Saturday, August 2, 2008


Last Saturday I was scheduled to do a concert in the nearby field, only to learn that the truck battery was completely dead. Drained one too many times by my evening concerts. The wife followed me in the Honda, while I rolled the truck to pop the clutch, which it did with difficulty. Back to the house, leaving the truck running to recharge the battery. After 15 minutes I got impatient and started on my way to party. At the top of the hill I turned the motor off, wanting to see if it would start. It did not and away I went rolling down the hill in the darkness trying to pop the clutch, which it failed to do repeatedly. Towed it back to the house. On Sunday I bought an new battery and I'm now back in action.

Week nights were occasionally spent searching the net to find undiscovered VH nuggets , but to no avail. I picked up a few of the 2007/2008 tour shows, fairly good quality recordings, but too "new " to be playing during my weekend concerts. Like a fine red wine, they've got to age a bit. The days of easy downloading are gone.

Having spent week day evenings texturing/priming/painting the master bedroom walls, I was looking forward to relaxing with a Van Halen bootleg last night. This evening I decided to pair up the band with one of their contemporaries who were popular, Green Day. I wanted to compare the two and get a sense of why VH III was their last album and what may have drove them to throw in the towel. After a near 100 degree day, the evening was very warm, standing outdside stripped down to just my shorts and sandals.

Distant points of light
Suns whose warmth is never felt
Twinkle in his eye

Clock's hands move at birth
Begin to measure its time
Slows and then it stops

Feels hot to the touch
Strong wind blows out of the south
City lights the night sky

My concert of choice was their appearance at the Riverbend in Cincinnati, Ohio on July 21, 1998. I've been spoiled with the great quality of the recordings these last few weekends, so I was a little disappointed in the solid B quality of tonight's recording, although it seemed to improve with each sip of tequila. The notes for this concert in the Van Halen Encyclopedia say "Three people were stabbed outside the concert during the band's encore. By the time the encore was over the police and fire departments joined the helicopters in evacuating the victims and seeking the suspects who weren't caught (at least not that night)."
Band plays for decades
Singers stand beside Eddie
He's the glue that binds
The second half of this long evening was a concert by Green Day, held in Paris, France on February 3, 1998. Same year as Van Halen's III Tour. Great quality bootleg recording. It's hard to believe that only three guys can make so much loud music! Green Day is an American rock trio formed in 1987. High energy, the beat moving at a frantic pace, rarely slowing down, not unlike the punch felt in Van Halen's sound in the mid to late '70s. What they did lack was that unique guitar sound of Eddie's hand, who was a recognized maestro of that instrument. Billie Joe's loud and brash sound vs Eddie's miracle fingers. I can see why the youth of the day were turning away from the "old" sound of guys in their forties in favor of the power beat of guys in their twenties. The guitar solo was dead. This loss in popularity, coupled with the bickering, over blown egos, and Eddie's resurgent alcoholism condemned them in 1998. Green Day still puts out hit albums, Van Halen is limited to "reunion" tours.

Twenty something sound
Play their high octane music
Eddie they are not

Fast and furious
New pushes aside the old
Untamed energy

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very nice blog
I need a password to open the files