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Thread: REELZ Channel, "Breaking the Band" - Van Halen, June 17th, 10pm ET

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    REELZ Channel, "Breaking the Band" - Van Halen, June 17th, 10pm ET

    Saw promos for this yesterday. And in what should surprise absolutely no one, the only people who talked for the show were Sam and Mike.

    https://www.reelz.com/breaking-the-band/

    Van Halen
    At the height of their success they were the biggest rock band in the world infamous for their excess and raucous live performances. With their strutting frontmen, wild hair and penchant for spandex they are often portrayed as the archetypal 80's American rock band. The band went through two 'break ups' covered by our timeline owing to a variety of factors but most prominently conflicts over the Van Halen brother's desire for total control and the destructive impacts of substance/alcohol abuse. By 1984 they were the biggest band in the world but, behind the scenes, all was not well and a battle for control raged between the brothers at the heart of the band and itís lead singer, David Lee Roth. Years of touring, drugs and personality clashes had left them on the brink. When Rothís ambitions grew beyond the band, the brothers moved quickly to force him out. Their millions of fans were left devastated, but rising from the ashes the they would regroup with a new front man, Sammy Hagar. Against the odds they reached even greater heights with a string of 4 consecutive No.1 albums. Apparently vindicated by their decision the band appeared harmonious. But as the success grew, new tensions emerged and in 1995 the tale of ten years earlier was repeated when Hagar too was ousted for his apparent disloyalty.
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    Well at least Mike represents the majority of Van Halen's run up through 2004... Doubt anything that's hasn't been covered deeply here and in publicly available media about the band will come out of this documentary or whatever you'd call it.

    I'd have to assume Roth and the VH brothers must of signed off on the use of their images, video, and music... without any of their officially released material to back this up it would seem pretty boring story telling.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZahZoo View Post
    Well at least Mike represents the majority of Van Halen's run up through 2004... Doubt anything that's hasn't been covered deeply here and in publicly available media about the band will come out of this documentary or whatever you'd call it.

    I'd have to assume Roth and the VH brothers must of signed off on the use of their images, video, and music... without any of their officially released material to back this up it would seem pretty boring story telling.
    And not to throw a wet blanket on the Reelz thing, but what is that gonna tell us that we don't know already?


    I mean, if any of the past or present members want to go on the record and dish some NEW dirt on themselves or other band members...okay. I'd have an interest in that.

    I tend to doubt Mike is gonna have much to say of interest. The guy comes across to me since leaving the group as being fairly content with where he is at. Like, when that whole fracas involving the airbrushing out of Mike from the Van Halen 1 cover for that Van Halen online photo and replacing his image with that of Wolfgang went down, Mike made a couple of public remarks which I took to be a sort of bemused puzzlement: I tend to think for Mike Anthony that incident just reinforced that he is glad he no longer has to deal with the Van Halens and their bullshit, and the guy and Roth have encountered each other maybe a half dozen times since 1985?

    And Hagar hasn't stopped talking about the band since he was ejected in 1996, thus I tend to doubt Hagar has much to say on the subject that we haven't heard already from him.

    I'd guess that the Reelz thing might be of some interest to very casual fans of the band who don't know the minutiae.
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    Yeah, I'd assume it's gonna be a soft serving of the historical highlights of the first 2 eras of the band... not an in-depth docu-drama of all the sordid, vile soap-opera tales we've hashed/rehashed ad nausium on the internet fan sites over the last 2 decades. But here's a description from the official site... who knows..?

    About Breaking the Band
    Sold out tours, chart-topping hits, and runaway world domination can all mean nothing when you’re in a band on the brink of collapse. Tempers flare, arguments erupt and the sweet sound of musical success comes to an abrupt end. Breaking the Band shows the battling egos, power struggles and inter-band rivalries that split up The Beatles, The Supremes, Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, The Beach Boys, N.W.A, Van Halen and Sonny and Cher. From crippling drug addictions to scandalous affairs Breaking the Band uncovers the incredible true stories by recreating the key moments the cameras missed in addition to using rare band interviews and off-stage footage to piece together each dramatic tale.
    The "off-stage footage" sounds intriguing...

