Why didn’t EVH make more music?

Maguchi

Member
Messages
292
Eight studio albums in the first dozen or so years with many of them stone cold classics. Then a mere four albums the past thirty years and only one of them in the past twenty years. That's a pretty serious drought for a group that never really disbanded. I wouldn't profess to know all the reasons why the output was so low as time marched on but I will state that, as a band, they had precious little to say the past twenty five years. I find that a little surprising considering how groundbreaking and successful they were as a band. It definitely wasn't the lack of a willing fan base.
There are several other examples of great bands and musicians putting out their best work in the 1st dozen to twenty years of their career and then for the most part "resting on their laurels." maybe recording a little and just performing their catalog of songs live for rest of their careers. Rolling Stones come to mind, but there are others. Sometimes management and finances push you in the direction of touring and performing instead of composing new material. Sometimes that's what the fan base wants. Also writer's block and the well runs dry. I'm glad we got what we did from Van Halen. RIP Eddie!
 

roverdog

Member
Messages
469
I say give a batch of tapes to Sammy, Dave and Gary and let them each pull together a few songs with Wolf/Alex/Mike.
Nice idea, but they don’t need two bassists. And who knows if the former bassist would want to be involved with his former rhythm section partner/boss. If I were in his shoes, I might not want to, based on the history. You can fire me once, but I won’t give you the opportunity to do it twice.
 

JPH118

Member
Messages
3,047
Between his health issues and lead singer drama, he probably just couldn't be bothered.

He did the reunion with DLR (which everyone wanted for 20 years), brought Wolfgang out on tour, and got killed for it.
(not a bad album or tour per se, but half of it was cancelled and never really picked up steam again, plus the diehards wanted MA out there)
If he went back to Sammy & Michael after that terrible split (which they prob wouldn't have agreed to anyhow), he would've gotten killed for it.
If he did an album with a different (fourth) lead singer, he would've gotten killed for it.
(Can't imagine he would've done anything without Alex or Wolf at this point, so a singer is the only real variable)

You might now say, "I wouldn't have killed him for it!", but deep down inside, you know that various contingents of VH fans would've found something to hate about pretty much any scenario possible. The only potential winning scenario would involve a time machine.

So, with all that being said, if you were him, wouldn't you rather just hang out?
It's not like he needed the money, which is why most people work... and there's no money in selling albums anymore anyway... so if he wanted to profit from his efforts, you're looking at a year on the road, which may have been too much for him physically, as it was in 2012. So, why even bother?

I'd say most of us had more energy/ideas/drive in our 20s/30s compared to our 40s/50s... the BS was prob just not worth dealing with after a while.
 
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Baba

Silver Supporting Member
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7,073
There are several other examples of great bands and musicians putting out their best work in the 1st dozen to twenty years of their career and then for the most part "resting on their laurels." maybe recording a little and just performing their catalog of songs live for rest of their careers. Rolling Stones come to mind, but there are others. Sometimes management and finances push you in the direction of touring and performing instead of composing new material. Sometimes that's what the fan base wants. Also writer's block and the well runs dry. I'm glad we got what we did from Van Halen. RIP Eddie!
This is one of the reasons I like Rush so much, they sounded completely different just 8-10 years after their first album, and followed that same suit for 40 years, and I'd put their last album up there as one of their best. Most people don't like the "synth era", or other eras, but they certainly did not sit still or rest on any laurels, they kept evolving and changing their style and sound, to the very end.

As far as EVH, I wonder how different a solo effort would have sounded. For some reason, I kind of imagine it would sound very similar to VH.
 

sahhas

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
16,079
i think I read that the '15 tour made $93 million, not sure what each member walks away with after that (road expenses and all), but it would seem to be a fair chunk of change.
i think people forget he had cancer 3x in the last 20 years....that changes you.
the band was sort of on hiatus from '98-'07, i know they did a tour w/ Sammy, but don't think that went well (substance abuse problems, etc).
considering that they put out the album ADKOT in '12, toured in '07, '12, '15....and there were plans for a summer '19 tour reunion tour, but he was too sick to do. so that means for probably the last 2 years he has been on a decline....i mean let's cut him some slack....
your points below seem spot on....i think he worked enough, it seemed like he had fun tinkering w/ guitars, running the EVH stuff, and recording in the studio with Al and Wolf...who knows what they have in there....maybe we'll see something in the near future....

