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Thread: Eruption in the Canyon

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    Eruption in the Canyon

    https://www.billboard.com/articles/c...e-bennett-book

    Filmmaker Andrew Bennett Talks Eddie Van Halen Pointing a Gun at Him & Other Stories From 'Eruption in the Canyon' Chronicle

    5/12/2020 by Danielle Bacher


    Eddie haunted by a fat mediocre ghost June 22, 2004




    On a spring night in 2004, Andrew Bennett was awakened by his cellphone at 3:00 a.m. “It’s Ed,” said the man on the other end of the call.

    “Ed who?” Asked Bennett.

    “Eddie...Van...Halen,” came the reply. “What are you doing right now?”

    “Oh nothing,” said Bennett. As he recalls 16 years later, “I didn’t think telling a rock star I was dead asleep was the coolest thing to say.”

    Van Halen insisted that Bennett, who was 27 at the time and a respected music video director and filmmaker, make the 30-minute drive to 5150, the music studio he had built on a hill behind his house in Los Angeles’ Coldwater Canyon neighborhood.

    When Bennett arrived, he encountered not Van Halen but songwriter and producer Glen Ballard. Bennett and Ballard had become fast friends when both men accompanied Katy Perry on a globetrotting series of intimate showcase performances in 2003 and 2004. Bennett, who had worked with Perry Farrell, the Jonas Brothers and Deftones, documented the trip.

    Ballard hugged Bennett and patted him on the back. “Good luck, man,” he said, before slipping out the door the filmmaker had just entered.

    Eddie Van Halen appeared a few minutes later, his face gaunt, his long hair done up in a Samurai-style topknot. Shirtless, he wore ripped jeans held up by a makeshift belt of rope and duct-taped combat boots. “When I saw him, I thought, something is going on with this dude,” says Bennett. “Then he started playing guitar and I was almost convinced he's an alien.”

    As the night progressed, Bennett learned that Van Halen wanted his life story documented, and Ballard had recommended him as the man for the job. The guitar god didn’t say as much, but mortality may have been on his mind. After having a cancerous section of his tongue removed in 2000, Van Halen had been declared free of the disease in 2002. It has since been reported, however, that he is battling throat cancer -- although a spokesman for Van Halen declined to comment and Eddie could not be reached.

    After swigging from a bottle of wine with Van Halen, Bennett accepted the job, beginning a wild rock ‘n’ roll ride ― replete with firearms, countless bottles of six-dollar Smoking Loon Cabernet Sauvignon, and a legal skirmish. The experience resulted not in a documentary but a photo book, Eruption in the Canyon: 212 Days & Nights With the Genius of Eddie Van Halen, the book, self-published by Bennett, chronicles the two weeks he spent filming the guitar virtuoso in 2004, and then living with him from 2006 to 2007.

    During that time, the visual artist says he witnessed the best and the worst of Van Halen’s moods -- the guitarist’s unflagging dedication to his art, the sometimes volatile rehearsals for his band’s 2007 reunion tour and, Bennett says, a terrifying half hour during which Eddie held a gun to the filmmaker's head because of a meeting Bennett had taken with then-Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth.




    Despite the unprecedented access that Van Halen gave Bennett, their collaboration ended in litigation. Bennett says he never received the full payment of $248,500 that Eddie promised him for his work. When Andrew released some of the footage online in 2018, Van Halen successfully filed for an injunction to halt the release and sale of the footage. claiming that he owned the rights to the documentary, per a 2015 agreement. The injunction halted the release and sale of the footage.

    “I’m more confused, disappointed and hurt than angry,” says Bennett. “Ed gave me his word. He saw how hard I worked and then he f--ked me over. That’s what shocks me. That’s not the person I know. The depression from it is what kills me the most.”

    Although Bennett says that he was paid $7,500 per the settlement agreement, he also says that neither he nor Van Halen signed the document. “Technically, there is no settlement contract,” claims Bennett. “I hadn’t heard from Ed in eight years. He ghosted me. Then he finds out I’m about to get out of rehab and that’s when the offer comes. I never understood why it was $7,500. It was chump change. He probably thought I was desperate and he could get me when I’m most vulnerable. I took the money, but he owed me way more.”

