VAN HALEN RISING: How a Southern California Backyard Party Band Saved Heavy Metal
After years of playing gigs everywhere from suburban backyards to dive bars, Van Halen — led by frontman extraordinaire David Lee Roth and guitar virtuoso Edward Van Halen — had the songs, the swagger, and the talent to turn the rock world on its ear. The quartet’s classic 1978 debut, Van Halen, sold more than a million copies within months of release and rocketed the band to the stratosphere of rock success. On tour, Van Halen’s high-energy show wowed audiences and prompted headlining acts like Black Sabbath to concede that they’d been blown off the stage. By the year’s end, Van Halen had established themselves as superstars and reinvigorated heavy metal in the process.
Based on more than 230 original interviews — including with former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony and power players like Pete Angelus, Marshall Berle, Donn Landee, Ted Templeman, and Neil Zlozower — Van Halen Rising reveals the untold story of how these rock legends made the unlikely journey from Pasadena, California, to the worldwide stage.
This is a fantastic book about the struggles of getting a band started, and working towards that record deal. The author gives you background of the Van Halen family and their move to this country and starting both Alex, and Eddie with piano lessons. From there he takes you through them finding their next instruments and their different bands that they were in and then formed. When they became a huge party band in Pasadena, and surrounding cities always wanting more. Even when they got a show at a club they were still looking for improvement. He also goes into the history of David Lee Roth and though Eddie did not like him from the beginning what he did like was his stage presence, showmanship. He brought that other it factor that made the band. Yes the guitar was and is always there but really the guy out front also brought a lot of power to the shows and to the music. Being a fan and being older now I found this book to be an opener into what really made them unique, the four of them. I also found out the Roth wrote most of the songs which I did not know especially the early stuff. The many interviews and other stories just make this a good read and very entertaining. I got this book from netgalley. I gave it 5 stars. Follow us at www.1rad-readerreviews.com