Between his health issues and lead singer drama, he probably just couldn't be bothered.

He did the reunion with DLR (which everyone wanted for 20 years), brought Wolfgang out on tour, and got killed for it.
If he went back to Sammy & Michael (which they prob wouldn't have agreed to anyhow), he would've gotten killed for it.
If he did an album with a different (fourth) lead singer, he would've gotten killed for it.

You might now say, "No he wouldn't!", but deep down inside, you know that various contingents of VH fans would've found something to hate about pretty much any scenario possible. The only potential winning scenario would involve a time machine.

So, with all that being said, if you were him, wouldn't you rather just hang out?
It's not like he needed the money, which is why most people work... and there's no money in selling albums anymore anyway... so if he wanted to profit, you're looking at a year on the road, which may have been too much for him physically. So, why even bother?

I'd say most of us had more energy/ideas/drive in our 20s/30s compared to our 40s/50s... the BS was prob just not worth dealing with after a while.
 

sahhas

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
16,079
i don't think it's that they don't have material, it's that the singer has to find something to work with.
when i was reading about the 2 songs DLR did w/ the first greatest hits album, there was a song that they had that Sammy had rejected during Balance, and DLR said that he wasn't hearing anything in it....
and we know they were working on the followup to III w/ Cherone that got scrapped, and i read that John Shanks demoed 35 songs for ADKOT, only 13 are on the album, so that means there are 22 songs still sitting in demo form....and remember that the song 7th Seal from Balance, Ed said he wrote that when he was in the 8th grade!!!!
i think there are songs in there...it's just that the singer (whoever they get)...has to find things to work with ....and the problem now is that now that Ed's gone, they have to use what is recorded...i realize they can do stuff w/ protools and all, but he's not here to cut the stuff live in the studio to rework the demos....or however their process was...
the thing is Wolf or Al probably have to catalog what they have...and there seems to be a lot of tape in the 5150 studio!!!! it could take some time!!!!

Odd though that they never seemed to have enough material for albums.
Lots of covers and rehashed old songs.
 

HerrRentz

Member
Messages
2,432
dansworld said:

He never stepped outside his comfort zone; no ensemble playing with jazz, fusion, prog, world or any other styles of musicians. Isn't doing so what forces one to grow as a musician, to be challenged and driven to even further greatness?

RIP Eddie.

It's harder to do when you've never learned to read music or charts. He had admitted that himself.

He was a great ear player, but I have to wonder if he had any idea if he really knew what he was playing.
 

JPH118

Member
Messages
3,047
i read that John Shanks demoed 35 songs for ADKOT, only 13 are on the album, so that means there are 22 songs still sitting in demo form
there seems to be a lot of tape in the 5150 studio!!!! it could take some time!!!!
It'll end up just like Jimi, where a new album of brand new material comes out annually, miraculously, just in time for Christmas, in a fancy package, filled with demos and ideas Eddie never completed or felt deserved release. :facepalm

Just let it be and enjoy what he made, which was actually quite a lot.
 

