Podcast interview on Early Days: Van Halen Rising

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This topic has 19 voices, contains 67 replies, and was last updated by  mrmojohalen 764 days ago.

March 18, 2015 at 12:25 am Quote #43437

ffoner
(1047)

Hi MCS – Van Halen Rising will come out in EPub and PDF formats. I expect that info will be up at Amazon soon.

Thanks –

Greg.


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March 18, 2015 at 1:50 am Quote #43438

mcs5150
(1085)

ffoner: Hi MCS – Van Halen Rising will come out in EPub and PDF formats. I expect that info will be up at Amazon soon.

Thanks –

Greg.

That is good to know. I said it before, but I am really looking forward to the book. I hope your next project is a definitive history of VH.


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May 19, 2015 at 10:10 am Quote #45508

ron
(8967)

So, I keep wondering why this book won’t be released till after the first leg of the 2015 VH tour. We know that copies have already been printed and sent out to various VIPs and reviewers. So why wait another 5 months? Why not take advantage of the fact that VH will be on the road? Maybe hook up with the VIP tour package folks and give away a copy at each show to get the info out in front of the die-hards?


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May 19, 2015 at 8:06 pm Quote #45519

ffoner
(1047)

ron: So, I keep wondering why this book won’t be released till after the first leg of the 2015 VH tour.We know that copies have already been printed and sent out to various VIPs and reviewers.So why wait another 5 months?Why not take advantage of the fact that VH will be on the road?Maybe hook up with the VIP tour package folks and give away a copy at each show to get the info out in front of the die-hards?

Hi Ron,
One disadvantage of traditional publishing is that nothing happens fast, and it takes time to produce a quality book.
I “finished” writing the book in the fall. What followed was the first round of edits and corrections.
Then what happens is that “uncorrected proofs” are printed — there are no captions on the pictures, there are no references in the rear, no index and there are still typos. I just found one today in the manuscript.
These copies have been sent by the press to folks who I hoped would “blurb” or endorse the book – Martha Quinn, Chuck Klosterman, and Brian Koppelman – among others. Those three liked the book and blurbed it – you can read Koppelman’s and Klosterman’s blurbs at Amazon now.
This summer I will do a final round of edits – called page proofs – which will be the last chance to correct and update any minor things that need to be fixed.
Then the final version of the book will be printed and shipped to booksellers.
I can promise that it will be worth the wait. And in the meantime everything that I didn’t include in the book that I can share will be rolled out at the blog at vanhalenrising.com.


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May 21, 2015 at 3:27 am Quote #45547

mcs5150
(1085)

ffoner: Hi Ron, One disadvantage of traditional publishing is that nothing happens fast, and it takes time to produce a quality book. I “finished” writing the book in the fall. What followed was the first round of edits and corrections. Then what happens is that “uncorrected proofs” are printed — there are no captions on the pictures, there are no references in the rear, no index and there are still typos. I just found one today in the manuscript. These copies have been sent by the press to folks who I hoped would “blurb” or endorse the book – Martha Quinn, Chuck Klosterman, and Brian Koppelman – among others. Those three liked the book and blurbed it – you can read Koppelman’s and Klosterman’s blurbs at Amazon now. This summer I will do a final round of edits – called page proofs – which will be the last chance to correct and update any minor things that need to be fixed. Then the final version of the book will be printed and shipped to booksellers. I can promise that it will be worth the wait. And in the meantime everything that I didn’t include in the book that I can share will be rolled out at the blog at vanhalenrising.com.

It does indeed take time. Indeed, I finished writing a book in December 2013, but it will not be published until July this year!


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June 20, 2015 at 8:45 pm Quote #46140

Dave
(1953)

Greg does another podcast interview, this time with Talking Metal:
http://talkingmetal.com/digital/2015/06/16/talking-metal-531-featuring-greg-renoff/
You can also find it on iTunes.


Stay Frosty


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June 20, 2015 at 10:59 pm Quote #46143

mrmojohalen
(5454)

Great interview Greg !


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


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July 18, 2015 at 8:53 pm Quote #47233

Dave
(1953)

Click on the link below & check out a must-see picture of the band at the bottom of the page.
http://vanhalenrising.tumblr.com/post/124264659363/the-atomic-punks-van-halens-1977-sunset-strip

The ATOMIC PUNKS: Van Halen’s 1977 Sunset Strip Caper

One of the big insights that I gained while writing Van Halen Rising was how out of step Van Halen, a heavy metal band, appeared to be with the broader trends in pop music in 1977. Despite the fact that Van Halen had just been signed by Warner Bros. Records, a look at the Billboard charts reveals that America loved soft rock bands like Fleetwood Mac and the Eagles in the late 70s. Disco, too, dominated the top of the top of the charts. (The Saturday Night Fever soundtrack sold 20 million copies worldwide in 1978 alone.) In contrast, heavy rock acts like Ted Nugent and Aerosmith now appeared as once-powerful dinosaurs destined for extinction.