    In the wake of the publication of Eruption in the Canyon, Bennett talked to Billboard about Van Halen’s perfectionism and what he came to call his many “DEFCON” experiences living with the mercurial guitarist, among them, a scuffle with his brother and the band’s drummer Alex Van Halen that trashed the latter’s Porsche; Eddie’s fraught relationships with Sammy Hagar, Michael Anthony and Roth; and that much-publicized dust-up with Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst.

    Did you and Eddie have an instant chemistry when you met?

    He came out and smiled at me. Eddie Van Halen has a smile that can bring us world peace. His smile might cure coronavirus.

    All he said was, “So you’re Andrew Bennett.” I didn’t know what to say, so I said, “So you’re Eddie Van Halen.” He said, “The last time I checked.” He grabbed a bottle of wine and I asked him, “Where do I grab a glass?” He took a pull out of the bottle and said, “Glass? It comes in a glass.” So, we’re just sitting there across from each other handing the wine back-and-forth and one of the first things he asked was, “Are you a fan of my band?” I said, “Well, I don’t really have an opinion. I don’t really know anything about your band.”

    His eyes lit up. He goes, “You know nothing about my band?” I told him that I knew the song “Jump” because it came out when I was 7, and “Right Now” because it was in a Pepsi commercial in the ‘90s. The look on his face -- I don’t think he had met anyone in 30 years who didn’t know who he was or couldn’t name at least five Van Halen songs. He took a swig of the bottle, leaned forward and said, “Andrew, we’re going to get along just fine.”

    Did seeing this wealthy rock star behaving like a punk rocker surprise you?

    I didn’t expect him to come out looking like David Lee Roth in sequins and a boa, but I also didn’t expect someone who looked like Gollum from Lord of the Rings dressed like a 1930s hobo.

    Was his “I give zero f--ks” attitude real?

    Eddie Van Halen doesn’t try to impress anyone. He genuinely doesn’t give a f--k what you think, which is the punk rock side of him. During the time I spent with him, his main house had no furniture, no TV, no fruit array in the kitchen -- nothing. He spends 18 to 20 hours a day in the studio. Then he would go back to his house, crash on a mattress, wake up four hours later, light a cigarette and walk back up to the studio in a coonskin hat and no shirt. Sometimes it was the cocaine, but Eddie has such a passion for having his guitar on and plugged into his rig that sleep seems like something he has to do.

    The closest thing he had to a nice car was a Chevy Bel Air that looked like it had been restored. I asked him, “Do you ever drive that car?” He goes, “Oh no, man. I hate driving that car.” “Why do you have it?” I said. He goes, “Because [his ex-wife] Valerie [Bertinelli] didn’t want me to get it.” He goes, “He goes, look at the plate.” It read: “She’s Mad.”

    What was it like living with and filming Eddie for a year?

    First and foremost is his work ethic. He believes there is no room for complacency. He has recorded hundreds of songs that he won’t release because Eddie doesn’t think they are perfect. Van Halen would be rehearsing and somebody would say, “Let’s move on. That’s good enough,” and you’d see this look in Eddie’s eye like you had just insulted his mother. He hates the term, “Good enough.” Eddie goes to bed listening to all his rehearsals to make himself better. Some nights he would play the cello for hours to relax and help him go to sleep.

    Did you ever see him get to a point where he felt he’d perfected a song?

    I can’t think of a single day after they jammed a song where Eddie thought, “F--k, that was great.” To Ed, it was more like, "What’s next?" Ed loves practicing like he’s at a live show. There’s no dead time, just 18 [consecutive] songs.



    What was the purpose of filming him in 2004, and why did he call you two years later to film him again?