johnsav

Member
Messages
1,510
i don't think it's that they don't have material, it's that the singer has to find something to work with.
when i was reading about the 2 songs DLR did w/ the first greatest hits album, there was a song that they had that Sammy had rejected during Balance, and DLR said that he wasn't hearing anything in it....
and we know they were working on the followup to III w/ Cherone that got scrapped, and i read that John Shanks demoed 35 songs for ADKOT, only 13 are on the album, so that means there are 22 songs still sitting in demo form....and remember that the song 7th Seal from Balance, Ed said he wrote that when he was in the 8th grade!!!!
i think there are songs in there...it's just that the singer (whoever they get)...has to find things to work with ....and the problem now is that now that Ed's gone, they have to use what is recorded...i realize they can do stuff w/ protools and all, but he's not here to cut the stuff live in the studio to rework the demos....or however their process was...
the thing is Wolf or Al probably have to catalog what they have...and there seems to be a lot of tape in the 5150 studio!!!! it could take some time!!!!
At least one of their records is really short, why would they release such scant material if they actually had songs? No doubt Eddie had piles of riffs and ideas (and wouldn't we love to hear them!), but someone else had to make them songs.
I just find it odd that they would return to old ideas instead of creating new ones for a new singer. As an artist myself I always feel my latest work is my best.
 

sahhas

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
16,079
honestly, i like the vinyl era of album length...i like albums that are 30-35 min. give me your 8 best new songs ...i always thought the classic VH albums were the perfect length....

At least one of their records is really short, why would they release such scant material if they actually had songs? No doubt Eddie had piles of riffs and ideas (and wouldn't we love to hear them!), but someone else had to make them songs.
I just find it odd that they would return to old ideas instead of creating new ones for a new singer. As an artist myself I always feel my latest work is my best.
 

s2y

Member
Messages
19,208
I think he released plenty of great stuff. I thought everything but ADKOT and VHIII were solid. Even then, ADKOT and VHIII are better than the best Nickleback album. ;)
 

sahhas

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
16,079
the difference with Jimi is he was the guitarist and singer, and wrote the material...so when he's gone, you have to rely on what they have. And honestly i was always amazed at how much of his live stuff was recorded! and this was from 67-70!!!!!!

w/ Ed, if the material is deemed good enough (by whoever), the rest of the band can work with the stuff and the vocalist (whoever that is)...can craft the songs to it...

the thing that is different now is, DLR in '96 can reject a song idea that Ed had and say: what else do you have? and then out comes Me wise magic and Can't get this stuff no more....
whereas now...that can't happen anymore, he only had so much time and whatever he has in the can, is what is available....so maybe 24 years later DLR can come back to that song he initially rejected and come up w/ something....who knows....
I'm assuming the stuff that Ed, Al, Wolf did in the studio there has to be something usable in there....i would think at least one new album of new material....whether there are multiple albums....not sure....

you know the other thing that came from a Templeton interview, he said that the classic lineup of VH, they didn't do many takes of stuff, he said those guys were so good, they knocked it out pretty quick...and if you remember from most interviews, they got the band stuff down pretty fast, and then would work on vocals afterwards....w/ that, i would guess that there's not a lot of extra material sitting around leftover from the 78-84 eras....


It'll end up just like Jimi, where a new album of brand new material comes out annually, miraculously, just in time for Christmas, in a fancy package, filled with demos and ideas Eddie never completed or felt deserved release. :facepalm

Just let it be and enjoy what he made, which was actually quite a lot.
 

s2y

Member
Messages
19,208
know they did a tour w/ Sammy, but don't think that went well (substance abuse problems, etc).
Oof. That tour was gnarly. I saw them in '05. I kinda passed on ADKOT partly because I didn't like how they treated Mikey, but a lot was because EVH was so drunk at the show I saw. I'm lucky that the first half was sober, but he must have gone back stage to have a "few" during the intermission. He closed with Panama and it was so bad that most guitarists in the audience could have done it better, which isn't a brag in any form. He was that hammered. Definitely reinforced my desire to play sober and with other sober musicians.
 

John Hurtt

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
18,886
I think he released plenty of great stuff. I thought everything but ADKOT and VHIII were solid. Even then, ADKOT and VHIII are better than the best Nickleback album. ;)
I've said it before....VHIII would have been a great album if Hagar had been there to do vocals and melodies.
 




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