Intersting Take on the Billboard Interview

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June 21, 2015 at 10:49 am Quote #46148

voodoo
(1876)

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=716400408505153&id=661035204041674

Chuck Klosterman : The Irresponsible “Journalist”, Who Is Responsible For The Billboard Eddie Van Halen “Interview”. By Jon Oldemeyer

“I have come to believe that overcoming a self-focused world-view is impossible,” Klosterman explained, reading from his latest book, I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling With Villains (Real and Imagined) . “Life can be experienced only through an imaginary mirror that allows us to occupy the center of a story that no one is telling. I don’t think the human mind is capable of getting outside of that box, and I’m not even sure if this is problematic”. A quite telling excerpt from a book after having Googled Chuck Klosterman Reputation”. Most of the links presented will be from that search.

Yesterday 06/19/2015 Billboard Magazine published a story that caused a shitstorm of controversy amongst Van Halen / Sammy Hagar fans. http://www.billboard.com/…/eddie-van-halen-addiction-david-… *Watch the accompanying video provided with the story before reading, as I know Klosterman’s voice from having seen him several times on a very opionated Kiss related podcast as a guest, which much like Mr. Klosterman, seems to thrive on controversy. The video shows Eddie Van Halen’s demeanor at the time (it was filmed during the interview), which seems almost jovial, yet in the written interview he comes off as almost being bitter and curmudgeon like.

About 18 months ago I read an interview with Jimmy Page, in which the writer came off as someone who had read “Hammer Of The Gods” one too many times. He seemed to be very interested in Page’s past heroin use and dirt on the band, rather than the musical aspects (which this interview was supposed to be about the upcoming remaster series) or what made the magic between them as a group of individual musicians.

http://www.gq.com/moty/2014/jimmy-page-men-of-the-year
I vividly remember how after reading it, that the interviewer seemed to be trying to get Page’s goat and that Jimmy Page seemed very irritated by this man, but at the time I had no idea who Chuck Klosterman was and soon forgot about the article.

A few months later during the KISS hall of fame induction fiasco, I ran into a fan based KISS podcast / Web series (which will go unnamed, as I do not support it). It had been on for over a year and there were plenty of Ace Frehley related episodes, so through April 2014 – January 2015, I would slowly catch up on the episodes that were of interest to see what crap they had to say about Ace (the only reason I ever gave a shit about that particular band) and in the process I would watch a few new episodes, in which I would be introduced to the name and face of Chuck Klosterman. He would be a guest on the show in September and November of 2014. He came off to me like some really hyper guy who’d drank one too many energy drinks. He really seemed to enjoy coming up with “what if?” scenarios and base stuff on conjecture, but that particular show thrives on that and since I already had a certain disdain of varying degrees for the three hosts of the show, I came away with a more favorable opinion or first impression of Mr. Klosterman. He also appeared to present himself more as an author as I recall and I had no idea he was also a freelance journalist.

Moving forward to the day before yesterday, I had ran into another story that seems to pop up every few months and has been going on for the last 8 years, where Sammy Hagar brings up something negative about Van Halen http://ultimateclassicrock.com/sammy-hagar-perform-van-hal…/ just to get himself some press, which is funny, because by selling a huge 70% stake in his tequila business several years ago to Seagram’s, he’s worth more than each and every single member of Van Halen, but I do suppose that not being able to sell records the way you’re accustomed to (the first Chickenfoot album did sell 500,000 copies and going gold in the process, so I’ll give him that, but it also had to do with the publicity of being a supergroup and their second release tanked) by only going gold once as a solo artist since originally quitting / being fired from VH and that release was hot on the heels of him leaving the band. Since then each album has sold less and he’s been forced to play smaller and smaller venues and this certainly could cause a problem for somebody with such a huge ego. These are just facts and can easily be looked up. The only reason I even bring this up has more to do with why I chose to vent my frustration and give information this way, instead of having to deal with people who only look at headlines and soundbites to make their stupid and uninformed opinions without even reviewing the source material beforehand. They give me a fucking headache! Hagar is a narcissistic master manipulator who knows how to get a headline. He knows that Van Halen can’t stop him from performing the songs in concert, nor can they forbid him from re-recording the songs and besides, they get paid for it anyway, but if this is even truthful to begin with, it was presented to VH1 about him performing the songs on the show Live From Daryl’s House and for no other reason that I am aware of, but he neglects to give this information and makes it sound (like he always does) like The VH brothers are conspiring against him and “Mikey” and his fans follow him blindly. He knows he’s responsible, because it’s all in there for the listener to see the omission. If Eddie did it to be a dick, because he knew a TV show would cave in at a lawsuit, then so be it, because Hagar has said and done enough shit to deserve the inconvenience, but it also could be that television broadcast law is different for rights and he simply doesn’t want music he wrote being presented in that format.

