, but those guys in flannel shirts did just fine with the ladies in that decade.
 

Phineas Ball

Fuzz
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,680
Why aren’t there ten threads about The Cure or RHCP or the Bad Brains or Black Flag? They all changed music too. That’s what this thread is about. Not the musical merits of the 80s Hair Squad.
Because Dude from The Cure couldn't sing, and was depressing.

Because Dude from the RHCP couldn't sing, and couldn't write a song (with one notable exception).

Because Bad Brains couldn't write a melody.

Because Black Flag was too angry.

Don't think any of those bands "changed music" the way VH did.

Really, not trying to be confrontational - but you brought it up. If these four bands are among your "visionary signposts" and yet you dismiss VH as "hair," I suggest you go back to basics listen with an unpreconceived ear.
 

ned7flat5

Member
Messages
4,530
The music is good, but the lyrics to many of the songs are terrible. All about ogling or making out with hot looking women. That's been done to death.
that’s something that Dave can indisputably claim total credit for....

OTOH his claim about coming up with the stripes on Ed’s guitar - not so much...
 

xntrick

Member
Messages
3,713
Before joining this board I always thought of Van Halen as a forgettable 80s rock band. I recognize EVH as a pioneer and technical master, but VHs music has always been intolerably cheesy to me.

I must see 1 or 2 trending topics a week about VH. Way more than any other rock band by a long shot. What gives?

I understand there are big fans here and don’t take my comments as disrespect, simply a matter of taste. But I still don’t get why that one band/player are so heavily discussed.
They were THE band that started the whole LA metal scene back in the day. They burst onto the scene with an amazing energy that was a joy to listen to in a world full of disco nonsense. It was EVH who got Dweezil Zappa to pick up the guitar which says a lot when you consider his dad was some guy by the name of Frank Zappa. I can understand not being a fan, but to say they are a forgettable 80s rock band means you just don't get it.
 

johnnyjj

Member
Messages
452
Definitely the most influential guitarist for the decade of the 80s.
I'd nominate The Edge of U2 - in terms of a style that still persists broadly in the music of today.

VH popularised the cock rock shred obsession of the 80s, to be sure, but that hit critical mass by roughly 1990 and, following the rise of a certain band from Seattle in late '91, became passé to most everyone outside of (certain) guitar circles. Van Halen's influence over popular music in a general sense outside of guitar culture didn't extend beyond the end of the 1980s, whether that be in terms of technique (tapping, harmonics, etc.) or genre (big hair party rock).

In contrast, the big, chimey ethereal soundscapes the Edge perfected in the 1980s are still all over pop radio, praise and worship music, film and TV scores, video games, etc. And I'd wager that, in terms of delay and reverb, his influence is strewn across most everyone's pedal boards - whether they openly recognise that or not. And that's not an endorsement of U2's music, but rather an understanding of how ubiquitous the influence of one player's musical vocabulary has become - ranging far beyond guitar culture itself.
 

mlr25

Member
Messages
6
As a European I can to a certain extent relate to the opening post. The fascination with VH seems to be an American thing? The general public in Europe will probably know the song 'Jump', maybe that it's a VH song but that's about it.

For example, from all the bands of that era, over here Bon Jovi is probably the most famous proponent, being still hugely popular throughout all demographics. In comparison to that VH is a niche band in Europe.

I'm not saying that this is good or bad (I myself am somewhat of an exception since I've been through a huge VH fase myself). I just wanted to bring this perspective to the discussion as well.
 

nowhere

Member
Messages
963
Who do you think started the idea of popular / rock music albums that contain all originally written and performed songs ?
A Hard Day's Night is pretty much the blueprint for everything that followed.
... I do believe that post was meant sarcastically. Missing that is understandable since of late it has become extremely difficult to use irony and sarcasm as so many utterly absurd, boneheaded and ignorant things are said in earnest.
 

Jayyj

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,281
Personally, they mark a point where the guitar went down a road that I wasn't interested in and therefore they don't have any resonance or relevance to me. None of the guitarists I particularly admire from the 80s onwards show any sign of being influenced by them, so I struggle to see the seismic impact they've clearly had to some genres. But that's fine - music's a big wide world, and not everyone has to appreciate everything.

Perhaps though, if you're one of those guys spitting feathers in this thread, next time there's a thread about someone you're not into and you feel like posting 'don't get it, didn't impress me, is this what passes for good these days etc etc' maybe remember good it feels when someone's giving your hero an unnecessary kicking and be a bit more thoughtful when the boot's on the other foot? This place is terrible for negative comments about anyone outside of the classic rock camp and it makes for an unpleasant environment for those of us that care about the more contemporary stuff - maybe a thread kicking one of the TGP sacred cows is a useful wake-up call that we need to be a bit nicer about other people's heroes?
 

