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Van Halen “Women and Children First” Dropped On This Day in 1980

This was Van Halen’s 3rd studio release and they were now firmly atop the arena rock scene. Recorded in only 2 weeks, this record got lots of airplay, but take some time today to drop the needle on a couple of tracks. “Everybody Wants Some!!” is a fav here at KnuckleBonz. The intro shows off Eddie Van Halen’s effects wizardry and subtlety before the entire band comes in at 1:09 with the opening riff. No better way to kick off a weekend. Also too, check out a somewhat unheralded track  that starts off Side 2, “Tora Tora.” The EVH effects mastery is on display again but there is a ominous heaviness to this song that is a little “Un-Halen-like”. Eddie plays an imposing trill that Tony Iommi would be proud of.

By this time Eddie’s playing is getting  wide praise across the music industry with Rolling Stone making Hendrix comparisons. Thankfully they state that Eddie Van Halen “is no clone” which any Van Halen fans knows he was not. Rolling Stone had a bad habit of hating on bands all of us dug. Glad they got this one right.

Drop the needle on this classic this weekend.

Rock Hard! KBonz

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Dive Bombing w/ Eddie Van Halen – The Speaker Bomb Effects Rig

If you were lucky enough to see the original Van Halen lineup of brothers Eddie Van Halen, Alex Van Halen, Michael Anthony and David Lee Roth, you will might will probably remember the dive boming EVH speaker and effect rig, complete wity the “speaker bomb”  looming stage left. I say “might”, will get to that in a second. This was the engine for Eddie’s early tone and effects. Here’s a shot of a faithful replica from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, “The Met”, from the EVH “PLay It Loud” Expo.

Visually this says everything about the creator Eddie Van Halen, an amazing edgy esthetic with the WWII era bomb casting that held some of Eddie’s effects. All built by the guitar virtuoso and “gadeteer genius” of EVH on basically no $budget, just like the original Frankenstrat guitar also pictured. This rig went out with the band on their first world tour in support of amazing acts like Montrose, Ted Nugent and Black Sabbath. We were lucky to see Van Halen open for Sabbath in Sept 1978 at the Baltimore Civic Center. The stage lighting had heavy spots and the full light rig was not in use for VAn Halen as an opening act, so did not ever really notice the black speaker bomb against the live dark stage backdrop. It was only later we saw it a Creem Magazine photo. All that went to show immediately got into a heated argument about if it was really there at our show and we somehow missed noticing it…ahh the good ole’ day.

There was not book that could teach Eddie how to achieve the sounds he had in his head…so he wrote his one.

Rock Hard Today! Kbonz

EVH Speaker Bomb Rig from The Met Museum in NYC