Sunday, May 4, 2008


A couple of problems caused the cancellation of Friday nights Van Halen concert here in Parker. The first was when the CD player in the truck ceased operating, leaving the disc jammed inside. Then the failing DVD player inside the house refused to play any of the three new Van Halen concert videos I had recently acquired. The result of all this was that I finally decided to buy a new DVD player on Saturday, while Monday morning will find me hauling the truck into Quality Auto Sound to have the stereo repaired. An expensive bummer.

I used the stereo in our other vehicle to play Saturday night's concert warm-up act, listening to the excellent quality "Civic Disobedience" bootleg, recorded live at the Pasadena Convention Center on May 29, 1976. This was a time when Van Halen was a popular southern California band, but almost two years before they had released their first album, Van Halen I (February 10, 1978). Dave was chatty, the band unloading their fresh, hard rocking sound onto the California crowd. This A+ recording catches the band just before they exploded onto the national scene. Just imagine going surfing in the Pacific earlier that day, then attending their concert that evening!
Part two of tonight's show took place inside the house, popping the classic Van Halen show from the May 29, 1983 US Festival into the new DVD player. Van Halen was paid a record setting 1.5 million dollars to play before a crowd of over 300,000 people at this concert, located in Glen Helen Regional Park in San Bernardino, CA. The heavy drinking that went on backstage before their appearance was apparent in the show, so it wasn't one of their best performances at the time, although it's a great example that illustrates what rock-n-roll is all about. But the music was hot and their on-stage performance entertaining. I just love to watch Eddie's fingers make his guitar sing! It's fun to watch the concert knowing that they were at their prime, to reach new heights during next years 1984 tour, all of which was to come to an abrupt end with the departure of Dave in early 1985. Both this recording and the 1976 show above are a must have for any serious Van Halen fan!

Turns on the music
Tunes into Van Halen's past
Drops out of the world

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