Funky54

Member
Messages
4,679
Personally, they mark a point where the guitar went down a road that I wasn't interested in and therefore they don't have any resonance or relevance to me. None of the guitarists I particularly admire from the 80s onwards show any sign of being influenced by them, so I struggle to see the seismic impact they've clearly had to some genres. But that's fine - music's a big wide world, and not everyone has to appreciate everything.

Perhaps though, if you're one of those guys spitting feathers in this thread, next time there's a thread about someone you're not into and you feel like posting 'don't get it, didn't impress me, is this what passes for good these days etc etc' maybe remember good it feels when someone's giving your hero an unnecessary kicking and be a bit more thoughtful when the boot's on the other foot? This place is terrible for negative comments about anyone outside of the classic rock camp and it makes for an unpleasant environment for those of us that care about the more contemporary stuff - maybe a thread kicking one of the TGP sacred cows is a useful wake-up call that we need to be a bit nicer about other people's heroes?
Wow our perceptions of the general vibe here are way different. For the longest time I felt it was negative Rock period. Everything was Blooz Blooz Blooz. Seems only real recent that it’s in vogue to like rock. Almost like some folk washed their tan pantz with some new blue shirts.
 
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Jayyj

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,281
Wow our perceptions of the general vibe here are way different. For the longest time I felt it was negative Rock period. Everything was Blooz Blooz Blooz. seems only real recent that it’s in vogue to like rock.
There's probably a very strong argument that TGP is actually a diverse, well balanced group of people and what we see as the TGP majority loudmouth group is hopelessly skewed by our own perspective.

Almost of my less pleasant exchanges on here have involved defending modern and indie/alt music, possibly even made by women, from dullards that think music ended in 1982 and those guys show up in every single thread on modern music, so it feels like an inevitability that gives the impression of it being a majority view. In really it's a small minority that have to crash into every thread of that nature foghorning their opinions without any sensitivity to others, just as I'm sure there another minority trolling the Bonsmassa threads and Kiss threads and now even the Van Halen threads - it's just you can't help noticing the foghorns when they're trampling over something you care about.
 

coffeecupman

Member
Messages
227
I don't think it's the OP's fault.

Clearly he didn't grow up in a time when albums changed the culture significantly.

Even if you weren't cool or old enough to come into contact with the first three records, 1984 came to your house and grabbed you by the shirt.

The dawn of the music video helped with that.

I was 11, and it was such a societal wave that my friend bought me the cassette for my birthday (which he gave to me at Chuck E Cheese, when it still had games from the golden age of ARCADE).

The last records that really changed the culture of the nation were grunge. Well, the last guitar-based ones - hip hop definitely changed things culturally in the 2000s.

To say they are forgettable for you is fine - but it shows you don't understand your 70s and 80s music/cultural history. Which is also fine - you don't have to.

But it is a lot more fun to devote your energy to trying to understand why something IS relevant, vs. devoting your energy to confirming why you think it is not.

Sort of like if you don't make the effort, as much as it is possible, to put yourself in the headspace of a 60s British kid, you won't get why the Who playing My Generation and smashing their instruments was like watching the end of the world. And when you DO put yourself in that frame of mind, it's pretty amazing.

In short, CONTEXT is everything.

And you're not looking at the context of North America in the late 70s/80s. Probably because you don't care enough to want to. That's fine, but it's precisely why you don't get Van Halen.
 

COYS

Member
Messages
5,201
I can understand not being a fan, but to say they are a forgettable 80s rock band means you just don't get it.
VH 1 and 2 were both released before 1980. Van Halen declined after that, and especially if you consider 2 basically a repeat of 1, their time of producing what most people consider their best material was very short, and was not in the 1980s. (unless you're a 1984 person :p)

Either way, with just one record EVH changed how the guitar is played forever and his importance can't be denied
 
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s2y

Member
Messages
19,073
I was 11, and it was such a societal wave that my friend bought me the cassette for my birthday (which he gave to me at Chuck E Cheese, when it still had games from the golden age of ARCADE).
Was it Chuck E Cheese back then? We had a Show Biz and the gorilla in the band used to give me nightmares when I was 5. One of my earliest memories was playing the Tron arcade game. Took my son there a few years ago for a birthday and all the games were basically all lame games that generated tickets. An inane amount of tickets could be earned and used towards a pencil eraser........
 




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