Saturday, September 5, 2009


A busy two weeks, much of it spent recovering from the flu that effectively took me out last weekend and most of the previous week. The usual chills, weakness, aches and pains. No H1N1 swine flu virus. For that I needed to have chest pains and be vomiting. Better luck next time.

I checked an old website and found out they had posted a bunch of new bootleg recordings from the Sammy Hagar era, most from 1995, a couple from 1993, one from 1988. These are all recordings that are relatively "new" in that they are not listed on the Van Halen bootleg discography website. It was like I hit a gold mine because the 1995 Balance tour shows are some of my favorite. Unfortunately for the band it was a time of doubt (they were being eclipsed by bigger names of the time) and paranoia (Eddie was drinking again, and was very suspicious of Sammy, not unlike what happened to Diamond Dave just before his departure). But you can't tell from the music because they were still performing well as a team.

After spending the week gradually recovering my strength, I was ready for the Friday night show with a new recording that I had downloaded and burned only a few nights earlier. Van Halen at the Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls (Cleveland), Ohio on July 18, 1995. A very good audience recording of the entire live show. What was different about this show is that they really mixed up the set list, starting off with "Amsterdam" and flipping everything around from that point on. Songs traditionally performed at the end of the show were performed mid-show, some usually performed in the beginning were thrown in at the end. Made for a unusual but very enjoyable performance. Cuyahoga Falls partied that night!

Their petty deceits
Led by greed and arrogance
There are no heros

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