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Thread: Noel Monk book out 13th June

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    Mikes input was probably equal to his solo output
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    You guys are amazing, I cant even recall whatever I read in Circus and Guitar Player back in the days... thanks for the memories...Its always great to have a couple of drinks and read about VH. RNR! ....Oh! lol and I should mention I did not have time to read the book yet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by vandeleur View Post
    Mikes input was probably equal to his solo output
    I have never picked up an instrument in my life, so I know squat, but when Ed played, wouldn't Mike have wrote and played the bass lines while jamming? And if so, doesn't that count as writing, of course not to the same extent as Ed, but just the same?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Full Bug View Post
    I have never picked up an instrument in my life, so I know squat, but when Ed played, wouldn't Mike have wrote and played the bass lines while jamming? And if so, doesn't that count as writing, of course not to the same extent as Ed, but just the same?
    Only if you believe bass is an actual instrument , I was just chumming the water to get donniep to bite

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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckjitsu View Post
    I thought when Mike signed the paperwork circa '84, it was all inclusive, meaning he signed away his rights all the way back to VH I AND going forward from 1984. That's how I interpreted it in Monk's book. Is that not correct? As for him catching shit for not writing, it seemed like the understood dynamic was that Ed wrote all the music, in every era from Dave through Cherone. I just don't remember reading anything about Mike bringing riffs or ideas in on his own, being encouraged to do so, or what happened if/when he did bring in some ideas. Other than being Ed's brother, I'm not seeing what Al did to deserve a full cut either. In all that time, Mike never came up with an interesting bass line on his own by just jamming or goofing around? I get that the guy wasn't a virtuoso level talent like Ed, but he was a solid musician, so I find it hard to believe that he wasn't willing or capable to do something other than just wait for Ed to come up with a riff and just work off of that.

    That of course begs the question of "if he was capable and willing, then why didn't he bring ideas to the table then?" That's a fair question and I don't have an answer for that or what he did relative to writing. I just find it hard to believe that he wasn't at least capable of bringing something to the table other than a knife and fork.
    I'm sure Anthony must have had some ideas at some point.

    Like, did he come up with the RWTD bass intro? Sure, that is as basic as it comes in terms of technique, but whenever Mike played those 8 open low E notes live, the crowd went nuts. Did Mike come up with that intro, or did Ed tell him to do that? Who knows? What about the bass intro and the rest of the Push Comes To Shove track? Was that something Mike came up with, or did Ed tell him what to play? Or did Ed actually play the bass tracks on Fair Warning (as sometimes rumored)?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Full Bug View Post
    I have never picked up an instrument in my life, so I know squat, but when Ed played, wouldn't Mike have wrote and played the bass lines while jamming? And if so, doesn't that count as writing, of course not to the same extent as Ed, but just the same?
    I think if the scenario was that Ed was showing the band a tune that Ed first worked on alone, then showed the idea to Al and they jammed on it with just guitar and bass, and then Ed showed Mike the tune in the context of Ed, Al and Mike messing around and Mike just followed along with the tune...I wouldn't really consider that writing in terms of Mike coming up with the tune. I'd consider that Mike coming up with the bass parts to a tune that Ed had already written.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vandeleur View Post
    Only if you believe bass is an actual instrument , I was just chumming the water to get donniep to bite
    Mike was the house gimp of Van Halen. His purpose? To be abused. If it only has four strings, give it to the gimp. He plays open E notes quite well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Full Bug View Post
    I have never picked up an instrument in my life, so I know squat, but when Ed played, wouldn't Mike have wrote and played the bass lines while jamming? And if so, doesn't that count as writing, of course not to the same extent as Ed, but just the same?
    Well I'm sure you picked up your penis, which puts you on par with 80% of rock musicians...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    I think Mike probably was active on the arranging and tweaking in the CVH days. Far as the composing went, from what Ed and Mike both said in interviews at the time, Mike was basically more often than not free to play what he wanted to unless Ed had a specific bass line in mind.

