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Why didn’t EVH make more music?

Coopster

Member
Messages
1,428
I think maybe they all wanted an old school style VH album and since they had actual, old material, they used it.
Basically this. Wolfie went through the material and wanted to put something together that was like the early days so that's where they went. He was very involved in how that album came together. Am I the only one who's read interviews and articles in the recent past? It's been noted many times by many people that the ONLY reason Ed agreed to tour and make a new album was to do it with his son. He didn't think any one was interested in hearing anything new from him, as evidenced in the lack of interest in 3. And he wouldn't be wrong. He was really wanting to move past the party band aesthetic and produce more "adult" skewing music, dabbling in more experimental ideas. He wanted a singer that had something to say other than wham bam Amsterdam. Hence the approach to Sass Jordan and Gary Cherone and others I'd imagine. So I'm sure there's tons of recorded music in that studio, pieces and parts, maybe some more fully formed than others... But it's not necessarily "Van Halen" music.
 

Aceman893

Member
Messages
263
First of all, look at nearly ANY epic guitar hero:
Clapton: What has he done since Unplugged? What was the last notable thing before that?
Page: Been absent since Bonham died
BB King: Anything epic in the last decades he was alive?
Malmsteen do anything new of note lately?

None of those guys maintain the fire, the innovation, the popularity forever. Most don't even make over a decade.

Van Halen did exactly what you would expect. And of course, I'll blaspheme here; The truth is the guy had some issues, drug/health/personality, and some dark streaks. we should all remember him as a patron saint of rock guitar. But he wasn't a saint...far from it. He managed to piss off, blow off, and general apparently be an A-hole quite a bit.

Does not diminish his contribution at all. But keep his memory, and your expectations real. He was a human with faults and a lot of money.
 

tiktok

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
22,581
I really wonder if we'll hear much more. Ed always suggested that there was a ton of music being recorded at 5150; but if you read Sam's book, he suggests that there's very little left that they didn't use and that constant drug and alcohol use plus a kind of amateur studio setup limited what they could get done there. I finished reading that book with the impression that Ed was pretty unwell from the late 90s on and that there would probably not be much new music. Even A Different Kind of Truth was supposedly about half old VH demos redone.
Ted Templeman also had something to say about the productivity of the 5150 situation.

Everyone wanted to have a studio back in the day--no studio bills! Always open! But when I think of the folks who made it work (in terms of producing a lot of finished material), they were all singers and lyricists in addition to instrumentalists, unless their Main Thing was instrumentals. Prince...Townshend...Bill Nelson...Neil Young....Andy Partridge...those guys have mountains of finished unreleased material because they could do it all--write, play or program all the instruments, write the lyrics, sing the tunes. They didn't have to wait for The Singer to do his thing.
 

Aceman893

Member
Messages
263
Basically this. Wolfie went through the material and wanted to put something together that was like the early days so that's where they went. He was very involved in how that album came together. Am I the only one who's read interviews and articles in the recent past? It's been noted many times by many people that the ONLY reason Ed agreed to tour and make a new album was to do it with his son. He didn't think any one was interested in hearing anything new from him, as evidenced in the lack of interest in 3. And he wouldn't be wrong. He was really wanting to move past the party band aesthetic and produce more "adult" skewing music, dabbling in more experimental ideas. He wanted a singer that had something to say other than wham bam Amsterdam. Hence the approach to Sass Jordan and Gary Cherone and others I'd imagine. So I'm sure there's tons of recorded music in that studio, pieces and parts, maybe some more fully formed than others... But it's not necessarily "Van Halen" music.
Not buying that. Or at least, not for that reason. Ed had FU money and could have put out anything he wanted at anytime. He could have lost millions and still had millions. I can make VH 1 sitting here with garage band and a Zoom pedal. He could have done it if he wanted to do it. Drugs, Health, Ego, and whatever else got in the way.
 

