Echoes & Reverberations: Van Halen’s “Almost Infamous”

vanhalen.jpg
Eddie Van Halen, April 15, 1978, in Fort Worth, Texas. (Jeffrey Liles)

It was the spring of 1978 and rock music was in big trouble. The Village People’s “YMCA” was sharing space on the Billboard charts with the Bee Gees and Andy Gibb. The Rolling Stones had (gasp!) gone disco with their single “Miss You,” and Styx was encouraging us to come sail away in their twisted tsunami of spandex and hairspray. At the same time -- and still very much under the radar, mind you -- weird stories about bizarre new punk rock bands like The Clash, Sex Pistols and The Ramones were starting to show up in magazines like Creem and Circus.

As the proud adolescent owner of a beat-up old Gibson SG guitar, I was ready to make some noise and take on the world. The only problem was that all of my heroes had either shamelessly sold out, or settled into a comfortable heroin hibernation. Led Zeppelin had lost their swagger, I was already sick of Rush and Yes and all that falsetto prog-rock, and, of course, I fucking hated disco music and everything it stood for.

I needed new ammunition.


Then, a revelation: in April of that year I walked into Disc Records in Valley View Mall and saw a stack of free seven-inch singles on the counter. The record bore a Warner Brothers label with a generic sleeve; the artist was somebody named Van Halen.

The A-side was a cover of The Kinks’ classic song “You Really Got Me”; the flipside a track called “Atomic Punk.” Who knows? Maybe this was a “gimmick” song by a guy like Van Morrison who put out a record to make fun of punk rock, and they figured giving it away free was the only way anyone was going to hear it.

I collected seven-inch singles like other kids collected baseball cards, so I slipped a copy of it into my backpack and didn’t give it a second thought. It wasn’t until I got home and put the record on my turntable that I realized my initial impression was way off base.

Just ten seconds into “You Really Got Me,” and I knew that we were dealing with uncharted territory. That was the loudest I had ever heard a guitar mixed in relation to the rest of the instrumentation on a record. It sounded like the guy was playing through a dozen Marshall stacks. The solo was a kinetic blitzkrieg of random harmonics and static electricity.

Unfathomable realization, wrapping one’s head around the unthinkable: “God, this guy is even better than Jimmy Page!”

Then I flipped the single over and heard the intro to “Atomic Punk.” The guitarist was doing something that was totally different: instead of hammering the strings up and down, he created a unique dissonant melodic figure by scraping the pick sideways across the top of the strings, while simultaneously running the signal through a distortion pedal and phase shifter at the same time.

I had never heard anything like this in my life.

It was heavy metal music that was actually commenting on the threat of punk rock invading its territory. The guitar solo in “Atomic Punk” was all over the place; again, this guy was pulling noise out of nowhere. Somehow, he was tapping his right hand on the neck of the guitar to create a sound that was original and spectacular.

For an easily impressed teenager, it was the most amazing thing I had ever heard. The next day at school was spent, for the most part anyway, standing out in the smoking area giving my unsolicited opinion about Van Halen to anyone who would listen. (Yes, I still thought Van was the artist’s first name for a week or so afterward.)

By the end of that week, “You Really Got Me” started getting occasional airplay on "The Zoo" -- KZEW -- and all of this random enthusiasm started making a little sense to my friends.

(Quick question and aside for fellow audiophiles and headphone historians: aside from Marilyn Manson’s cover of “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)”, when was the last time an artist had a breakout hit with a cover of another artist’s song?)

When Van Halen’s debut album appeared in record stores a few days later, rumors started to fly about the back-story of the band. The photos on the record jacket were blurry and out of focus, and the name “Gene Simmons” was at the top of the “thank you” list on the back of the record.

Could this band actually be Kiss without their make-up?

The photo of bassist Michael Anthony on the album jacket looked scary, like we imagined Simmons might look. The photo of Eddie Van Halen could have easily been Paul Stanley. Keep in mind that none of us had ever seen Kiss without their face paint at this point. This scenario was totally plausible at this point.

As a band, Kiss had already far outlived their usefulness. (If the 1976 single “Beth” wasn’t the last straw for most hard core Kiss fans, then the disco track “I Was Made For Lovin’ You” was the final nail in our forehead.) I was never made for lovin’ Kiss myself, but I thought if they could pull something like this off, they might actually be geniuses after all.

