Sunday, May 11, 2008


11 PM found me standing outside in the cold with the truck stereo cranked, listening to Van Halen's "secret gig" on January 27, 1995 in Arnhem , Holland. This apparently was an impromptu show they were asked to do while promoting their newly released Balance album a few days earlier, shortly before their formal world tour. Although the song list was limited (a perfect length for a cigar!), the quality of the sound on this bootleg is excellent! Eddie's guitar work was unsurpassed!
The second half of the show began inside the house at midnight when I popped in a DVD and watched the boys play in Pensacola, Florida on March 11, 1995, the first "gig" on their world tour and a little over a month after the "secret gig" in Holland. The Van Halen Encyclopedia (VHE) says "Edward performs stone-cold sober as a recovering alcoholic for the first time in his career." And it showed with his inspirational guitar work. He was the star of this show, out performing everyone else on stage. What was different about this show was that he was largely stationary on stage, probably the result of the hip pain he was experiencing at the time. VHE says "All the years of jumping on stage had deteriorated his hips and the alcohol had only helped to cover up the pain." I could relate, considering my injured shoulder was aching throughout the show this evening. Quite was restored in the house around 1 AM when I went to bed with my arm still throbbing.

Performs flawlessly
Spotlit master's guitar plays
The strings to my heart

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