Anyhow, after going through the motions on that bullshit, the Eddie Van Halen interview in Billboard Magazine that I had been anticipating arrived yesterday and once I finished reading it, I looked for the “journalist” who wrote it and there it was… By Chuck Klosterman… Holy Shit, No fucking wonder!! Eddie’s demeanor sounded so bitter and negative, but because the writer was using so much of his own narrative to push the story and I found it odd at how much of this narrative was familiar after 35 years of Van Halen articles and interviews that I’ve read in numerous guitar magazines, Rolling Stone, Circus, Hit Parader, etc (Creem Magazine is missing because most of their stuff was made to be hilarious, which it was… R. I. P.), that I smelled a rat. I kept my mouth shut all day while seeing post after post by people saying things so hateful that it’s futile repeating them, but they made my blood boil and yet I am so thankful for multiple reasons.

1. This article caused this response from Mr. Hagar https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9dnFzRxD_G8 , in record time. It was almost like he had “Eddie Van Halen” on his Google alert. Maybe he knew about the content of the article and what it contained beforehand and figured he’d lie and wait? It certainly would explain the reason for the “cease and desist” story planted the day prior and out of the blue. Sure it could be purely coincidence, but really? All the same, I now have full confidence that I’ll never have to worry about even the most remote possibility that Van Hagar will ever rear it’s ugly head again. Whatever means of life support the chances of that ever happening, are now dead. The plug has been pulled. That’s what happens before you find out the facts and make a video saying “FUCK YOU!” to somebody that will never go away, so for that and only that, I owe Mr. Klosterman a big “Goddamn Thank You, Hallelujah!!!” I had already erased any trace of Hagar from my music collection a long time ago, just as I had Ted Nugent and Megadeth, except for one thing… Montrose. If I had to make a list of my top 100 all time records, it definitely would’ve been in there, but I learned to live without Double Live Gonzo, Tooth, Fang & Claw, Rust In Peace and Peace Sells, so good riddance. Some people you just can’t stomach hearing anymore.

2. Seeing how people react to headlines, but form an opinion only on that, instead of bothering to inform themselves. This story as a whole means almost nothing to the majority of the world, but as a microcosm of how people react to headlines, soundbites or just plain misrepresentation of information meant to cause a ripple effect of distorted truths or flat out lies, so that it becomes fact almost instantly is amazing to me. Although I didn’t take on an experiment, but I can now look at it from that perspective and it’s scary as hell to think about how we process information now, especially when it’s exactly the same when something truly important comes along. maybe we were better off with newspapers? Sure, maybe there were people that would see a headline and then start talking out their asses, but the majority would read the story and then form an individual opinion without instant analysis from idiots to cloud their judgement.

3. That the saying that “You Can’t Fix Stupid” is more profound than the simple saying or witticism that it was most likely originally intended to be. It fits our reality show mentality as a species more than ever.

