Van Halen at 50

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August 8, 2023 at 7:04 pm Quote #66819


Van Halen at 50
by Martin Popoff

Explore the extraordinary history of Van Halen through the groundbreaking band’s 50 most important moments, brought to vivid life with photos and memorabilia.

Formed in Southern California in 1974, Van Halen became one of the best-selling bands in rock history and one of the highest-grossing tour acts with their rock-solid rhythm section, the histrionics of outrageous frontman David Lee Roth, and the wildly inventive and until-then unimaginable guitar heroics of Eddie Van Halen. In Van Halen at 50, prolific rock journalist Martin Popoff pays tribute to the band on the occasion of their 50th anniversary by curating 50 significant milestones, from their formation in 1974 to the passing of Eddie Van Valen in 2020. This volume features:

Stunning concert and candid offstage photography
Images of memorabilia, including gig posters, vinyl record sleeves, ticket stubs, period ads, and more
Gatefold Van Halen timeline

Across five decades, Popoff covers it all:

The band’s formation in Pasadena, California, and early years as a So-Cal party band
13 best-selling studio albums and the tours undertaken in support of the LPs
The departure of Roth and his replacement by “The Red Rocker” Sammy Hagar
Notable appearances like Texxas Jam, Farm Aid, and Monsters of Rock
A selection of their greatest singles, like the classic-rock standards “Runnin’ with the Devil,” “Hot for Teacher,” “Jump,” and “Why Can’t This Be Love?”
Awards such as MTV Music Video Awards, platinum and diamond album certifications, and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Eddie Van Halen’s battle with cancer
Bassist Michael Anthony’s replacement by Eddie’s son, Wolfgang

In addition, Popoff includes a selection of sidebars covering specialized topics like Eddie’s finger-tapping technique, the band’s album art, and the eternal Dave vs. Sammy question. Every page is illustrated with incredible images, including on- and off-stage photography, gig posters, 7-inch picture sleeves, ticket stubs, and more. The result is an apt tribute to one of the most popular bands in rock history.

Print length: 192 pages
Language: English
Publisher: Motorbooks
Publication date: April 30, 2024
ISBN-10: 0760386447
ISBN-13: 978-0760386446

February 15, 2024 at 11:01 am Quote #67573


Found some early reviews….

This is a nice book for fans of Van Halen. This book talks about the tours, the albums, their concerts, musical skills, the important dates, and major events for the band. It also discusses the issues between the band members ranging from personality issues, difference of opinions concerning music and artistic clashes. The title of this book comes from the author showing 50 milestones on the band’s 50th anniversary.

I found the book to be a little clunky at times and I felt it had a flow issue as a result. This was due to the author breaking down the album art and the concerts. Having said that, I enjoyed the pictures, the album art, learning some things that I did not know about the band, and the individual band members and their side gigs. Although the book does talk about the band, it gave a lot of attention to Eddie Van Halen (much deserved), David Lee Roth and Sammy Hager.

An overall interesting and informative book for fans of the band. I liked the personal approach to describing the members of the group and showing them as not only Rock gods but as people with had their own struggles in life. Plus, you get to see some memorabilia and great pics.

3.5 stars rounded up.

February 15, 2024 at 11:01 am Quote #67574


Popoff loves rock n roll and his biography states that he has written more record reviews than any one else ever (over 7900) and has published 85 books on hard rock, heavy metal, classic rock and record collecting. Here, he lends his expertise to the subject of the mighty Van Halen fifty years after they burst on the scene like a mega-tornado blowing everything down in their path. Complete with lots and lots of full-color photographs, it is divided into fifty mini-chapters, offering a taste of Van Halen across the last fifty years with analysis of the recordings and information about the tours and the various incarnations of the band. In short, it is everything the casual fan wants to know and more and lots of things the serious fan knows but wants to revisit. For many of us, it is simply a trip down memory lane.

The book begins with a quick tour of the early lives of Lee Roth and the Van Halen brothers and their discovery at Gazzari’s by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley (Kiss). Although the demo did not lead to anything, their next flirtation with the record industry did, although it gave a glimpse into future issues with David Lee Roth and his eventual replacement in the band. Chapter three offers us their debut album, which was nothing short of groundbreaking, including Eddie’s warm-up exercise that became Eruption, Ain’t Talkin About Love, Jamie’s Cryin, and You Really Got Me, all of which are classics today. The book details how this debut album along with II catapaulted Van Halen to the forefront of the massive hard rock resurgence. The book charts the band’s musical touring rather than just the havoc wrought on hotels and busses on their tours. 

There are also chapters discussing Eddie’s musical techniques, particularly tapping, noting that he was not the first to tap, but that his tapping in terms of quantity and quality overwhelmed everyone else. Eddie himself has apparently stated he was inspired by Page’s work on Heartbreaker in 1971 at the Forum. 

The book discusses changes to the band’s composition, notably Sammy Hagar replacing David Lee Roth, and Eddie’s marriage to Valerie as well as Eddie’s cancer, his bouts with drugs and alcohol, and then shockingly early death. Nevertheless, it is not a biographical book so much as a musical tour through the history of the band’s albums and tours.

February 15, 2024 at 11:02 am Quote #67575


A really good thing oubout “Van Halen at 50″ is that it takes us on a journey from Van Halens inception to almst the present day, full of stories, discography, live tours and the good, the bad and the downright ugly events that personify the bands tumultuous relationships with each other

A fantastic read for all ages, music lovers, and lovers of 20th centrury history , of which, Van Halen and their music were a musical icon

February 15, 2024 at 11:03 am Quote #67576


Release date appears to have been pushed to May 28, 2024


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