Back in L.A., the local Hollywood music scene had gone punk, another sign that Van Halen’s musical style seemed anachronistic. When Van Halen played the Whisky alongside the new wave of local punk bands in the summer of 1977, it only reaffirmed that the Pasadena quartet appeared to be the last of a dying breed of “heavy metal” bands like Zeppelin and Sabbath. The future of aggressive and adrenalized music seemed to belong to punk.

While the punks sneered, Van Halen smiled. Here’s one fun little episode that shows that even when punk rock seemed destined to take over L.A., the members of Van Halen never lost their sense of humor.

——————————————————————————–

One night in early June 1977, punk rock fans at the legendary Whisky a Go-Go got a surprise. A trio of punk musicians, wearing ragged clothing and gag glasses, climbed onto the stage right after another punk act had finished playing. One raced behind the drums while another strapped on a guitar. The singer, sporting fingerless gloves and a destroyed pair of saddle shoes, grabbed the mic and announced in an affected brogue that they were a brand-new band, “The Enemas,” straight from Scotland. After he screamed a few insults at those gathered around the stage, the three lashed the audience with a couple of breakneck-paced punk songs. A few minutes later, though, their power was cut and Whisky staffers chased them from the stage.

While most in the Sunset Strip crowd either cheered or stood dumbfounded at what had just transpired, Joe Berman and a few other patrons wore knowing smiles. Berman says, “I just gotten into the punk rock scene. There was a hardcore punk rock show, and I remember these guys were being really obnoxious, like hassling the waitresses and messing with people. It was Ed Van Halen, Alex Van Halen, and David Lee Roth totally undercover. They went onstage and said they were some punk band. They were just mocking the whole punk rock scene and nobody knew who they were. But I knew who they were. I knew what they were doing because I either saw them outside or in the dressing room getting all made up and just doing this. It was just a joke, and nobody even figured it out.”

This caper, however absurd, highlights the way in which the members of Van Halen had found themselves thrust into the middle of Hollywood’s burgeoning punk rock scene in the summer of 1977. To be sure, when Van Halen played suburban spots like Pasadena and Van Nuys, they typically gigged alongside fellow L.A. hard rock bands like Stormer and Quiet Riot. But in Tinseltown, punk’s fashion, music, and cast of characters surrounded them. Punk bands opened for them. Punk fans snarled at them. Punk music blared out their radios when they tuned into DJ Rodney Bingenheimer’s show on KROQ. In effect, the Pasadena quartet had become cultural outliers on the Strip.

Even though Van Halen’s musicianship was superior, punk musicians saw little to admire in their approach. Says Weirdos drummer Nickey ‘Beat’ Alexander, “The punk and new wave groups didn’t think much of bands like Van Halen. Van Halen were like old fucking dinosaurs. The punks didn’t want nothing to do with them. They were like, ‘Van Halen? We might as well be hanging out with Aerosmith or someone like that.’”

Van Halen made it clear that the feeling was mutual. In a 1977 interview, Roth dismissed punk bands by saying “the reason people say ‘you guys sound and look like pros’ is because we don’t dress or act like punks.” Edward would declare to Guitar Player, “We’re not punk, we don’t dress weird. We play good music … I’m not saying that all the things I come up with are genius brand riffs, but neither is punk. Punk’s like what I used to do in the garage.”

Clearly, there was no love lost between the two camps. So after one too many punk rockers looked down at them, the members of Van Halen decided to take the piss out of punks at the Whisky in a big way.

Duly inspired, one night Alex, Edward, and Dave decided to form their own punk group and hit the Hollywood scene in style. In a later interview, Roth recalled that 1977 was the year that punk exploded in LA, “and started coming up with the safety pins and all that sort of thing. [So] we greased our hair back and went down” to Hollywood’s Sunset Strip.

After the disguised trio departed the stage, they bulldozed past some angry Whisky staffers who’d been trying to eject them from the club. They then ducked into the men’s room. Photographer Mary Garson, who shot many of their early promo pictures, watched as they posed for pictures for a clueless punk photographer while plunging a toilet. “I remember Ed, Al, and Dave camping it up,” Garson laughs.

While some onlookers, like Joe Berman, recognized the three members of Van Halen and knew it was a prank, the punk photographer thought these newcomers to the scene would be perfect subjects for an upcoming issue of a L.A. punk fanzine. He then led them to a filthy corner inside the Whisky and snapped more photos of Dave, Alex, Edward. A gleeful Roth later recalled that trio’s act was so convincing that one of the photos ended up on the back cover of the fanzine.