At the same time, I cannot in good conscience close this without stating that some responsibility of this actually lies with Eddie Van Halen himself or at least his publicist, who at last check was his wife’s job. Through one morning of some simple checking out of Chuck Klosterman and his credentials, would’ve shown even a layman that this guy was a potential problem. Eddie probably will just let this ride and not defend himself. It’s what I’ve known him to do. He should make the tapes (which do exist or should) be made public. And get a retraction and apology from Billboard. Of course I have no proof that he didn’t say these things, but if you read the Jimmy Page article, you’ll be able to see how he may have been very irritated by the writer’s line of questioning and either said some things he should not have, in which case he would need to apologize and make a retraction or as I think, he was in an antagonizing situation and had his answers taken out of context. The piece on Page shows me this, but from what I remember, Jimmy was too witty for that and threw it back in his face. It also could be a character assassination piece as well. Make him produce the tapes!

One last thing, it looks like Mr. Klosterman also does or did write an ethics column for the New York Times. Here’s a link of somebody having a problem with one of his columns and asking the question “Chuck Klosterman: Worst New York Times Ethicist Ever?” or was that meant to read as a statement? http://ethicsalarms.com/…/chuck-klosterman-worst-new-york-…/ Judge for yourself, I’m done with this clown.


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June 21, 2015 at 11:01 am Quote #46150

VAiN
(2768)

This is a good article and definitely makes you think twice about the tone of the interview.. It’s also important to keep in mind that ed wasn’t playfully bagging on the bass player he removed from album covers. Ed sounds nasty because he said nasty things. He just doesn’t like Mike.. and that’s fine.


Resident dickhead. I will hurt your delicate feelings.


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June 21, 2015 at 11:34 am Quote #46153

voodoo
(1876)

VAiN: This is a good article and definitely makes you think twice about the tone of the interview.. It’s also important to keep in mind that ed wasn’t playfully bagging on the bass player he removed from album covers. Ed sounds nasty because he said nasty things. He just doesn’t like Mike.. and that’s fine.

Agreed. He has been irritated with Mike since the ’80 tour, but kept him on board for decades. Once Sam split and Mike started playing with him while the band was inactive that was the end of Ed’s loyalty to Mike.


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June 21, 2015 at 2:31 pm Quote #46157

mrmojohalen
(5447)

I wondered about this. Something just didn’t sit right with this interview.

Ed is at a good place in his life right now, so it seems a bit odd that

Ed would turn into some unhappy gripe out of the blue.

I think I recall reading some interview in a Guitar magazine

when they were making an album & Ed said he had to show Mike

a bass part for one of the songs. Maybe it was videotaped for Mike to

learn. This was the exception & certainly did not apply to every song.

The “Dave doesn’t want to your friend” comment is probably accurate,

not in a personal way though. Dave is more of a lone wolf who doesn’t

have or need that type of a relationship. His dogs are enough.

I think Sam’s video “response” was a bit over dramatic. I’ve never seen

him this worked up before, real or not. I think the one thing that has Sam

with steam coming from his ears is that Ed finally addressed Sam’s book,

stating it “was definitely embellished. That’s him painting a picture of something that never happened.”

I didn’t get the Gary Cherone reference, blaming clothes for it not working out.

Ed would never say something like that.

It will be interesting to see if Ed responds to the article. I hope he does.


When you turn on your stereo, does it return the favor?


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June 22, 2015 at 8:09 am Quote #46169

voodoo
(1876)

Here is another response via Facebook to Ed’s comments:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10206866457967044&set=a.1271324350273.2042263.1444811957&type=1&pnref=story
Greg Tober

Eddie Van Halen said what? Given Eddie’s recent apocalyptic rant about former bandmate Michael Anthony, it’s time to reflect upon why integrity is important to everyone. Read on to find out why the world’s greatest guitar playing legend, can’t slither out from underneath this any time soon.

For those of you who don’t already know, many of us who grew up in Arcadia have long-standing ties with the Sobolewski family. Most know that Mike Sobolewski “AKA Michael Anthony” went on to become the bass player and background vocalist for Van Halen. What many might have forgotten is that from his early teenage years, Mike worked very hard putting together local rock band performances. Mike was a success in the backyard party scene for many years, independently of Dave, Eddie and Alex.