A week or so later a handwritten sign went up on the wall at Disc Records that read, “MEET VAN HALEN HERE on APRIL 15 at 11:00 a.m.” This was good news and bad news: the good news was that I was going to get to the bottom of this Kiss thing; the bad news was that April 15 was a school day, and 11 in the morning was when I was usually enjoying some nice REM sleep in my third period Introduction to Algebra class.

My mom, bless her heart, could see how important this was to me. She wrote a note to get me out of school that morning. My best friend Vern Evans and I made our jailbreak and hauled ass up to Valley View Mall in his parent’s yellow Ford Pinto to go meet our new heroes.

One of those other kids who also played hooky that day was Dallas musician Peter Schmidt (Funland/Bedhead/The New Year).

“I was in eighth grade at the time, and I was still in private school wearing the uniform and all that, so my mom got me out of school and took me up there,” Schmidt recalls. “My older brother had turned me onto the band, and I had this red vinyl copy of the first record with this weird Warner Brothers Looney Tunes logo on it that I really wanted to get autographed.”

11 a.m. came and went, and no Van Halen. “There were only twenty or so people waiting for the band,” Schmidt says. “I still remember this guy had brought a white Aspen Les Paul copy up there that he wanted the band to sign.”

I temporarily left the store and headed towards the parking lot. A rickety old brown school bus then pulled up and stopped by the mall entrance next to El Fenix restaurant. The first guy off the bus was bassist Michael Anthony, who couldn’t have been an inch over Five-foot-six. (So much for meeting Gene Simmons and validating the Kiss rumor.) Then Eddie, 22 years old with an ashy Marlboro still dangling from his lips, climbed off the bus and gave me a soul brother handshake.

“Are you the only one here?” he asked. I assured him that all of my friends were big fans, but they were all still at school. “Here, take these,” he said, handing me a fat stack of blue backstage passes, “Give these to all of your bros and come see us tonight. We’re opening for Journey and Montrose over in Fort Worth.”

Holy shit. I had never even seen a backstage pass, much less ever ventured into the “promised land” of the dressing room/backstage area at a rock and roll show. Hell, I had never even been to Fort Worth. My life had pretty much sucked balls up until that golden moment. Now the most amazing guitarist I had ever heard had just given me a dozen backstage passes to a rock concert.

Inside the store, the band was making the most of their meet-and-greet. “David Lee Roth grabbed that guy’s guitar and jumped up on the counter,” says Schmidt. “There was hardly anybody there, but they were already sort of putting on a show.” Roth, who looked like the long-lost twin of Black Oak Arkansas’ Jim Dandy, was halfway through a bottle of Jack Daniel’s and it wasn’t even noon.

I was already thinking ahead: Evans and I had to get back to J.J. Pearce High immediately and round up a couple of licensed drivers to take half the school’s smoking area regulars to Fort Worth on really short notice.

Three hours later our cannabis caravan made its way west. Ridin’ shotgun in the yellow Pinto, I led an inspired discussion about current musical trends and tastes. Most of us hated Journey’s only hit “Wheel In The Sky,” and had no idea what in the hell Montrose was. (Coincidental side note: Montrose lead vocalist Sammy Hagar replaced David Lee Roth in Van Halen years later.)

And while everybody loves driving straight into the sunset with their lips wrapped around a burning twig, we were on a simple but specific mission: we just needed to get there in time to see the opening act.

Peter Schmidt wasn’t so lucky that night.

“I actually missed Van Halen’s set,” he says. “My brother and I got stuck in traffic on I-30, and their set had started at like seven o’clock. I think they only played for like 30 minutes.”

Like Schmidt, none of us really cared about Journey or Montrose, we just wanted to check out Van Halen, go hang out backstage and see what a real groupie might look like in real life.

We arrived at Will Rogers Auditorium and pulled into the parking lot, and I gave everybody the passes. None of us knew the proper protocol for what we were doing; we didn’t have actual tickets to the show, and didn’t realize that we were supposed to go through the front door like everybody else.

Our Levi’s jean-jacket gang headed straight to the backstage door, where we met by a security guard who was temporarily distracted by all of the lip gloss, boob jobs and miniskirts hovering nearby. The man could have easily been a stand-in for John Goodman in The Big Lebowski.

Our discussion went something like this:

Me: “I’ve got a backstage pass.”

Him: “Well, put it on then.”

Me: “Put it on? On what?”

Him: “You have to wear it.”

Me: “Wear it? What do you mean?”

Him: “You have to put it on or I can’t let you back there.”

Me: “Can you put it on for me? I’m not sure what you mean.”

