Monday, April 7, 2008


The first day was spent skiing Aspen Highlands which had received a little fresh snow during the course of the week. I was in the first snow cat ride up that day, taking me part way up to Highland Bowl, summiting on foot after a climb of about 20 minutes. Clouds enveloped the peak, with rare glimpses of the nearby 14teeners. A good depth of wind blown powder had accumulated within the bowl for excellent skiing. Rather than be lost in the vast whitness of the snow and fog, I followed the rigdeline and then dropped down through the trees where the best pow was to be found.

A sudden snow storm moved in mid-afternoon, sending most people, including myself, back to town. I wandered the streets of Aspen, stopping in shops and taking in a movie ("Bank Job"). Van Halen's "Right Now" played in one ski gear shop, staying long enough to here it through to the end.

Look back up the slope
Tall black firs point to the sky
Frame the sun's halo

Drove out to where Hihghway 82 dead ends in snow below Independence Pass. Dinner was cooked on the truck tailgate, Progresso soup fortified with Raman Noodles. Tasty! That night I went back to 1984, August 25th and Rasunda Stadium in Stockholm, Sweden. The quality of the bootleg probably rates a good audience recording. What was noticeable was that the performance was sloppy and seemed to lack the spontaneity of earlier concerts. Not surprising considering this was their 107th concert that began in January of that year. After Sweden they play in Switzerland and then twice in Germany. Their last concert as Van Halen happened on September 2, 1984. That marked the end of David Lee Roth and Van Halen I. So the quality of the Stockholm performance was indicative of a band in decline, influenced by conflicts of personality and creativity that eventual led to Diamond Dave's departure. This parting led to Van Halen's successful reincarnation with the addition of Sammy Hagar. The quality of this particular performance also emphasized for me how damn good the music was with Sammy as lead singer. Rejuvenated, the Phoenix rose from the ashes!Ten long years running
Fast paced lifestyle takes its toll
Forgot how to sing

Swirling round and round
Last nights concert in his head
Halen hangover

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