    Van Halen was recording three new songs with Sammy Hagar for their greatest hits album Best of Both Worlds in 2004. Eddie said, “I wish there was someone here to document how hard I work.” That’s when Glen said, “Hey man, I know a guy.”

    I documented a couple weeks up there, sometimes with Eddie and Glen or just alone with Eddie. Sammy would pop in and do his vocals. Glen suggested that I take the footage I filmed and edit it together for their song “It’s About Time.” So I did. Glen threw me a ridiculous amount of money for it. Then they went on tour, and I went off and directed music videos.

    Ed randomly called me up again in 2006. I was surprised. He goes, “Hey, Andrew. I kicked the f--king bass player [Michael Anthony] out of my band, and I’m replacing him with my kid [Wolfgang]. You should come up here and document this.” I asked him, “Are we making a film? Am I going to be asking you intermittent questions as we go along here?” He said, “Nope. We’re documenting this so people see how f--king hard I work.” And that’s exactly what we did.

    Were you planning to make a documentary of Van Halen?

    There was never a discussion of a documentary at first. I was at my desk at 5150 and Ed comes in saying, “You have been here a long time. I have never paid you. You know, we need to work something out, man.” He asks, “What do you want?” I told him that I wanted to document their 2007 Van Halen tour in a few weeks and turn it into a documentary, just like I did with the Deftones. Ed responded, “In order for that to happen, everyone in Van Halen has to agree on something. You know the odds of that, right?”

    Then he said, “I’ll tell you what: If you don’t end up going on the tour, I will pay you for all of your time.” We agreed on $248,500 based on my day rate and the amount of days and time I spent there. Then he goes, “But are sure you don’t want a car or guitar or something?” I should have taken a f--king guitar. I understand the rest of the world would ask why I didn’t get a contract, but that wasn’t our relationship. I trusted him.

    You write in your book that Eddie was often isolated and subject to mood swings. What would set him off, and how did he rein in his emotions?

    The bad moods would come when dealing with singers. Like in ’04, he did not like dealing with Sammy Hager. It goes back to work ethic. With the bass player Michael Anthony, and with Sammy, he would tell me, “They just phone it in.” He didn’t feel they worked as hard as him. Ed would play in the studio for 12 hours. They wouldn’t. He would go real dark because he took it personally. He would say, “Why aren’t you guys as committed as I am?” He felt that they weren’t showing him enough respect. He’d tell them, “You would all be working in an assembly line if you hadn’t met me.”

    He’s highly aware that he has this card he can pull: that he’s the greatest who’s ever played, so you can all shut the f--k up now. People would see Eddie and stop dead in their tracks. They would be unable to speak — some would even have a little trouble breathing. It was like they were seeing an apparition. If you are on the receiving side of that, I think it f--ks with your [head] when you don’t have many friends. Over the years, your brain is going to start to get wired differently when you can’t have real relationships with people. There’s a mad genius thing there, and you have to take the good with the bad.


    You shot a clip of Eddie that I’ve seen called “Three Minutes of Darkness” in which Eddie fights back tears while really laying in to Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony. Why was he so frustrated?

    That was the night where I understood Eddie Van Halen. Again, it goes back to [Sammy and Michael] phoning it in.

    I hate to throw somebody under the bus, but it was ’04 and they were working on new songs for their greatest hits compilation and were about to go on tour. Sammy Hagar would sit on a stool, sing the song and then want to leave. When Eddie was laying down his guitar parts, Sammy would go outside, make phone calls. It was like, "Dude, are you a part of this band?"

    That’s when Eddie was really losing respect for him. To be brutal, Ed saw Sammy as a lazy motherf--ker who won the lottery. He thought all he cared about was his [Cabo Wabo] tequila company. One night, Sammy and I were standing outside talking while the camera was rolling. Ed came storming out and Sammy goes, “Hey, hey, Ed, where are you going?” Ed goes, “I’m done. It’s time for you to sing, b--ch.”

    What happened next?