    The whole WAS greater than the sum of its parts, to be sure. Doubtless, plenty of stuff came out of Ed and Al jamming. Keep in mind, though, that Ed was coming up with the bulk of the music (sometimes resultant from jamming with Al, or Al and Anthony, at which point Anthony would play as a reaction to what Ed was doing) and Dave was coming up with the lyrics and melodies. THAT is what I'm referring to when I say that Ed and Dave were the nucleus of the band far as composing went, not that Dave and Ed worked together, completed the music and melodies THEN told Al and Mike to add whatever they were doing to it.

    Far as credit given, for the majority of the CVH era the publishing royalties were an even split, so I tend to think Al and Mike were given enough credit where it counted (their bank accounts) at the time far as their contributions went.

    When I listen to the band, I'm always aware of all the instruments/voices. I'd agree 100% it took those four specific guys and their specific skill sets to make the band sound like it did. Seems like a self-evident thing to say - because it is in a sense - but when people were speculating about Billy Sheehan potentially replacing Anthony in 2005 and wouldn't that be a great band, I didn't share that opinion. Not as far as the CVH material went. I never listened to the material and thought "Van Halen would be so much greater if only they had a better bass player" or anything along those lines. Mostly because Eddie was doing so much guitar-wise the band didn't NEED some guy soloing Sheehan-style on the bass.

    I wouldn't necessarily put Alex Van Halen in my bullshit Top Ten Rock Drummers Of All Time list, but I really enjoyed what he did with Van Halen...and just like with Anthony, what Alex did just fit.
    I agree whole heartedly that the Sheehan idea would have been a terrible combo and I'm glad it never played out...

    Here's a perfect example of where I think Mike and Al's contribution to song writing is overlooked... Take Runnin With the Devil as one of the prime examples. Give it a good listen and isolate the vocals and Ed's simple guitar rhythm rift out and focus your ears on Mike and Al's parts. They aren't playing in reaction to Ed's guitar... Ed's actually layered on top of the tight rhythm section.

    Pay really close attention to the timing between Al's snare, Mike's bass note and Al's kick drum in that order... There's even a ghost note coming from Mike's picking hand that was captured in the original recording and the timing signature is pure Van Halen magic!! None of that magic comes from Ed or Dave. All of those key rhythmic elements and critical parts were "written", created and produced by each member.

    You can even hear those same elements in live recordings with Mike. It really stood out to me when I heard the band with Wolfgang on bass... Wolf sounds like every other guy "trying" to cover what sounds like a the simplest bass riff known to man... and missing the magic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZahZoo View Post
    I agree whole heartedly that the Sheehan idea would have been a terrible combo and I'm glad it never played out...

    Here's a perfect example of where I think Mike and Al's contribution to song writing is overlooked... Take Runnin With the Devil as one of the prime examples. Give it a good listen and isolate the vocals and Ed's simple guitar rhythm rift out and focus your ears on Mike and Al's parts. They aren't playing in reaction to Ed's guitar... Ed's actually layered on top of the tight rhythm section.

    Pay really close attention to the timing between Al's snare, Mike's bass note and Al's kick drum in that order... There's even a ghost note coming from Mike's picking hand that was captured in the original recording and the timing signature is pure Van Halen magic!! None of that magic comes from Ed or Dave. All of those key rhythmic elements and critical parts were "written", created and produced by each member.

    You can even hear those same elements in live recordings with Mike. It really stood out to me when I heard the band with Wolfgang on bass... Wolf sounds like every other guy "trying" to cover what sounds like a the simplest bass riff known to man... and missing the magic.
    The thing about RWTD, particularly on the record, is that the rhythm is...not quite lumbering, but sort of JUST barely behind the beat. It doesn't come across as right on the nuggets far as the timing goes, and that's part of the charm: it grooves.

    It is one of those tunes, especially where the drums and bass are concerned, that it is simple to the point where when I've heard other bands (bar bands, etc.) try to cover it...they inevitably play it right on the beat and overplay it. It's all too easy for others to overplay it, and the tune loses the swing it has. AC/DC, The Ramones and The Rolling Stones have a ton of tunes like that as well, where the timing is barely behind the beat and the tunes groove and swing when they do it, but playing a simple/straightforward rhythm that grooves is - in some ways - just as tough as a complicated display of technique.