The Sobolewski family was driven by music and instruments. Their family name was synonymous with trumpets, drums, pianos, guitars and playing in the Dana Jr. High Band. All of this spearheaded by the enthusiastic Sobolweski family Patriarch and Father of five Walter Sobolewski. It’s a family like many others we grew up with. Perhaps we were raised in an era where integrity was a virtue? Nevertheless, Mike and the entire Sobolewski family define the word integrity.

For those of us who frequented the backyard party scene, Van Halen was not the only game in town. Mike’s bands and a few others, were just as well known and had as many followers as Mammoth (later known as Van Halen). We can’t deny that Van Halen remains unforgettable from that era, because Eddie Van Halen played, faster, louder and harder than the rest.

I hate to burst the mythological bubble of Van Halen’s early beginnings, but there was a lot missing from the very early days. Success didn’t fall into their lap. Every part was integral to their incredible rise to the top, including Michael Anthony.

So for those who have not yet read about it, this is exactly what Eddie said in a recent interview for Billboard magazine. “Every note Mike ever played, I had to show him how to play,” Van Halen said. “Before we’d go on tour, he’d come over with a video camera and I’d have to show him how to play all the parts. Mike’s voice is like a piccolo trumpet, but he’s not a singer. He just has a range from hell. Mike was just born with a very high voice. I have more soul as a singer than he does. And you know, people always talk about Mike’s voice on Van Halen songs, but that’s a blend of Mike’s voice and my voice. It’s not just him.”

That commentary started a gigantic online rant from millions of VH fans who feel that Eddie’s remarks are anathema to the history of the band. Eddie has attempted to curse and excommunicate Mike from the Van Halen history books. The slippery slope for Eddie’s fabrications, are that you can’t change the past by rewriting it with an inflated ego. But this is what can occur when a creative singer-songwriter lacking in integrity, assumes that the public will bow to his every move. The world’s greatest guitar playing legend can’t slither out from underneath this any time soon. Eddie is not protecting his son Wolfgang, by making Mike seem undeserving.

These unfortunate words adequately address the fact that VH fans place a higher value on integrity, rather than Eddie’s distorted view of fame and fortune.

As for Mike’s response to this entire debacle, he once again takes the high road as Mike always does. That’s integrity.


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June 22, 2015 at 8:16 am Quote #46170

voodoo
(1876)

mrmojohalen: I wondered about this. Something just didn’t sit right with this interview.

Ed is at a good place in his life right now, so it seems a bit odd that

Ed would turn into some unhappy gripe out of the blue.

I think I recall reading some interview in a Guitar magazine

when they were making an album & Ed said he had to show Mike

a bass part for one of the songs. Maybe it was videotaped for Mike to

learn. This was the exception & certainly did not apply to every song.

The “Dave doesn’t want to your friend” comment is probably accurate,

not in a personal way though. Dave is more of a lone wolf who doesn’t

have or need that type of a relationship. His dogs are enough.

I think Sam’s video “response” was a bit over dramatic. I’ve never seen

him this worked up before, real or not.I think the one thing that has Sam

with steam coming from his ears is that Ed finally addressed Sam’s book,

stating it“was definitely embellished. That’s him painting a picture of something that never happened.”

I didn’t get the Gary Cherone reference, blaming clothes for it not working out.

Ed would never say something like that.

It will be interesting to see if Ed responds to the article. I hope he does.

I don’t doubt Ed said those things. I’m sure he did make a comment about Gary’s outfits, but it probably wasn’t said out of anger or with bitterness the way the story seems to have been steering it. I also don’t doubt he said the things he did about Mike, since, again, he’s been saying negative things about Mike for decades. Based on what I have seen in the past, I believe the interviewer was probably asking about Mikey, possibly why he chose Wolf over Mike, or maybe he was asking about why Mike was asked to take a pay cut in ’04 and why he had to give up some publishing/songwriting credits on 1984 and Ed went on the defensive. I honestly think there might have been some songs Ed recorded the bass on back in the 80′s and he may have had to show Mike what he was doing, but I don’t believe for a second that Ed sat with Mike before every tour they ever did and had to show him every note he had to play. It seems like these comments came out in defense of the decisions he’s made in the past regarding Mike and Wolfie. Just my .02.