    Ed stayed [at 5150] for another six hours working with Glen. Later, I found him standing in the kitchen. He was drinking a bottle of wine, and he was really upset. I said, “Hey man, if you want to get something off your chest, I have a camera.” The first thing he did was bury his face into his hands. “You make somebody a f--king multimillionaire. This is how they repay you? I’ve f--king had it,” he says. “There is only one reason you guys are here: money. I spend 14 to 18 hours a godd--n day in that f--king room and what do they do? They go home to their families, they have dinner, they don’t practice.”

    Eddie’s beef was that Michael Anthony had never played bass on any Van Halen record except the first. [The other albums are] all Eddie. Michael Anthony made his money playing on tour. He was holding out for a bigger cut. Eddie didn’t feel he deserved it. Eddie saw Michael as a hired hand and not a member of the band. He also hated Michael Anthony’s work ethic. He didn’t think he was a great bass player, and he didn’t think he could write a song to save his life. When Mike held out for more money it was the ultimate insult. He felt these motherf--kers can’t even hang out for four hours and play.

    “You will have no life after this,” Ed said on the tape. “You might have tequila, you might have watches, Mike. But music?" He held up his middle finger to the camera and said, “You’re not a musician. F--k you.”

    Eddie has talked about using cocaine, but in the book you never mention him using it. Why?

    I’ve only seen Eddie drink 2006 Smoking Loon Cabernet. It’s six dollars a bottle. The guy has hundreds of millions of dollars but that’s the wine. I asked him once why he buys the cheap stuff. He goes, “Because I like it.” I’m not saying this just to be nice. I never saw him do drugs.

    But earlier in this conversation you alluded to being aware that he was using it.

    I’m five years sober. I know what somebody looks like when they’re on cocaine. He would get a little more hyper. I know from his personality that it wasn’t just red wine. He had a lot of energy and he would be really amped up, especially for a guy who just had three bottles of red wine, which he had every night. He would never do cocaine in front of me, and he never did anything in the studio. The studio was for work, not for play. Ed’s assistant Matt Bruck told me that there was a seedy guy who procured cocaine for Ed. He would sleep on the couch in the studio until Ed needed more blow. But he left before I started there.

    It was my understanding that Ed went to rehab for alcohol, but based on my own history, I don’t believe that. I know what the combination looks like. Alcohol was the clear problem, though. That man was a rock-bottom alcoholic, and I speak as one. I never saw Ed without a bottle of wine until he went to rehab. He would carry it with him everywhere. If he drove somewhere, it would be between his legs. But even when he was drinking, it didn’t affect his musicianship. The man shredded and he would still be a perfectionist. He was a happy drunk. When he was drinking wine, he was in a good mood. It was just part of his routine.

    What was the dynamic between Eddie and David Lee Roth when they decided to reunite?

    At first it was weird. Onstage they can do their little thing, lean their backs against each other. Eddie is just happy to be standing there playing. The issue is that Roth’s personality onstage is the same personality offstage and sometimes Ed just wants him to shut the f--k up. My understanding is that on the [reunion] tour they set up the dressing rooms so they didn’t have to actually share space together. The only time they saw each other was onstage.


    What was Eddie’s take on David and his brother Alex?

    He kind of writes Dave off as well. He’s a singer. To Eddie, singers are almost irrelevant. They’re just there because that’s an ingredient in a rock band. If it were up to Eddie, they’d go out with no singer. He doesn’t give a s--t about your lyrics. With Dave, it’s like having this eclectic friend that can annoy the s--t out of you but you love him. Dave can go onstage and turn it on, so to Eddie, having Dave in the studio wasn’t that important when they weren’t recording new songs. As long as he shows up for the concert, does his kicks and routine on stage, he has no problem.

    With his brother, 90% of the time they would get along. They have a strong bond. Sometimes Alex would yell, “F--k you,” and Ed would yell back. If this was happening, I’d text DEFCON to Ed’s assistant. It meant that wherever you are, stay there. Don’t let them see you because they will drag you into the fight. They would scream and slam doors. Then it was over and nobody talked about it. Alex really has respect for Eddie.