Him: “No, just stick it on your shirt there underneath your jacket.”

That’s when he saw the 35mm camera that I was trying to smuggle in.

Him: “Is that a photo pass you’ve got there?”

Of course, I had no idea what a photo pass was.

Me: “Uh, yeah. The lead guitarist in Van Halen gave it to me.”

Him: “OK, whatever. Have a good time, you guys.”

We stuck our passes on our shirts and headed backstage. None of us had any idea where to go or what to do, but we then spied Van Halen making their way towards the stage. Eddie saw me and yelled out, “Hey! You made it!” and then strapped on his axe, which looked even older and more beat up than my own guitar. It only had one pick-up and a single volume knob, and it looked like the thing was being held together with black duct tape.

I remember thinking to myself, “Hey, if he doesn’t need a $10,000 1958 Gibson Les Paul to sound that good, then maybe I don’t either.” This guy was already my hero.

The auditorium, which holds about three thousand people, was less than a third filled at this point. This didn’t stop the band -- dressed in the exact same clothes they were wearing on the album cover -- from throwing down an amazing half-hour set.

As soon as they walked offstage, the party was on.

My friends and I wandered back towards the dressing rooms. A few of us helped ourselves to free beer and food from the catering line. This new feeling of privilege and entitlement gave us an overwhelming sense of confidence.

We then came across a line of guitars belonging to Ronnie Montrose. All of us each reached down and picked one up, like we were shopping at Guitar Center or some shit. About two minutes into our impromptu jam session, the road manager for Montrose walked in and caught us in the act.

Him: “WHAT IN HOLY FUCK ARE YOU PEOPLE DOING?”

Me: “Don’t worry, dude. It’s cool. We’ve got passes!”

Him: “GIVE ME THAT FUCKING GUITAR, YOU IDIOT!”

The mortified road manager looked closely at my pass, and then brought the wrecking ball down on my world.

Him: “Kid, that’s NOT even a REAL backstage pass. That’s a promotional sticker that says “Backstage Pass” on it. How old are you? And how did you people even get back here?”

My zit-pocked entourage were then promptly escorted out the backstage door by a pair of burly bouncers; past the John Goodman-lookin’ security guard, the groupies and properly credentialed stagehands and dope dealers; then rudely deposited right back into the now-crowded parking lot from whence we came.

Damn. What a fuckin’ buzzkill.

However misguided, maligned or defeated we might have felt at the time, Van Halen had inadvertently given us a brief insider’s glimpse into that last gasp of 70’s rock decadence. By the time Van Halen II came out a year or so later, most of us had moved on to the Sex Pistols, Killing Joke and Generation X.

Thirty years later, vinyl records are considered antiques; punk rock has been mainstreamed to death, and a reunited Van Halen is selling out arenas again.

Anybody got a Zig-Zag? -- Jeff Liles



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45 comments
kristen
kristen

Other break-out covers (wink): Tiffany - I Saw (Him) Standing TherePoison - Rock and Roll All NIght

Dinegirl1980
Dinegirl1980

Why does my friend have a stub for April 15, 1978, at 7:30 pm for Journey at the Music Hall in Houston, Texas? This was the Infinity tour and they were being backed up by Montrose and Van Halen! Please explain.

red kryps
red kryps

Those of us with the right kind of radios, ie, none were already into the Ramones and the Clash's first American album, Give em Enough Rope when mister Van Halen covered the Kinks. It was cool and all but clearly a retread of glam rock, which was also cool but getting a bit long in the tooth. Cheap Trick did "go big and go pop but still rock" better, and was about the only arena band worth seeing aside from Aerosmith that year. I distinctly recall hearing VH and thinking, "either these guys missed the boat, or that's a sinking ship I don't want to be on, guitar hero or not."

I wasn't ready to BE a punk yet, mind you, but when it came time to jam a cassette tape into our modified halfpipe-with-car-speakers-mounted-in-the-tiles, Beat On the Brat or Safe European Home seemed to do the trick a lot better.

vertical stripes
vertical stripes

To conclude, disagreeing with this particular short review to any degree is simply censorship, and that is general for both you and your misdefined 19th-century agenda.

Blake Wallace
Blake Wallace

I was at that concert. We arrived halfway thru Van's set and the place was going bonkers!

Gotta say all 3 bands tore it up that night

Valentine Bignell
Valentine Bignell

A display of perfection. This is appropriate as well as relevant.

Cabe Booth
Cabe Booth

hoooraaay i suck!it's more than a feelin' too!

