When someone mentions Eddie Van Halen, most people automatically think of one band, Van Halen. But did you know Van Halen was a reconstruction from a band called Mammoth and were almost named Genesis? (until the name was found out being used...damn Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks. That's another story though.) Now don't worry...that was just a side fact...that was last blog...but I digress. When Eddie found David Lee Roth he decided to let him sing, and bass guitarist Mark Stone was tossed away like the Styrofoam container that made that Native American cry in that commercial, and Van Halen (David thought the name was memorable and powerful) was formed. Though it took them from 1972-1978 to make their first album, but not a lot of people know that Gene Simmons tried to make them part of Simmons Records until Warner Bros. Records flashed their wallets to them, and Gene tore up the contract. Anyway...most people will kill you if you call Sammy's time Van Halen, instead of Van Hagar.
Van Halen in the early years were balls to the wall, womanizing, all out rock. No apologies, nothing held back, and...no sense to the younger kids...what the HELL is a record machine anyway?!?!?! With Alex on hard pounding drums, Eddie on hard driven guitar (I like the Jack Daniels one myself,) a new bass player named Michael Anthony, and a lead singer that was in dire need of Prozac, Van Halen was getting to the point that they were considered the greatest "don't play that I have a headache" band in the late 70's-early 80's. Songs like "Jump" and "Running with the Devil" were pissing parents off in almost every household...especially the ones who had Herb Alpert records. But as we all know all good things must end. In '85, Eddie was doing side projects without consulting the band, and Eddie thought David was...well...a jerk (as if there were any arguments,) and was tired of his cockiness on and off stage, also he was making his own music and getting (later backed out) movie deals the tour toiled, and six albums in the bag, the legendary act broke up. More on this later.
With the wreckage of Van Halen on the ground, the two brothers and bass player decided to pick up the pieces and move on. They quickly asked Patty Smyth to join, and she said no. But not giving up, Eddie was introduced to a man named Sammy Hagar, who was on a band break up himself, by his band Montrose. Though Sammy was on his highly successful solo career, it seemed he wanted a little more. Arguably that's what both sides got, Sammy even played rhythm guitar to add to the sound. Now with songs in the repertoire like "Why Can't This Be Love," "Love Walks in," the entire past of Van Halen was forgotten, and Sammy played his own solo stuff (Van Hagar.) Though successfully touring with Bon Jovi, the tensions raised. Eddie and Alex wanted to re write some of Sammy's songs, saying the lyrics were "too cheesy." Sammy took this personally, and the thought of compiling the works of Van Halen and Van Hagar (that's why the album "best of both worlds" took so long to come out, kids,) he eventually went into a tirade and quit the band (though he swears he was fired.) Little did he know the band was recording again behind his back, with a man I mentioned before...David Lee Roth.
Van Halen was once again Hot For Teacher...or so we though in 1996. David swears up and down he thought he was the singer again, while Eddie was still auditioning for singers, and found one in Gary Cherone of Extreme. David claimed Eddie embarrassed him, while Eddie said he was honest and told David what the deal was. This altercation almost came to blows, and after Gary recorded one of two planned albums, the band went off the radar for a while. With Eddie's failing health (hip replacement and cancer treatments) it wasn't until 2003 before the band went back on the road with Sammy. Though it seemed it was a late notice Michael Anthony and Sammy were unsure how the 2 year run was going (due to Eddie's personal addiction problems,) and got tied up in other projects (later to become Chickenfoot,) Michael wound up going to showing to the gigs on the road only part time to a loss of connection with the brothers entirely.
A year later there were talks that Van Halen had a new singer. Though it was too late to introduce a fresh face to the front of the lines, it was not a big surprise because David Lee Roth mentioned on every interview that he was talking to Alex. So as the next kiss and make up took place, but with Chickenfoot starting to solidify (going from a jam band trio in Sammy's bar to adding Joe Santriani to the line up and finally recording,) without any warning (depending who you ask) Internet world was speculating that Anthony was out and Eddie's 16 year old son Wolfgang would be taking the reigns of the bass guitar. Though Michael Anthony was not notified personally about his departure, some would argue that due to his lack of communication with the brothers and his new band, it would be common knowledge that he was out for good. From Sept. 2007 - March 2008, the show went on until a temporary abrupt halt was put on the tour due to Eddie allegedly needing to re-enter rehab (though ex wife Valerie Bertenelli and Wolfgang both dismissed that he was not STILL in rehab, but not never was recently there.) The show went on and on the last show of the tour, David kept announcing that there will be more shows.
As of now, Wolfgang is focusing more on studies, Eddie is recovering from hand surgery due to arthritis pain he felt in 2007 but still writing new material. As for Alex and David, they sound ready to go and there is speculation of a new album. So with the beginning of a frustrated swap between Eddie (originally training for drums) and Alex (to have been on guitar) to a major transformation into the rock behemoth we see today, the rock giants seem like a bad marriage when you look at their history, but the amazing sounds both of the mainstay singers produced made it worth it.