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June 22, 2015 at 8:41 am Quote #46171

sickman
(2368)

At the end of the day it’s a very small percentage of the ticket buying audience that gives a shit what Eddie Van Halen said about their old bass player. For a majority of people out there they say Mike who? People at VHL can start all the threads they want asking for Eddie to hang it up, it ain’t gonna happen.


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June 22, 2015 at 1:15 pm Quote #46173

voodoo
(1876)

sickman: At the end of the day it’s a very small percentage of the ticket buying audience that gives a shit what Eddie Van Halen said about their old bass player. For a majority of people out there they say Mike who? People at VHL can start all the threads they want asking for Eddie to hang it up, it ain’t gonna happen.

I haven’t been to the links in ages. I can only imagine what’s going on over there.


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June 22, 2015 at 1:41 pm Quote #46174

Mark
(175)

Between what’s being said about DLR and now with Mikey, it would seem that Eddie is not a very happy person overall. Maybe the drinking and drugs he’s done over the years are finally catching up with him. It’s really sad the way he’s ripping into a current and past member.


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June 22, 2015 at 1:48 pm Quote #46175

mrmojohalen
(5447)

This interview seems like a cut & paste job and taking things out of context.

We have no idea what actual questions were asked or to what extent any of the answers

were edited. I agree that maybe the interviewer backed Ed into a corner with

questions about Mike & he did his best to provide some kind of answers

that when put together & edited, give the appearance of negative griping.

I’m surprised that this interview was granted, considering the reputation

of the writings of Chuck Klosterman.


When you turn on your stereo, does it return the favor?


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June 22, 2015 at 6:58 pm Quote #46181

guitard
(7354)

It seems like so much is said about the relationship between Ed and Dave (or lack thereof) and how fractured things are. These guys have been in this relationship on and off for well over 40 years. They don’t have to be best friends to make music. Very, very few band mates remain best friends (assuming they ever were best friends) after such a long time. As long as they can still rock out live – that’s all that’s necessary. Here’s proof from a 2012 show (future CBG release) that when it comes to jamming – Ed and Dave still have plenty of chemistry:



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June 22, 2015 at 7:12 pm Quote #46186

mrmojohalen
(5447)

Despite the article, Ed & Dave are probably getting along better now than back in the day.


When you turn on your stereo, does it return the favor?


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June 22, 2015 at 7:18 pm Quote #46188

voodoo
(1876)

Figured I’d post it here, too. From Sammy’s own book. Sooooo, what was that you were saying, Spammy? LOL!


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June 22, 2015 at 7:31 pm Quote #46190

mrmojohalen
(5447)

voodoo:

Figured I’d post it here, too. From Sammy’s own book. Sooooo, what was that you were saying, Spammy? LOL!

So Ed would give Mike a basic framework of the song & he would add his own thing to it.


When you turn on your stereo, does it return the favor?


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June 22, 2015 at 8:03 pm Quote #46192

voodoo
(1876)

mrmojohalen: So Ed would give Mike a basic framework of the song & he would add his own thing to it.

So, Ed would “show him what to play” or “tell him what to play”, especially on all of the albums where Ed played the bass. I don’t know about the camera, but there seems to be some truth, according to both Ed and Sam. Mike didn’t write and that was always Ed’s bone of contention with Mike. He always said he didn’t feel Mike “contributed” and just “did what he was told”. Not saying Mike isn’t talented or anything. I’m just pointing out that, even Sam admits Mike didn’t add anything to the writing process. He just played was he was told/shown and then added a bit of his own flavor.


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