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    So I guess my question is: What did Al do to retain his chunk of the earnings that Mike didn't do?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Va Beach VH Fan View Post
    So I guess my question is: What did Al do to retain his chunk of the earnings that Mike didn't do?
    Al was/is Eddie's brother. Simple as that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    Al was/is Eddie's brother. Simple as that.
    Wait, didn't Al first play the guitar?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Va Beach VH Fan View Post
    Wait, didn't Al first play the guitar?
    Al initially was the first one of the two brothers to play the guitar, and Eddie played the drums. The story is that Al had a paper route back then, and while Al was out delivering the newspapers, Eddie picked up Al's guitar and started playing it. Soon enough, Eddie demonstrated his ability with the instrument and Al switched over to drums.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Va Beach VH Fan View Post
    Wait, didn't Al first play the guitar?
    The REAL untold, secret history of Van Halen is that Al was actually the one who wrote all the music and played guitar on all the albums. Al would record live versions of the guitar work on albums, and when Van Halen played live, Eddie was just miming.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    The thing about RWTD, particularly on the record, is that the rhythm is...not quite lumbering, but sort of JUST barely behind the beat. It doesn't come across as right on the nuggets far as the timing goes, and that's part of the charm: it grooves.

    It is one of those tunes, especially where the drums and bass are concerned, that it is simple to the point where when I've heard other bands (bar bands, etc.) try to cover it...they inevitably play it right on the beat and overplay it. It's all too easy for others to overplay it, and the tune loses the swing it has. AC/DC, The Ramones and The Rolling Stones have a ton of tunes like that as well, where the timing is barely behind the beat and the tunes groove and swing when they do it, but playing a simple/straightforward rhythm that grooves is - in some ways - just as tough as a complicated display of technique.
    Exactly!!
    ;;;;;;
    It's the tension created in the timing signatures which gives great music what's referred to as a groove, soul, hook, etc... Also referred to as a back-beat. It's an attribute that rock inherited from blues and jazz. It's hard to learn and even more difficult to teach... Metronomes and classical musical training suck the air/life right out of a great groove. When I play guitar I focus my timing specifically on the kick and snare from the drummer and totally ignore the bass player. When you've got a great bass player hitting his timing marks inside the drum beat you can litterally feel the groove... but the timing anchor is the drums.

    ;It's not just the timings though... there's also the tonal frequencies between the various drums and bass notes plus the secret ingredient I call air or commonly known as silence between the beats/notes. You create mud if every space of the sound-scape is filled... there has to be gaps between the notes/beats which are more important than the noise itself.

    Most people assume Eddie's guitar is the root/foundation of VH's music with Al and Mike playing off of his guitar parts... That's an incorrect assumption. What makes Ed's guitar style sound so amazing is his playing on top of Al & Mike massive rhythm section. This is why Ed sounds totally out of place when he plays with other bands/musicians... like a fish out of water. Dave's vocal timing signatures also work best on top of Al/Mike rhythm section... also why a lot of other musicians had such a hard time working with Dave musically.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    The REAL untold, secret history of Van Halen is that Al was actually the one who wrote all the music and played guitar on all the albums. Al would record live versions of the guitar work on albums, and when Van Halen played live, Eddie was just miming.
    He also showed Mike how to play bass and told him what he wanted him to do....

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZahZoo View Post
    Exactly!!
    ;;;;;;
    It's the tension created in the timing signatures which gives great music what's referred to as a groove, soul, hook, etc... Also referred to as a back-beat. It's an attribute that rock inherited from blues and jazz. It's hard to learn and even more difficult to teach... Metronomes and classical musical training suck the air/life right out of a great groove. When I play guitar I focus my timing specifically on the kick and snare from the drummer and totally ignore the bass player. When you've got a great bass player hitting his timing marks inside the drum beat you can litterally feel the groove... but the timing anchor is the drums.

    ;It's not just the timings though... there's also the tonal frequencies between the various drums and bass notes plus the secret ingredient I call air or commonly known as silence between the beats/notes. You create mud if every space of the sound-scape is filled... there has to be gaps between the notes/beats which are more important than the noise itself.

    Most people assume Eddie's guitar is the root/foundation of VH's music with Al and Mike playing off of his guitar parts... That's an incorrect assumption. What makes Ed's guitar style sound so amazing is his playing on top of Al & Mike massive rhythm section. This is why Ed sounds totally out of place when he plays with other bands/musicians... like a fish out of water. Dave's vocal timing signatures also work best on top of Al/Mike rhythm section... also why a lot of other musicians had such a hard time working with Dave musically.
    Mmm...

