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  • 1984 - Van Halen"s Double Edged Sword (Part 2)..The Aftermath

    Van Halen and David Lee Roth or David Lee Roth and Van Halen parted ways in early 1985. In late 1984/early 1985 Noel Monk was terminated as Manager of Van Halen. Just about every Van Halen employee began to work for David Lee Roth including Van Halen's producer Ted Templeman. The only people that stayed on with Van Halen were Rudy Leiren(Eddie's Guitar Tech) and Donn Landee(Who was Eddie's assistant in the Studio).

    After the release of David Lee Roth's Crazy From The Heat EP, David Lee Roth's next career move was a make a Movie! The movie was going to also be called Crazy From The Heat. CBS folded before a single reel of footage was shot however, plenty of auditions were held the auditions were of members of the fairer sex. What was the Movie going to be about? It was going to be somewhere between an extended music and Cheech and Chong.

    Anyhow this never happened and Diamond Dave decided to go back to making music. First thing he needed to do was to assemble a band. David Lee Roth didn't do things in halves back then. The Band he assembled was put together to blow the doors off Van Halen. I have to say I admire Dave's attempt to do this! There is only one Eddie Van Halen and anyone playing guitar with DLR would be compared to Eddie Van Halen. However the first band member Dave hired was Billy Sheehan  who was the bass player of Talas. Dave asked Billy Sheehan who he should hire to play guitar and the orginal Guitar Player who was first offered the job was Yngwie Malmsteen!!...Yngwie Malmsteen turned the gig down as he was doing well in his own career then and continued to for over 30 years.

    The Guitar Player who was hired was Steve Vai who played with Frank Zappa and Alcatrazz. Gregg Bissonette was hired as Drummer and they began to write music and rehearse. The result of this was the album Eat Em And Smile. Eat Em And Smile is considered by many Van Halen fans as Van Halen's Seventh Album. The album is cross between Diver Down and 1984 in many ways.......world class musicianship with a mixture of original songs and cover songs.

    As for the tour to support Eat Em And Smile the stage shows and production was even bigger than what Van Halen did for the 1984 tour. More bang for the buck, more bounce for the ounce as quoted by David.Eat Em And Smile and the Supporting Tour were very successful and a good time was had by all at this point in time.

    Meanwhile...In the Van Halen Camp things were looking kind of grim. The band's singer had quit or was fired. Both Eddie and Alex were a total wreck with alcohol and drug misuse. However, there was good news ahead...Sammy Hagar was invited to Jam with Eddie and Alex in early '85 and he joined the band. This was a smart move by Eddie and Alex not just musically either. Sammy was level headed and didn't  simply rush in to join the band, he was somewhat concerned about Alex's drinking and Eddie's drinking and drug use. Sammy also knew both Eddie and Alex were practically flat broke. They were in bad shape financially. Although Sammy is considered by many to be a mediocre talent compared to David Lee Roth, He took charge of the band as David Lee Roth did when he was lead singer.


    Sammy helped both Eddie and Alex get back on their feet financially by bringing in his manager to manage the band. The album 5150 the first Sammy recorded with Van Halen was very successful, reaching No.1 on the Billboard Album Chart. It didn't sell as many as 1984 but it did very well. Why Can't This Be Love? is no Jump, Panama or Hot For Teacher but for self loathing individuals that have "That feel with no Girlfriend"......it is a Goldmine or Black Gold (OIL)!

    In 1982, Eddie was pretty vocal about Journey making Tear Jerking Pop Tunes to make a quick buck.

    Ok....Musically......Van Halen were still great after Dave left the band, but the actual songs are nothing less than cynical attempts to make a quick buck. Eddie and Alex couldn't care less as those cynical attempts were making a quick buck and getting them out of a hole. You can't deny the amazing musicianship on this album either, it led to the album being a classic in the arena of rock. I can't blame them in all honesty David Lee Roth had a larger than life persona and there simply was no replacing him. In the war of words that followed David Lee Roth leaving Van Halen and Sammy Joining......it was Eddie and Sammy who were more vocal. David Lee Roth took the high ground and remained the more mature of the two camps or tribes.

    Eddie would say things such as "We can do anything in this band now, we aren't limited anymore".......total nonsense. Dave would always be full of praise of Eddie's ability on guitar and Alex's skill as a drummer. As for Sammy........Dave once said in an interview from 1983 or 1984 "I can tell you why Sammy Hagar writes so many songs about his car.......I have seen his Wife!".

    They both had good career starts and the motions of success began to transpire.


    Denis J. McCarthy, EVHGROUP


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