Easterner
Easterner

Liles.....Where do you get off saying "Boston sucks"......You know what really sucks? The following is the beginning of the list of what really sucks:

Action Jaxson (The Beat), Alex Luke (KDGE), A-One (Slip Inn), Ari Asch (KNON), Ayo (The Edge), DJ Baby G (KNON), Bart Weiss (Video Bar), Bosco (KNON), Brett Dillon (The Range), DJ Burlap (Double Wide), Cabe Booth (KNON), Cat Simon (KVIL), Charlie Jones (KZEW), Charlie "Don't" Park (KNON), Chris Douridas (KERA), Chris Ryan (KEGL), Cindy Chaffin (FineLineLive.com), Cindy Scull (Z-Rock), Colleen Bradford (Buzzmonger), Craig "Niteman" Taylor (KNON), Cynthia Rose (Dallas Morning News/NME), Danny Hollenbeck (KNON), Darren Ryan (KNON), Dave Chaos (KNON), Debbie Sexxton (KEGL), DeMarkus Lewis, Dennis Gonzalez (KERA), DJ Easy Eddie D (KNON/Clearview), Ed Budinero (KJAZ), Eric Schwartz (KNON), DJ Frantic (Clever Monkeys), DJ Chicken George Baum (Lee Harvey's/Inwood Lounge), George Gimarc (KZEW), Go-Go Mike (Starck Club), Headkrack (The Beat)

Tex
Tex

Liles,

Sorry for the Confusion.... What I was saying about the "fisrt" VH show with Black Sabbath... I was meaning the first of the "two" shows that VH did with Black Sabbath.... The huge demand for tickets for a second show was all due to VH (and not Black Sabbath)....A few years later VH is doing 2 shows at Reunion, and Black Sabbath, doing only one show at DCC....

BTY, I'm not a former employee of any radio station.... I just loathe the way so-called respectable FM ROCK stations always cow-tow to whatever the Record companies want played, instead of playing only the coolest songs.... but FM didn't take long to simply become AM -- with the Hits and only the Hits....

Liles
Liles

Tex, the first Van Halen album may have had an official release date in February of 1978, but it didn't have a profile in Dallas until a month and a half later. "Runnin' With the Devil" wasn't released as a proper single until much later that summer.

The show with Black Sabbath wasn't their first show in the Metroplex; it was actually the third. As Alan pointed out here earlier, the band also played the Cotton Bowl at Texxas Jam that summer - well before the appearance with Black Sabbath.

I picked up on your veiled digs at KZEW. Ex-employee maybe? Former DJ at Q102?

Tex
Tex

Wow ! I don't know what to make of your timeline !!! Van Halen's first album was released in Feb. of 1978.... and not April of 1978, or at least that's what sources say. I first heard their debut LP at a friend's house.... After hearing the album, I though that all songs were great and exceptional, expect for the "commercial" songs RWTD and YRGM.... But those suits know better than I, and those are the tracks that the Zoo was playing most.... goood business partners that the Zoo was !!I remember well the Van halen record store appearance at Sound Warehouse on Lemmon Ave, the day of their first show with Black Sabbath, in Oct. 1978. What a crazy scene that was... there were hundreds of people for that singing appearance.

zoofan
zoofan

This is a great story..I remember that time period, out drinking at Lake Proctor, near Comanche,summertime..the Zoo introduced me to some great music, a long way out in the sticks, could barely get a signal.Good stuff Jeff.Thanks

Debbie Bateman
Debbie Bateman

Oh, by the by, a brief note to the "imitator": There is only one "Jeffrey Liles". I know, I know, you want to grow up to be just like him! Sorry for your luck...

Debbie Bateman
Debbie Bateman

1976 was the year I graduated high school. (Golly, thanks a million, Jeff, I feel "dated" now!) I am a total rocker by nature. For me to have even heard Stanley Clarke at that point it HAD to be by radio. Albeit by the FM underground, but still...yes, it got alot of airplay in the Bay Area.

Sander
Sander

I'm reaching, but Catherine Wheel's "Black Metallic" was about a month long.

Darin
Darin

Bob, you ARE going to hell simply for mentioning Music Box Dancer, not for seeing Sabbath with Ozzy in the way coked phase. Jeff, I will have to ponder that 5 minute question, in fact it's bugging me already. I can't think of anything after the corporatization of radio. I now have Music Box Dancer stuck in my head...thanks bob, nice work...