    With Van Halen, I think the musical foundation of the band is the relationship between the guitar and the drums. Ed and Al playing with and off each other.

    On the record, I'd agree the tonal frequencies are a part of what made Van Halen work. But I think those tonal frequencies would be more specific to the instruments/equipment the band was playing/recording with than the technique. And obviously the band didn't use the exact same equipment they played during the recordings when they toured. I think I'd agree more with what you said regarding HOW Anthony and the Van Halens played the music, but I think even in that respect Anthony was following - or following along with - what the Van Halens were doing. Both Ed and Al said in interviews that when playing live they had mostly what each other were doing piped through their own individual stage monitors, largely to the exclusion of what Anthony and Roth were doing during performances.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    He also showed Mike how to play bass and told him what he wanted him to do....
    Another little-known fact is that Alex came up with ALL of those zany one-liners (sometimes known as 'Rothisms') that Dave would say during interviews. Al would type out answers to hypothetical questions Roth could expect during interviews and have Roth memorize what Al had typed out.

    Al was also the guy who taught those karate moves - the leaps, jumps, splits - to Dave. He also encouraged Dave to promote an image of being a cool, hip womanizer. Al even came up with Roth's stage name, 'David Lee Roth'. About the only aspect of Roth's celebrity Al DIDN'T contribute to was Roth's fashion sense and the clothes [Roth] wore.

    And that was how Hymie Lipschitz - a barely closeted/same sex advocate, 98 pound weakling from Beverly Hills - eventually transformed into David Lee Roth. It also explains the ass less leather chaps, the obsession with spandex and the lack of women who came forward later with tell-all books.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZahZoo View Post
    Dave's vocal timing signatures also work best on top of Al/Mike rhythm section... also why a lot of other musicians had such a hard time working with Dave musically.
    One of the reasons at least...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    Another little-known fact is that Alex came up with ALL of those zany one-liners (sometimes known as 'Rothisms') that Dave would say during interviews. Al would type out answers to hypothetical questions Roth could expect during interviews and have Roth memorize what Al had typed out.

    Al was also the guy who taught those karate moves - the leaps, jumps, splits - to Dave. He also encouraged Dave to promote an image of being a cool, hip womanizer. Al even came up with Roth's stage name, 'David Lee Roth'. About the only aspect of Roth's celebrity Al DIDN'T contribute to was Roth's fashion sense and the clothes [Roth] wore.

    And that was how Hymie Lipschitz - a barely closeted/same sex advocate, 98 pound weakling from Beverly Hills - eventually transformed into David Lee Roth. It also explains the ass less leather chaps, the obsession with spandex and the lack of women who came forward later with tell-all books.
    Ha! Ha! It was also Al who showed that fag Lipschitz how to drink real whiskey.

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    Well it was Sammy who turned Ed into a homo and that explains why Ed got another one (Gary Cherone) after his gay lover Sammy dumped him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seshmeister View Post
    One of the reasons at least...
    The only technical reason that was plausible... lol

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    I have yet to read Monks book, but I did read Greg Renoff's. Books from anybody (even band members) are just the one side of a multiple-sided story of a frame of time in a band. While it's nice to get some inside story's, most often the truth is in between the lines.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitro Express View Post
    Ha! Ha! It was also Al who showed that fag Lipschitz how to drink real whiskey.
    A little known fact: Hymie's Jack Daniel's bottle was always filled with Bartles & James non-alcoholic wine coolers. Lipschitz, light in the loafers as he was, tended to favor either Tab soda or Paul Lynde's Fabulous Fizzy Seltzer Water as his drink of choice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Igosplut View Post
    I have yet to read Monks book, but I did read Greg Renoff's. Books from anybody (even band members) are just the one side of a multiple-sided story of a frame of time in a band. While it's nice to get some inside story's, most often the truth is in between the lines.
    Between the lines of coke and lines of groupies.

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    Kindle version of the Monk book now priced at $1.99

    amazon.com/dp/B01HM27IEO

    I woulda preferred a hard copy and even had it on
    my wishlist but for two bucks I couldn't pass it up.
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