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    It's going to depend if former management (specifically Noel Monk) are interviewed. I know he ain't swinging at softballs...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    It's going to depend if former management (specifically Noel Monk) are interviewed. I know he ain't swinging at softballs...
    To be sure, Monk didn't sugarcoat his take on any of it, including what he thought were his own weaknesses as a manager.

    I'd be far more interested in hearing what Eddie Anderson, Pete Angelus and Rudy Lehren would have to say - if I'm interested in the backstage/behind the scenes stuff - than just about anybody else at this point. And I think that includes the people who were actually in the band, mostly because I've read more than enough at this point from the actual band members.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZahZoo View Post
    Yeah, I'd assume it's gonna be a soft serving of the historical highlights of the first 2 eras of the band... not an in-depth docu-drama of all the sordid, vile soap-opera tales we've hashed/rehashed ad nausium on the internet fan sites over the last 2 decades. But here's a description from the official site... who knows..?



    The "off-stage footage" sounds intriguing...

    Which...I mean, how long are these various Reelz specials going to be? An hour per band? Maybe 2? You're gonna have, as you said, the highlights.

    Offstage footage does sound intriguing to a point, although you can youtube a fair amount of offstage stuff from the CVH era (behind the scenes of the Jump video, home movies, international tv appearances, interviews, the staged US Festival 'backstage party') already - and have been able to so for at least a decade...

    And beyond all of that (again, as you mentioned), maybe the soap opera stuff might be of some interest to casual fans who weren't already aware of it. As for us around here, safe to say we know most of it. I suppose one never quite knows all of it. I'd be lying if I said there weren't more than a few things in Monk's book I wasn't aware of prior to reading it. I tend to doubt Reelz will have as nearly as many new tales to disclose as something like an insider's book would.

    If you guys check out the Reelz thing, I'll certainly be interested to get your take on if it is worth bothering with, since I'd definitely base my decision to watch it on what you thought. Short of it containing an abundance new information or previously unseen footage. I have no troubles passing on it. Much the same as I had no troubles passing on the Tokyo Dome album or the 2015 tour: the name Van Halen - even with Roth fronting - no longer has the contemporary allure that entices me to rush out and experience every single thing put out under that moniker. Sad to say in a way, but only mildly so.

    I mean, one can only be bummed out at the band breaking up over 30 years ago and wonder "what if" for so long, you know? At this stage of the game, I'm far more worried about eating healthy and taking care of myself than something as childishly arcane like wondering if David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen actually like each other.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZahZoo View Post
    The "off-stage footage" sounds intriguing...
    There is no way they've got something from the Roth era that we haven't already seen.

    This will merely be a cash grab piece of shit like the Early Years DVD.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    To be sure, Monk didn't sugarcoat his take on any of it, including what he thought were his own weaknesses as a manager.

    I'd be far more interested in hearing what Eddie Anderson, Pete Angelus and Rudy Lehren would have to say - if I'm interested in the backstage/behind the scenes stuff - than just about anybody else at this point. And I think that includes the people who were actually in the band, mostly because I've read more than enough at this point from the actual band members.
    You know. For not having any former road management experience Noel Monk did pretty damn well. He knew he had to have the secretaries and staff at corporate like him and the band and by treating the secretaries and clerks decent they returned the favor and pulled Van Halen's file and they were able to get out of the horrible contract they signed and could renegotiate as free agents. Noel got VH out of slavery. A typical arrogant manager wouldn't have been able to do it. Noel had street smarts and sometimes those rule over any other kind of smarts. It was the band members themselves who self-destructed. Egos, alcohol, and drugs. Simple as that. VH got high on their own supply can derailed the train.
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    I'm still reading Monk's book [ For whatever reason, it takes me a while to read these VH books. I dunno, it's probably VH fatigue at this point ]....

    The guacamole incident with Steve Perry is hilarious. EVH's homesickness and DLR's ego-driven dramatics are not surprising.

    So far, it appears to be a nice segue with Greg's book....


