Is it fair to attribute this shift in perspective to Eddie? I mean, lyric writing did fall to Dave and Sammy. But make no mistake – Van Halen was Eddie’s band and he set the tone for everything that happened. And when he decided he wanted to be taken seriously as a songwriter, out went Dave, in came Sammy, and the fans were left with tired guitar solos, uninspired keyboards, and whole lot of songs about aliens, baked goods, love and the need to feel so good, right now.
As I got older, I too became overly concerned with feeling good, right now, and less obsessed with being unchained. My black Les Paul Standard was sold to Mom's Music years ago and eventually replaced with a cut rate acoustic guitar, which is great for strumming chords, but not so good for magically unclasping bras. Wasn’t there a time when everybody wanted some? Yes, but that gave way to a desire to be taken seriously as a professional member of the hoi polloi.
And let it be known, there have been no guitar gods since 1984.
Van Halen is cruising in to town Saturday night to perform at the KFC Yum! Center, with David Lee Roth in tow. And although some people view Diamond Dave as the Douche-Master General of Jabroni-ville, there’s no denying he’s brought a bit of the swagger back. The new album, A Different Kind of Truth, is surprisingly not bad. Of course that might have to do with the fact that many of the songs are just reworkings of previously unreleased Van Halen songs. But it’s loud and aggressive and aint nobody talkin’ ‘bout love. At times, Eddie sounds like he’s in the market to humiliate a few people.
I don’t spend anymore time trying to be Eddie Van Halen. I’d prefer to see him start doing that again.
Photo courtesy of humblepress.com
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