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Why didn’t EVH make more music?

twotone

Member
Messages
3,642
Hmmm? How about these? Granted, there was a lot of s*** and they aren't necessarily EVH's caliber of axe genius, but some great music came out the 90's!

RATM
Alice
NIN
RHCP
Pearl Jam
Soundgarden
Nirvana
Smashing Pumpkins
GNR
Black Crowes
Weezer
But there was also Sheryl Crow's 'All I Wanna Do Is Have Some Fun' and Alanis Morrisette's 'You Oughta Know'. When I heard those two songs I knew the music died.
 

PaisleyWookie

Member
Messages
8,002
Bands like Metallica still endured just fine. Van Halen had a huge enough built in base they could have too IMHO. But yeah, years disappeared down the barrels of a coke straw and crack pipe.......plus all the alcohol. It’s a shame the VH brothers grew up with a hardcore alcoholic father.
Metallica had rough spots too *cough*St. Anger*cough*, but yeah Metallica has put out a lot of great stuff, and I still look forward to each new release.
 

DGAS

Member
Messages
132
Do we really know he didn't "create" or continue to play/record?
I think this is the crux of the issue.

In other words, define ''create".

Making commercial records is a multi-faceted creative process, to say the least. There's the initial stages of coming up with riffs and chord progressions, then adding/refining melodies, developing the song structure, creating the solo(s), lyric writing, arranging, tracking, mixing, mastering, etc, etc.

You really need to be focused, committed and motivated to see that whole process through from beginning to end. And when other 'creative minds' are added to the mix, it's exponentially more difficult to see it through to fruition.

It seems that Ed got stuck in the riff/chord progression stage later in his career, and simply wasn't motivated to take most of it any further. Maybe he felt it wasn't up to the standard of his earlier work, which would be entirely understandable. Maybe success made him a bit complacent. And most likely of all, maybe he just enjoyed writing the riffs, but thought the other stages were a pain in the ass and simply didn't feel he needed to go the distance any longer.

Prince is the best example of someone who never stopped recording completed songs, and who consequently left behind a massive body of finished work. The difference is that Prince played all the instruments, wrote the lyrics, and sang all his own material. So he was in a situation in which he didn't need to collaborate with others to create finished recordings.

As far as I'm concerned, if Ed had only written Eruption, he'd still be considered one of the most influential guitar players in history. Throw in Unchained, Drop Dead Legs, Beautiful Girls, Ain't Talkin 'bout Love, Mean Streets, etc, etc. and he's literally untouchable in terms of groove, tone, hooks, and of course incredible technical mastery.

So let's all be grateful that we were able to enjoy what a musical genius EVH was while he was here. And let's also be thankful he settled on guitar. Because had he stuck with piano, no one would have ever heard of him.
 
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6,020
When you get diagnosed with Cancer it changes Everything!

I bet he has lots of unrealesed material that will see the light of day! Hell, Hendrix has two more albums on Vinyl ready to drop this month and on his bday Nov.27th. Patience and time. :aok
Read the interview with Vai and his unlikely friendship with Ed. He said that Ed played him a bunch of music never before heard or since by anyone else but Ed. When he asked Ed why he didn't release this music and apparently it didn't fit with the "Van Halen band concept" so maybe someday it will come out. I guess that depends on Wolfie.
 
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6,020
Ed and the band worked their asses off for many years, but for Ed specifically the abuse, addictions and disease really took their toll on him over the past many years and I'm sure his motivation was way down.
That said, I do have a friend who is an engineer/producer who has worked with Ed many times in the past and he says there are a LOT of recordings that the public have never heard.
Don't know if we will ever hear them, but it's no surprise to see posthumous material released as time passes.

Look at the stuff that was released by Kevin Gilbert's 'estate' after his passing. As such, I'd be curious to see what 'new" VH shows up over the next few years IF the estate and all of the powers-that-be (Alex/Michael/DLR/Sammy/Wolfgang/etc) and all of the lawyers come to an agreement.
There are 17 volumes of Kevin Gilbert music floating around after he passed some of which are studio quality recordings and some are club gigs and some are soundboard recordings. Most people never heard Giraffe but that should be re-released but there's a live recording of Toy Matinee playing live that's so killer it should be released on a CD just so people could hear the live band was even better than the studio band.