And so here’s that shot, which appeared in the August 1977 issue of Slash. Note the plunger in EVH’s hand, and that DLR’s got his Acme Siren Whistle, which would be heard on their LP on ‘Runnin’ with the Devil,’ around his neck.

When Van Halen was released a few months later, David Lee Roth would have one final thing to say to L.A.’s punk rockers: Nobody rules these streets at night but me/the Atomic Punk!

With more than ten million copies of their debut sold to date, Roth sounds like more of a prophet than Johnny Rotten ever was.

(Thanks to Steve Herold for the photo tip!)


Stay Frosty


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July 18, 2015 at 10:14 pm Quote #47239

guitard
(7354)

One of the big insights that I gained while writing Van Halen Rising was how out of step Van Halen, a heavy metal band, appeared to be with the broader trends in pop music in 1977. Despite the fact that Van Halen had just been signed by Warner Bros. Records, a look at the Billboard charts reveals that America loved soft rock bands like Fleetwood Mac and the Eagles in the late 70s. Disco, too, dominated the top of the top of the charts.(The Saturday Night Fever soundtrack sold 20 million copies worldwide in 1978 alone.) In contrast, heavy rock acts like Ted Nugent and Aerosmith now appeared as once-powerful dinosaurs destined for extinction.



To be sure, punk and disco had come on the scene in a pretty big way by 1977, but from my experience, rock was still very much alive and well. While punk and disco became very popular, it wasn’t like rock music lovers suddenly abandoned their favorite bands or that rock concerts started to become fewer and far between. In fact, in 1978, Ted Nugent was at the peak of his success and was selling out big sheds left and right (as you can see here – scroll down to the venue listings):

theconcertdatabase.com/artists/ted-nugent?field_date_value=&page=3

I’m sure in big urban areas like LA where punk was really taking off – it would seem as though Van Halen was out of step. But once you got out of LA and NYC – punk was mostly just a novelty – and as time would tell – and as time did tell – the novelty wore off pretty quickly.

Just my 2 cent’s worth.


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July 18, 2015 at 10:56 pm Quote #47249

Gilligan
(1441)

I would have never guessed this was Ed, Al and Dave!


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July 22, 2015 at 11:03 am Quote #47379

Dave
(1953)

High praise from Ted Templeman:
http://us10.campaign-archive1.com/?u=79f02df362ed5d1484f2da7a6&id=8a42ca2836&e=195b6b3b2f

Greetings all –

I write with some exciting news about the forthcoming Van Halen Rising.

Back in 2012, I had the great pleasure of interviewing Grammy-winning producer Ted Templeman, who oversaw the making of the first six classic Van Halen albums.

A couple of months ago, Ted had the opportunity to read an advance copy of Van Halen Rising.

So here’s his verdict:

I really loved reading Van Halen Rising. I couldn’t believe the insight Renoff has into the production process behind the making of Van Halen’s debut. He truly gets it! This book is fantastic. — Ted Templeman, Grammy Winning Producer (Van Halen, David Lee Roth)

As a historian who has dedicated years of his life to getting the Van Halen story right, I couldn’t ask for higher praise than from Templeman, the man who helped guide the band to the stratosphere of rock success.

I hope, too, that his endorsement helps reaffirm in your minds that I’m about to deliver a great book on Van Halen’s early days to readers everywhere.

So can I ask you a favor?

If you know someone who might be on the fence about picking up Van Halen Rising (we all know the type: “Meh. I’ve read a bunch of rock books; they’re all the same. The last good one I read was The Dirt . . . “), would you please share this email with them?

I’d really appreciate it.

Otherwise, I want to thank everyone for all of the emails and feedback on the stories and photos I’ve been sharing via email and on my social media pages.

Speaking of social media, if we’re not already linked up on Facebook and Twitter, I’d love to make that connection with you @GregRenoff or at facebook.com/vanhalenrising. Please do reach out to me.

Well, that’s it for now. Until next time –

Rock On . . .

Greg


Stay Frosty


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July 31, 2015 at 3:22 pm Quote #47832

ron
(8967)

Looks like it may also be coming out in hardcover.



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July 31, 2015 at 3:35 pm Quote #47834

ffoner
(1047)

Hardcover is still up in the air, but I’d say it’s 90% likely that a hardcover edition will be sold. Otherwise it’s iTunes books, Kindle, and paper (with a free pdf ebook). So excited for you guys to see this book. The pictures themselves are worth the price of admission.


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July 31, 2015 at 4:29 pm Quote #47836

ModelCitizen
(255)

Audio version?


…Zero Discipline


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August 4, 2015 at 2:52 pm Quote #48036

Dave
(1953)

Check out a rarely seen picture of Dave from 1974.

And I might be wrong about this, so if I am I apologize, but I believe our very own VAiN is responsible for the artwork & design of the book’s cover. Looks good!


Stay Frosty


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