Monday, February 25, 2008


Van Halen Hand- Signed Album"Diver Down" 1982Great Signature of the entire Van Halen Band: Eddie Van Halen and Alex Van Halen (in Blue Permanent Pen) & Michael Anthony and David Lee Roth (in Black Permanent Pen) The album cover displays the "diver down" flag. Roth said it was meant to imply that "there was something going on that's not apparent to your eyes."

Futile resistance
He submits to the craving
The party goes on

White hot obsession
Plunging deeper in its grip
Diver gone way down

Saturday, February 23, 2008


Roll back the clock a couple of months from the previous entry to find me standing before Van Halen with Diamond Dave live at a concert in Portland Oregon on December 1, 2007. When I first heard that DLR would be touring with VH for the first time in over 22 years, I JUMPED!at the opportunity to get tickets. Living in Denver, it also meant making arrangements to fly out to Oregon. No arm twisting there because of my love for that state and having friends there to visit and enjoy the show with.

I flew out several days in advance in order to do some skiing, late night dips in hot springs, grooving on the old growth forests, visiting the coast and spending some time with friends I had not seen in a while. All of this was meant to pump me up for the climax of the trip. Highlights include soaking in a pool of warm water along the frigid roaring McKenzie River in the Cascade Range. Cranking up the car rental stereo in the dripping forest to release VH music into the night while I swayed to their beat under the influence of a strong dose of tequila. Skied slopes of Mt. Bachelor for two days, finding fresh powder amongst the trees dumped by Pacific storms each night. Relaxed on the beach on the Oregon coast, enjoying the sight, sound and smell of endless lines of waves pounding the rocky shore.

D-Day, Saturday!! It had finally arrived! My friend Coston and I drove back to Portland with low, wet clouds of an approaching storm pursuing us. Snow on the Coast Range roads. Made it to Jeff's house about 1 where we hung out and relaxed, enjoying the very wet views outside. Had dinner at Amnesia Brewing. Took the light rail to the Rose Garden where the concert party began! Security was minimal and there was no fear of being searched too closely (for that 1/2 liter flask of tequila!) Ky-Mani Marley warmed up the crowd with a little reggae music. We had moved from our reserved seats to the very top/back of the concert hall so that we had the comfort of movement and dance! Then the climax of the trip happened when Van Halen took the stage! A thunderous roar filled the air! One classic tune after another. I was in heaven, the rock legends down there on the stage playing all the hits that I loved to listen to during my "parties on the Pass" ski weekends. I could not get enough of it.

The encore is over and the lights come back on. All those weeks of expectation are over. I felt elated by the event but totally deflated at the prospect that it was over. We made it back safely to Jeff's house, not remembering much of our journey as I was still wrapped in a golden haze of heavy guitar riffs and tequila.

An absolutely fabulous week!

The next morning while thumbing through the Sunday New York Times Sunday at Jeff's house there was a full page add for a couple new VH concerts in NJ and NY, tickets going on sale the next morning. I was once again ready to JUMP! but I checked their website Monday and noticed that they added a bunch of new shows in January through April, including a stop in Denver!! I was going again in February! The guitar riffs are still rolling around inside my head!

The lesson learned is to not stand on the beach looking out at those monster waves. Grab your surfboard, get out into it and ride the thrilling crest of that wave called life. You will never regret it.

Summer has fallen
Large brown leaves mat the wet ground
Dark forest dripping

There for a moment
Listens to the river sing
Its unceasing song

Eddie's guitar wails
The sound drifts amongst the trees
He rocks the forest

Car stereo cranked
Tequila flows through his veins
Stands before the stage

The faithful gather
Darkened cathedral spotlit
High priests take the stage

The boys take the stage
I've died and gone to heaven
Looked for their halos

Legends ply their gifts
Their rock fueled euphoria
Eighty proof booster

Caress the steel strings
Electric vibe fills the air
Amps power the soul

Expectations climb
The thunderous crescendo
Only way but down

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


I had the pleasure of seeing Van Halen LIVE at the Pepsi Center here in Denver, Colorado. Friday night, February 1, 2008. This followed weeks of mounting expectation, pumped up even higher by my "parties on the pass" during which time I'd park the truck on some back road in the mountains the night before skiing, crank up the truck stereo and play Van Halen bootleg CDs while having a cigar and drinking copious amounts of tequila. The CDs were the time machine portal, the tequila pushing me through it to a different place and time. I could swear I stood before the stage with the boys in Osaka, Dallas, Charlotte or Pasadena.

What word's can describe the events and emotions of that night? None can do it adequately. All I can do is capture small bits of the experience in the form of haiku, very simple three line Japanese poetry (5-7-5 syllables).

Rock on!

Bar room party rocks!
Loud band plays for beers and babes
Look, it's Van Halen!

The loud throbbing beat
Plays to our primal instincts
The cave man exposed

Musical whirlpool
Drawn in by the guitar riffs
He's lost all control

Eddie's fingers fly
Throws mind-melting guitar riffs
Crowd catches on fire

The first guitar riffs
Amplifiers charge the air
Sparks the crowds thunder

Music fills his head
Breath smells of strong tequila
Dances in the aisle

Play their siren song
He's the band's willing captive
Wants a life sentence

Electric guitar
Eddie's hand is just a blur
Charges up the crowd

It's pure ecstasy
A drug taken through the ears
Needs another hit

Loud infectious beat
Their music sets him on fire
Liquor fuels the flame

Eddies guitar wails
Strikes an emotional chord
Brings hot tears of joy

Concert has long ended
But the music has not stopped
Playing in his head

Walter's inferno
Intense heat, blinding white light
Flickers out and dies

The bright lights came on
But he saw only darkness
Van Halen was gone

Soars with the music
But it ends and lights come on
He falls back to Earth