Kevin had his own studio for years. Eddie had his own studio for years. It makes you wonder what's in the archives. Father-son jams? Ed-Al jams? Experiments? Tryouts for singers that didn't work out?
 
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66fuzz

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
239
Wolfie knows and understands how important his pops legacy is! There is a chance that Ed didn't want it realesed EVER, I suppose? Guess we'll see what the family and lawyers decide? We can only hope it has a positive impact for the world to see/hear, like the halcyon days!
 
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7,850
I'd like to think that at some point he was content with what he had made. Add family, addiction, and cancer and that made the later years more complex. I thought it was cool that he was able to play all that classic VH stuff with his son.
 

BlueRiff

Member
Messages
6,103
While EVH was a amazing innovator, he always struck me as a band guy first vs a guitar artist. I think his priority was writing commercial rock music for the masses, not expanding into other genres or going solo in pursuit of his guitar art. If he wasn’t putting a band album and tour together, he sounded content to tinker in his studio and do other pursuits. Especially, I think the guy immersed in family life more as he got older. Of course I don’t know for sure, but I don’t think Ed was obsessed about his guitar legacy. Certainly he was proud of his contribution but not obsessed about what folks would be saying about him 100 years from now.
 

BlueRiff

Member
Messages
6,103
I'd like to think that at some point he was content with what he had made. Add family, addiction, and cancer and that made the later years more complex. I thought it was cool that he was able to play all that classic VH stuff with his son.
I’m sure Ed has more fun playing onstage with his son than at any other time in his career. Wolf’s got a ton of treasured memories with his dad doing that too. Priceless. RIP Ed.
 

jrockbridge

Member
Messages
4,495
i
Within the 50 years since Hendrix's passing and the 30 years since Vaughan's, there have been more album releases than those of their lifetimes. Are the vaults of 5150 as well stocked with unreleased material? I would guess no. We got a lot of that unreleased stuff, albeit rerecorded, on 2012's A Different Kind of Truth. If EVH had anything for us to hear, I would think it would have come out when he and Warner Bros. could have profited from it.
Do we really know he didn't "create" or continue to play/record? Just because nothing was officially released that does not mean there is material that is still on tape right? Many artists make art for their own sake because that is what they know and do; doesn't mean it gets released to the outside world.
I actually prefer an artist leaving things on the cutting room floor and understanding when it might be time to stop releasing material.
Kind of like when The Police broke up -- I was devastated, but they had reached the end and went out on top.
Then I look at a band like Rush (whom I adore) -- I think it's fair to say they have definitely released subpar material in their later years.
King's X is another great example. If many of their albums were 8 songs vs. 13 after say Dogman, they would be much better IMHO.
All of the above artists are HERO's in my musical world, but even I can admit what is classic or destined to be classic material and what is just not on the same level.
When you get diagnosed with Cancer it changes Everything!

I bet he has lots of unrealesed material that will see the light of day! Hell, Hendrix has two more albums on Vinyl ready to drop this month and on his bday Nov.27th. Patience and time. :aok
I watched a video interview with him that was done at his 5150 studio (looked to be about the mid-90's) where he showed the interviewer a wall of 2" tapes that he had recorded in his off time from the band. From those tapes came a lot of the material for later albums. It looked to be a couple of hundred tapes. Probably thousands of hours of ideas. He wasn't done making music, just done making music that WE'VE heard.

Hopefully, Wolfgang can go through some of those tapes and pull some nuggets out for a "compilation/guest player" album. He's probably got some grieving to do first, though.
I suspect he made a lot of music, he just didn't release most of it to the public. He was under no obligation to do so, and may have been very happy working in private after the slog of the first 20+ years.
If there were periods where he wasn't making a lot of music, I'd attribute that to illness or drugs.

R.I.P.
This.

Someone posted that video interview in another thread. It is a wall of tapes behind him. Apparently, everything was indexed on a Radio Shack computer or something like that, the hard drive crashed, and they couldn't recover the data. Ed then mused about someone going through everything again. Hopefully Wolfie will take on the challenge and release compilations in the future.