D

Liles
Liles

"School Days" came out in '76, which was 32 years ago. The title track was also eight minutes long, which means it probably didn't get that much airplay. Clarke probably reached more people as the music director on "Pee Wee's Playhouse" than on the radio. (I could be wrong about that, of course.)

Which brings up another question... when was the last time a song that was longer than six or seven minutes made it into heavy rotation on radio? Was it "Kashmir" or "Stairway to Heaven? "Bohemian Rhapsody"? In fact, make it five minutes. What was the last song longer than five minutes to make it to Numero Uno on the Billboard Singles chart? Anybody know off the top of your head?

Debbie Bateman
Debbie Bateman

Does Stanley Clarkes "School Days" album qualify?

SCgurl
SCgurl

Jeff, you always seemed so elusive to me when I was a young girl. I'm glad to see you & I really could have had plenty to discuss. I loved the Van Halen story. Keep downloading the contents of your brain. You've taken me away to a few dear and sweet places & I'm appreciative.

Tracey Holman
Tracey Holman

I worked at that Texas Jamm selling balloons, was tired and covered with spilled beer by the time VH came onstage. All I could think was how full of himself DL Roth was...but I was Who fan anyway, so maybe it doesn't count.

Liles (the real one)
Liles (the real one)

1) The above post wasn't me

2) I've never heard Orgy

3) Fart of Noise didn't make instrumental music; they used drum machines, sequencers, samplers and MIDI gear. They aren't instrumentalists, they were fucking programmers.

4) If you're gonna bite my name, please include the link to my web page.

Thanks.

Liles
Liles

"Blue Monday" was targeted for the dance/club audience and not the radio and orgy just sucks; therefore, this suggestion doesn't meet my vague requirements. By the way, "AoN" charted at numbers 31, 34, and 50 for "Kiss,"Paranoimia," and "Peter Gun," respectively.

Chicago Joe
Chicago Joe

Orgy covered Blue Monday by New Order as their first single.

Liles
Liles

M/A/R/R/S and Art of Noise were both targeted to a dance/club audience and not the radio. "Pump Up the Volume" may have found its way to radio because it had a sampled vocal hook, but I can't recall any AoN track that charted as an instrumental. (I could be wrong.)

I brought up the instrumental angle for one reason; on three different occasions while driving from Texas to California I happened to be listening to a classic rock station and heard Van Halen's "Eruption" as a preface to "You Really Got Me".

Can anybody think of any other solo instrumental that ever made it to rock radio? Led Zeppelin's "Moby Dick" might have racked up a few spins back in the mid-70's. I believe Elton John had a song from "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" that didn't have any vocals and might have made it to radio as well.

I think Boston (I know, yeech...) also had some instrumental thing that prefaced that "It's been such a long time..." song. God, did they ever suck.

shawn
shawn

Oh... and art of noise had some chart success.

Shawn
Shawn

What about M/A/R/R/S -- "pump up the volume"?

bob
bob

Music Box Dancer?

i saw VH open up for Black Sabbath in Houston 78'. They blew Sabbath away. I remember people protesting outside of Sam Houston Coliseum and holding up signs that said you were going to hell if you went inside to see Black Sabbath. I felt pretty safe though knowing that I was only there to see VH. But...I did see a lil' bit of Sabbaths set. i hope I will be OK.

Liles
Liles

There was also Herbie Hancock's "Rockit", as well.

I still don't think there has been an instrumental hit in the last twenty-five years or so. AWB was at least 30 years ago.

Darin R
Darin R

Pick Up the Pieces by Average White Band, I think that was after Frankenstein. Oh Jeez....I just thought of one, maybe two, and they are disgusting. AXEL's theme from Beverly Hills Cop, and the theme to Miami Vice by Jan Hammer...they were hit's, hell I think the Axel theme was a top 10..

Liles
Liles

Actually, I meant to frame that question in a manner which asks more specifically, "has any artist since Van Halen covered a song that was a previously charting single for another artist?" Marilyn Manson and the Talking Heads single would fall into that category. The Quiet Riot cover was of a song by Slade, who were pretty obscure and never had a hit in America.

Joplin and The Byrds both happened before Van Halen - back when artists like The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and Rolling Stones regularly covered other artists songs.

I did think of one other breakthrough cover single that happened after Van Halen - Sinead O'Connor's take on Prince's "No One Compares 2 U".

Here's another question that might stump you - what was the last mainstream radio record that was entirely instrumental? My guess is either Edgar Winter Group's "Frankenstein" or Billy Preston's "Outta Space".