SteveO

Member
Messages
16,422
Basically this. Wolfie went through the material and wanted to put something together that was like the early days so that's where they went. He was very involved in how that album came together. Am I the only one who's read interviews and articles in the recent past? It's been noted many times by many people that the ONLY reason Ed agreed to tour and make a new album was to do it with his son. He didn't think any one was interested in hearing anything new from him, as evidenced in the lack of interest in 3. And he wouldn't be wrong. He was really wanting to move past the party band aesthetic and produce more "adult" skewing music, dabbling in more experimental ideas. He wanted a singer that had something to say other than wham bam Amsterdam. Hence the approach to Sass Jordan and Gary Cherone and others I'd imagine. So I'm sure there's tons of recorded music in that studio, pieces and parts, maybe some more fully formed than others... But it's not necessarily "Van Halen" music.
Ed wanted to break away from the 'party band with a guitar god' thing long before Roth left originally, but was pressured to stick with the formula. When Sammy joined, it was his chance to finally branch out musically and focus more on songwriting (1984 was an obvious indicator of where he was heading, and he stayed on that trajectory with Sammy).
 

rollyfoster

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
15,645
It has to be hard to play that same kind of music decades later, IMO. He was pretty pigeonholed.

Even watching videos of him in the most recent years it’s almost like a show pony type of thing. I can’t imagine being 50-60 years old and being expected to play eruption or even wanting to play it.
 

TwoHandsTenThumbs

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,136
It’s fun making rocking pop music for young people, when you are a young person. It’s cringe worthy when older artists (working in that genre) continue making pop music for intentionally young audiences - not just because of their age difference, but because of the weird disconnect between the older artist / their era of defining work / and the interest of young audiences a generation or two later.

At best, a nostalgia trip...at worst, a helluva train wreck.

A problem pop artists potentially solve by genre hopping - think Sting, Plant, Elvis Costello. Or in the case of some alt / indie artists, you are making music for largely the same audience over your career - Pixies, Bob Mould, etc. - avoiding the disconnect.
 

Coopster

Member
Messages
1,428
Not buying that. Or at least, not for that reason. Ed had FU money and could have put out anything he wanted at anytime. He could have lost millions and still had millions. I can make VH 1 sitting here with garage band and a Zoom pedal. He could have done it if he wanted to do it. Drugs, Health, Ego, and whatever else got in the way.
Oh, I don't disagree. I think the poor performance of 3, which he was very proud of and was very personal to him, probably impacted that ego, which was fairly fragile from what I've seen. And I'm sure that in itself didn't help with his ability to deal with the drugs and alcohol which likely contributed to the health. The 90's weren't good to Ed and I think he toppled head first in to self destruction. It's happened to lesser of us. That being said, I'm sure his reasoning at the time was exactly that. Had he been in a better headspace who knows what would have happened.
 

SteveO

Member
Messages
16,422
It’s fun making rocking pop music for young people, when you are a young person. It’s cringe worthy when older artists (working in that genre) continue making pop music for intentionally young audiences - not just because of their age difference, but because of the weird disconnect between the older artist / their era of defining work / and the interest of young audiences a generation or two later.

At best, a nostalgia trip...at worst, a helluva train wreck.

A problem pop artists potentially solve by genre hopping - think Sting, Plant, Elvis Costello. Or in the case of some alt / indie artists, you are making music for largely the same audience over your career - Pixies, Bob Mould, etc. - avoiding the disconnect.
When the reunion was announced some years back, quite a few people here were completely losing their minds over it. The impression that I got was that an awful lot of people were hoping to relive that first rush from their youth when they initially heard the first album.

I think that same nostalgia is a major factor in the disdain many have for the Hagar era. People gripe that Sammy ruined the band, but Sammy was just the lyricist. The person who had the biggest impact on the music was the guy that was writing it all, and that was Eddie. He was moving forward and maturing musically, but people didn't want that from him-they wanted him to stay in the 1978 time capsule and make them feel like teenagers again.

