Sunday, February 15, 2009


After last nights excess, I decided to simply have a cigar outside late Saturday night. Well, if I'm going to stand outside in the cold for a half hour or more, might as well grab a CD to play in the truck's stereo for some entertainment.

Looking for a relatively short set list, I chose one of the early Van Halen concerts. They were one of two bands that performed at a dance party on June 13, 1975 at the Pasadena Hilton in California. They played a handful of cover tunes, songs by other artists adapted to their performance style. Dave was chatty with the audience, urging them to get on the dance floor and shake it. By his laughing tone, I would have to say that he was under the influence. Eddie was already a master of the guitar, his style easily turning the songs of others into the Van Halen sound. The recording closes with a) the band messing around in their hotel room, b) several minutes of Eddie alone warming up with the guitar and c) one last song played at the Pasadena Convention Center on May 29, 1976. Eddie's solo has him playing riffs that I've not heard before. You can also hear him working on the very beginning of "Somebody Get Me A Doctor".

The audio is listed as a "stereo soundboard recording" and was of excellent quality. I was pleasantly surprised at how good this recording was and enjoyed it immensely. If I were at the Hilton on that day in 1975, no urging from Dave would be needed to get me out there on the dance floor!

Here are a few classic Dave'isms off the recording:

"No sense trying to be high class and play nonsense shit, we'll do something you can relate to. At least you can dance man, and find out if that honey you've been looking at wants to look back at you. Ask her to dance. People get on up man, its good and healthy for ya. You sit around all night and you get hemorrhoids, you'll be in sad shape."

"Van Halen at the Hilton. I don't know if the two go together. Oh, it even said on the flyer no bluejeans. Didn't have anything to wear."

"Seems like we got difficulties, the equipment man. Everyone drinks too much beer before the gig, I think."

"What a place to have a party, huh? I think this is about the first time I've been in here. My friend Stanley used to deliver flowers here, and that's about as close as I've ever got."

Back in the hotel room on the 9th floor:
Dave: "I'm about ready to hit the sack."
Eddie (?): "Who's comin?"
Dave loses his room key a second time and dreads having to ask for another from the hotel.

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