Monday, May 25, 2009


A busy Saturday, getting serious about the house siding project. Rebuilt the deck off the TV room, getting rid of the ancient stained redwood and replacing it with a recycled plastic/wood product. Very nice. A cool wet day that slowed the pace that I could work on the house. Went with the family to see the new Star Trek movie in the early evening. Considering we went to see Terminator Salvation the night before, I've been to the theater in one weekend the same number of times I probably went all of last year.

After the movie I decided to listen to some music in the darkness outside the house. Cool wet evening, cool enough that after nearly two hours standing outside I had to switch to a down jacket. The show of choice was Van Halen at Jones Beach Theater, in Wantagh, NY on August 23, 1995. An obvious audience recording, B quality, but still enjoyable, especially considering it was a familiar location, having gone swimming there often as a child. Sound gets a little "wobbly" in spots, apparently due to the wind that kicked up this evening, as noted by Sammy several times. This was the second night of three they played at this location. A classic Balance tour show, just wish the quality were a little better.

The following was from an unpublished book allegedly written by Sammy, explaining where the band was shortly before the break up the following year:

As the "Balance" bandwagon headed into the fall, Van Halen was on course to perform more dates during one single tour, than they'd ever done in their entire career. The wear and tear on the musicians was starting to show. Alex still wore the neck brace to protect his fragile neck. Eddie was limping around with a cane and taking pain killers for his aching leg. His battle to control his liquor intake was also unsuccessful, according to Hagar. For maybe half the tour, the guitarist imbibed heavily, despite his constant denials that drinking was a thing of the past for him. Unfortunately, after years of sobriety, brother Al also began to partake in alcoholic beverages. He was separated from his wife and, despite his attempts at reconciliation, his marriage was falling apart. The marital discord was devastating him, and periodic doses of booze were his way of coping with the grief. "Listen," Sammy chided, "Eddie really became a horrible person when he tried to quit drinking. Throughout the tour, he was constantly battling his addiction. Every time Eddie got drunk, he ended up hating himself. The guy was one miserable bastard to be around,because the more he drank, the worse his guilty conscious got to him.Often after shows, Ed would walk straight off the stage into a waiting limousine. He wouldn't change his clothes, shower or even eat any food. For some reason, all the cat wanted to do was head back to his hotel room and be by himself. Eddie did drugs too, but I'm not going to sit here and make him out to be a drug addict. Within a year or two after I joined the band, he started cleaning that up a lot. He just became a closet user,like myself. I don't smoke dope religiously, but I do light up three or four times a year. I'll do cocaine three or four times a year as well. I'm not saying Eddie was that sparse with it, but his main problem was alcohol. When he would drink, his emotions would swing wildly. He would cry and almost have breakdowns. I don't want to say he necessarily had them, but you would certainly assume that it was going to happen if he didn't get his shit together. He had extremely bad mood swings and used to get in a lot of trouble, as we well know, with chicks and all that other shit.

Stage on Fire Island
Feels the sand between his toes
Ocean surf breaking

They know the answer
To the question they don't know
Chanting for Eddie

Tomorrows promise
Knows nothing lasts forever
He just wants it now

Calling the faithful
Travels to a holy land
Gods up on the stage

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