Roth was in the band when I started high school, and Sammy was with them when I graduated. So my personal nostalgic time capsule includes both versions. In fact, my nostalgia trip doesn't extend back earlier than the 1984 album due to my age.
 

shredtrash

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
9,786
Totally. None of the DLR era albums are over 35 minutes. Many bands should have stuck to that format.
Great point! All killer an no filler with those albums.

When I wrestled in high school, I used to go for runs after practice. I remember I would run until one side of the cassette (one of the first 6 albums) would end, I'd flip it in my Walkman and run back home.
 
Last edited:

Malcolm121459

Member
Messages
181
Eddie and Jimi are the reason I picked up a guitar. Love VH! I keep wishing we had more music to listen too. I wish Eddie would have made more recording. I’d love to hear an EVH instrumental album.
People always ask the question about Jimi or SRV: what could have been if they would have lived longer? Well, Eddie lived a longer life but didn’t really add much to his body of work.
I think you mean, why didn't he release more music. I have no doubt Ed recorded all the time. No doubt. Just because it wasn't released isn't to say it wasn't recorded. That was Ed's thing. Writing and recording. He had the studio at the house.
 

diego.fresh

Member
Messages
1,245
I don't see why he couldn't have spliced these tapes all together end to end and made the WORLD'S LONGEST ALBUM! :eeks Wouldn't that be utterly amazing!????! Leave every take, every commentary, every mistake in place so it's totally real! :love: The tapes are still there, it can be done if someone wants to :red

Jump to 2:20 to see the piles of tapes he recorded .... hours and hours of music just waiting to be harvested.

A LOT OF TAPE in Ed's home studio. We have to hope some of this stuff will get released in some various forms.

 

sahhas

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
15,691
Totally agree, was listening to it today, just a great album, I always wanted the follow-up, alas....
A Different Kind of Truth was probably the best final Van Halen album we could’ve been left with. There’s some pretty incredible stuff on that one.
 

SDR

Member
Messages
339
Frank Zappa released 62 albums
And that’s probably 61 too many in his case. Quantity doesn’t equal quality.

I’m sort of stunned at this thread. The guy wrote and produced a bevy of very strong and deep albums. And for these albums he’d play guitar, bass and keyboards. He did it all.

I’m diving back into all the Hagar stuff, and there is stunning guitar work everywhere. Even stuff that didn’t become a classic like Dream is Over or a somewhat hit in Humans Being.

Personally I got a lifetime of music greatness contained within his 1976-1998 period. YMMV.
 

joebloggs13

Member
Messages
1,951
First of all, look at nearly ANY epic guitar hero:
Clapton: What has he done since Unplugged? What was the last notable thing before that?
From The Cradle came after Unplugged and was excellent. Road to Escondido with JJ Cale, released in 2006 is also pretty good.
 

k tone

Member
Messages
441
Interesting topic. I think Hendrix would have settled into the blues festival circuit and kept playing live with other players. Eddie (other than a few guest spots) was locked into his brother and VH and later his son. He said as much in interviews. It was a family thing for him.
 

Toby Krebs

Member
Messages
1,714
EVH came along after I had been playing a variety of music for about 10 years so a little late for me.But,what he did was so ridiculously good so different and amazing and exciting that it sort of blew everything else off the map for a while. The guys sense of melody alone was beyond belief.Slowed down all the blazing tapping stuff is gorgeous,timeless and people will still listen to him in a hundred years just like Ellington/Bach/Beatles etc...He quite simply for so many reasons was very important as a musician and made it because he was great not good.He worked hard and earned all of it.Much respect from an old jazz fart to EVH!
 
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sixty2strat

Member
Messages
11,512
It has to be hard to play that same kind of music decades later, IMO. He was pretty pigeonholed.

Even watching videos of him in the most recent years it’s almost like a show pony type of thing. I can’t imagine being 50-60 years old and being expected to play eruption or even wanting to play it.
Robert Plant loaths doing stairway so I'm sure it is a common feeling. more then we may ever know.
 




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