Pete Freedman
Pete Freedman

Of the top of my head, Jeff: Janis Joplin's "Me and Bobby McGee" and, although not a true cover, Method Man and Mary J. Blige's "All I Need." I'm sure there are many others, though...

Darin R
Darin R

Brilliant work Jeff, Simply brilliant. The next time they came was at the Texxas Jam...I had no idea what was happening on the stage, I just knew it was great. I still have the red vinyl Looney Tunes Demo somewhere. In regard to another band that broke out with a cover hit, sadly...Quiet Riot's version of Slades "Cum on feel the noize"(sic), Black Crowes version of Otis Redding's Hard to handle, and maybe even The Byrds with Dylan's Tambourine Man, and also, from that era the 77/79 hazy days of Rondo energy drinks,Nugent Pinball and Smoking stones stolen from from 7-11...The Talking Heads version of "Take Me to The River"...That's all I can think of right now, I need more coffee. Great Post though, good times...No, I don't have a Zig-Zag I was a Club guy, they were ashless...

Darin
Darin

Brilliant work Jeff, Simply brilliant. The next time they came was at the Texxas Jam...I had no idea what was happening on the stage, I just knew it was great. I still have the red vinyl Looney Tunes Demo somewhere. In regard to another band that broke out with a cover hit, sadly...Quiet Riot's version of Slades "Cum on feel the noize"(sic), Black Crowes version of Otis Redding's Hard to handle, and maybe even The Byrds with Dylan's Tambourine Man, and also, from that era the 77/79 hazy days of Rondo energy drinks,Nugent Pinball and Smoking stones stolen from from 7-11...The Talking Heads version of "Take Me to The River"...That's all I can think of right now, I need more coffee. Great Post though, good times...No, I don't have a Zig-Zag I was a Club guy, they were ashless...

glo
glo

Excellent article. You made Khurk say "secretary rock".

Jefferson
Jefferson

Example of a good idea illustrated by Eddie Van Halen:

"If I just tap these strings on the neck like this....."

Example of a bad idea illustrated by Eddie Van Halen:

"I think I am gonna paint this guitar....."

-Jefferson

khurk
khurk

My god, Van Halen were the ultimate in live shows! i saw them in 1982, 1983 at the infamous Us Festival, and in 1984. I remember waiting for the next new album to come out so that i could hear what Eddie was up to. No one else sounded like him! I still feel let down that he never put out a solo album, and that they took Sammy Hagar as their replacement to David Lee Roth. Yes, its it was sad to see these hard rock innovators turn into soft secretary rock.... but i can still say to this day that these guys were the shit back in the day.

Jimmy
Jimmy

You're not the only one who thought that 45 was by someone whose first name was Van...I thought the same exact thing when I saw the box of singles on the counter at Disc Records at Town East. [We didn't get an in-store out here in Mesquihell, though.]

Alan Levy
Alan Levy

Hey El Jeffe!

I hadn't moved here yet, this was 2 months BL (before Levy). However, thanks to the ZOO, I won a ticket to their next metroplex appearance 2 1/2 months later. There they were on the BIG stage, sandwiched in between either Head East or Eddie Money before them and Journey after at the very first Texxxas Jam at the Cotton Bowl!

On a side note, by the time you saw 'em Montrose, the band, was long gone with Sammy Hagar having exited some 4 years prior in '74. This tour would've been Ronnie Montose kickin' it solo Beck-style in support of his Open Fire LP, which included a really great instrumental version of Gene Pitney's A Town Without Pity.

OK! I've officially given MYSELF tiredhead.

hammertimez
hammertimez

damnit, chate! you've lived twice the rock life we have. this is another gem!

Jeff Burgee
Jeff Burgee

I saw the reunion concert in 2007 and it was frankly my favorite night of the year! Even though my playing style has never been compared to Eddie Van Halen's, trust me it's in there! He's the whole reason I ever picked up a guitar.

Jeff Burgee
Jeff Burgee

I saw the reunion concert in 2007 and it was frankly my favorite night of the year! Even though my playing style has never been compared to Eddie Van Halen's, trust me it's in there! He's the whole reason I ever picked up a guitar.

ChrisU
ChrisU

...and yes, we really did have student smoking areas in public schools.

Dinegirl1980
Dinegirl1980

Why do I have a friend that has a stub for Journey dated April 15, 1978 for the Music Hall in Houston, Texas? That was there Infinity tour being baked up by Montrose and Van Halen! Please explain....

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