    Quote Originally Posted by Nitro Express View Post
    You know. For not having any former road management experience Noel Monk did pretty damn well. He knew he had to have the secretaries and staff at corporate like him and the band and by treating the secretaries and clerks decent they returned the favor and pulled Van Halen's file and they were able to get out of the horrible contract they signed and could renegotiate as free agents. Noel got VH out of slavery. A typical arrogant manager wouldn't have been able to do it. Noel had street smarts and sometimes those rule over any other kind of smarts. It was the band members themselves who self-destructed. Egos, alcohol, and drugs. Simple as that. VH got high on their own supply can derailed the train.

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    It's unfortunate Monk was never able to recapture the magic of another band after his forced VH departure. I'm sure he also had some burnout with plenty of money from his VH days to just move onto something else...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitro Express View Post
    You know. For not having any former road management experience Noel Monk did pretty damn well. He knew he had to have the secretaries and staff at corporate like him and the band and by treating the secretaries and clerks decent they returned the favor and pulled Van Halen's file and they were able to get out of the horrible contract they signed and could renegotiate as free agents. Noel got VH out of slavery. A typical arrogant manager wouldn't have been able to do it. Noel had street smarts and sometimes those rule over any other kind of smarts. It was the band members themselves who self-destructed. Egos, alcohol, and drugs. Simple as that. VH got high on their own supply can derailed the train.
    Monk actually did have some prior road managment experience. He was the road manager for the Sex Pistols US Tour in January 1978. Granted, that one only lasted about a week before the band imploded, but that wasn't Monk's fault.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitro Express View Post
    You know. For not having any former road management experience Noel Monk did pretty damn well. He knew he had to have the secretaries and staff at corporate like him and the band and by treating the secretaries and clerks decent they returned the favor and pulled Van Halen's file and they were able to get out of the horrible contract they signed and could renegotiate as free agents. Noel got VH out of slavery. A typical arrogant manager wouldn't have been able to do it. Noel had street smarts and sometimes those rule over any other kind of smarts. It was the band members themselves who self-destructed. Egos, alcohol, and drugs. Simple as that. VH got high on their own supply can derailed the train.
    I wouldn't disagree with any of what you said. My original point was only that Monk in the book pointed out that prior to working for Van Halen he didn't have an abundance of experience in band management - which obviously has a much broader scope than the responsibilities of a tour/road manager - and he made sure to inform the members of Van Halen about that when they approached him to be their manager.

    In retrospect, when taking into account the personalities involved - and adding liberal amounts of coke and booze into the mix - it's less surprising that CVH broke up only 7 years after their first album was released, but rather more surprising that they lasted together as long as they did. Monk as manager helped facilitate the conditions under which the band had their longest single period of sustained/prolific activity. The youth of the band and that drive for success were doubtless both factors, too.

    Contrast that with the level of productivity after Monk left the organization.

    I think by the time 1985 rolled around (and this is by no means an astute observation), the success of the group was such that the Van Halens no longer felt the need to endlessly repeat the album & tour cycle they had been on for virtually every year of their first 7 while under contract at Warner Brothers. And Roth was probably tiring of fighting with the Van Halens on the creative front. Apparently, the Van Halens AND Roth were tired of Mike Anthony getting an equal share while they carried the burden of the creative load. MUch the same with failure, sometimes success shows you a side of people you might not have seen otherwise. I think there probably was some truth to what Ed said about Dave getting a bit taken aback when the 1984 album was recorded at 5150, then the Van Halens wanted Monk to step aside so they could choose another manager. It wouldn't be hard to imagine that the level of control Dave had previously exercised appeared to be whittled away slightly. Add all of that to the Van Halens not wanting to tour for at least a year and then whipping out a bunch of substandard rock pop synth drivel at the initial 5150 rehearsal sessions, clearly none of that was what Roth thought suited the band the best.

    The very thing CVH had strived and worked so hard for, their success, ended up derailing them.

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    The only thing worth a shit was the 1984 footage from England or wherever. Just more proof this stuff is out there.
    Last edited by 78/84 guy; 07-06-2018 at 07:51 PM.
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