Interesting to wonder what they could to with the incomplete ideas. Create songs out of the recorded riffs? Have other artists learn the riffs, create new songs, and record a tribute album? Just release compilations of the incomplete songs? I'd be happy to hear any of those options.



Good stuff. Don't forget about the porn he scored, Sacred Sin (two songs).


Sorry guys, that's not the porn. Just a vid for the song "Rise" from the score. You can find the porn yourselves. ;)
Let's hope so... I suspect a lot of it is not completed. Needs vocals etc.. I wonder if the surviving members can pull it together to finish them...
He was only 45 yrs old in year 2000. No one would consider that old, yet EVH's output was very little after that point in time..

Sammy said in his book that the Van Halen brothers were very lazy, and that he had to crack the whip for them to be productive.

Whether they recorded a lot of ideas and just didn't finish songs, or whether they just sat around the studio unproductively is what I'd like to know.

Hendrix and Zappa have had alot of posthumous releases, so I hope Alex and Wolf, etc work on recordings that weren't finished, but who knows.

I think Me Wise Magic and Can't Get this Stuff no more were really strong tunes with DLR. I hope there are more...
I’m sure EVH recorded plenty of stuff that we’ve never heard. Maybe, none of it is complete. Perhaps, there are only fragments of ideas. Still, I’ll bet some of it could be turned into something that sounds finished. It would take a lot of work for somebody to listen to hours of recordings and find the stuff worthy of turning into something that sounds complete. Then, there would be editing and recording with various musicians to make it into something worthy of release.

I could see Wolfie taking on a project along those lines. Even if he only came up with one or two ideas that could be expanded into completed tunes or songs, something like that would be worth a listen. Perhaps, Wolf could add his own guitar playing to help fill in some gaps, have Alex record drums, bring in Michael Anthony for bass and backing vocals, DLR and/or Sammy could write lyrics and sing.
 

micycle

Member
Messages
3,908
Ever since Diver Down came along and blew my then-9-year-old mind (oh the hours I spent air guitaring to Hang 'Em High) I wished he'd do a solo album of all instrumental music. I loved the little guitar (pun intended) solo pieces he'd always throw in on albums, and being a fan and writer of instrumental music, "Baluchitherium" blew me away when Balance came out... and then there's the music bits he did for The Wild Life movie, a lot of which turned into full-on VH songs.. and the "Ripley" demo on Youtube which became "Blood and Fire". He obviously had it in him, but I'm sure a lot of it had to do with music with a singer being a lot more marketable!

Hopefully, there's an album's worth of Spanish Fly/Cathedral/Little Guitars/316/Baluchitherium-esque pieces in the archives and those will someday see the light of day. And if so, hopefully not all of them are noise-fests like "Intruder", but I'll take what I can get. A boy can dream...
 

john weires

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
299
It's not uncommon for extremely talented artists to have an extremely productive period of time and then to tail off.
We always want more from our musical heroes. Sometimes we just have to be thankful for however much they gave.
 
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syzygy

Member
Messages
111
Wasn't Rhoads planning to go study classical guitar formally?
Yep. I read in an old interview from a guitar magazine that Rhoads was planning to attend UCLA. Ozzy confirms Rhoads' plans on several interviews. And when Rhoads initially told Ozzy of those plans, Ozzy responded by telling Rhoads it was crazy saying he (Rhoads) was giving up $s & notoriety.
 

jrockbridge

Member
Messages
4,495
I’m sure EVH recorded plenty of stuff that we’ve never heard. Maybe, none of it is complete. Perhaps, there are only fragments of ideas. Still, I’ll bet some of it could be turned into something that sounds finished. It would take a lot of work for somebody to listen to hours of recordings and find the stuff worthy of turning into something that sounds complete. Then, there would be editing and recording with various musicians to make it into something worthy of release.

I could see Wolfie taking on a project along those lines. Even if he only came up with one or two ideas that could be expanded into completed tunes or songs, something like that would be worth a listen. Perhaps, Wolf could add his own guitar playing to help fill in some gaps, have Alex record drums, bring in Michael Anthony for bass and backing vocals, DLR and/or Sammy could write lyrics and sing.
Wolfie and Alex are on it....

https://www.vhnd.com/2020/10/09/wol...rch-5150-vaults-for-possible-future-releases/
 
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