    Didn’t Alex and Eddie get into a big fight that involved Alex’s car?

    That DEFCON I saw coming. I sat in the woods and smoked a joint while I watched it all go down. Ed and Alex got into an argument , and Alex comes walking out of the studio. Ed has this thing about people turning their back on him. Alex did. Al got in his car, but Ed always likes the last word. He got in front of Al’s car screaming, “You don’t turn your back on me!” Ed jumped on the hood of the car and held onto the windshield while he was punching the driver side window and shattered it. Then he stuck his hand inside his brother’s mouth and launched his own body off the car while pulling his brother’s head with him.

    The car stalled, Eddie rolled onto the cement, and he jumped up real quick, jumped inside the Porsche, grabbed the keys and threw them into the woods. That’s when he goes, “I made you, motherf--ker. Don’t you ever turn your back on me!” It was the only time I heard Eddie say that to his brother. Ed walked back down to his house, and I came out of hiding. Al smiled at me. I said, “So, you need a ride home?” He goes, “No man, I’ll get it taken care of.” When you’re rich like that, fame helps. A Porsche rep brought Alex another car and picked up the [damaged one]. He never found the keys.

    Wolfgang Van Halen was just 15 when Eddie fired Michael Anthony and made his son the band’s bassist. What was the father-son dynamic like?

    I’ve never seen Eddie that happy. It was his style to be like, "You are a member of Van Halen, so live up to it." Wolfgang was expected to be at every rehearsal from beginning to end. If he f--ked up, Ed would tell him. Eddie talked to him like a band member. Eddie would die for Wolfgang. He would kill for him. But he also loves his guitars. So, when he could bring those two together, that made him really happy.

    What was it like to watch them play?

    There were a lot of days where Wolfgang would ask if they were done playing. Ed would tell him, “We’re playing three more. Stand up.” He seemed like a really bored teenager working a summer job. He never complained, but he didn’t look like he was having the time of his life either. [Eddie’s ex-wife] Valerie [Bertinelli] would drop him off at rehearsal, which we all thought was hilarious. Not only are you [too] young to be in this band, your mom had to drop you off at practice. And this is the last place your mom wants to go.

    What was Eddie like as a father and a husband?

    People should take lessons from Eddie on how to be a good dad. He loves that kid. I never saw Valerie come on the property. I saw Valerie drop Wolf off by the gates, but their dynamic then was pretty f--king weird. He was a f--king drunk. Now that he’s been sober and clean, they have an actual bond again. I think she really loved and cared about him and still does. From talking to Ed, I always got the sense that she’s the one that got away. He loved that woman. I never thought he moved on.

    But he got remarried to Janie [Liszewski]. She made him happy. He was happy to have structure. He seemed driven to get better as far as drinking. I would credit Wolfgang with most of this, but she was there. I’ve never seen Janie and Eddie kiss, hold hands, nothing. I never saw a true love or passion between them.

    Was Wolfgang affected by Eddie’s destructive behavior?

    Wolfgange would be pretty solemn. You could tell it was bothering him. He wasn’t angry or jaded, he was just really sad. He wished his dad wasn’t in so much pain, and he wished there was something he could do. And Eddie was aware. It was a f--ked up thing to watch.

    Did Ed go to rehab while you were there?


    We shut down shop for six weeks. His relationship with Wolfgang was the influence to go. He wasn’t a kid anymore. He was extremely conscious of what was going on. It was going to get worse, and when you’re an eclectic, emotional person having a substance abuse problem, that only makes things 10 times worse. If you watch the footage of Eddie having a drunk day, you see this look on Wolfgang’s face -- he doesn’t know how to deal with this. A lot of people didn’t know how to deal with it in Eddie’s life.

    How was Eddie different when he got back from rehab?

    He was a little softer around the edges. I noticed that he was better at not getting angry. He seemed more willing to put himself in positions like reuniting for the 2007 tour, rehearsing at the Forum, dealing with Roth.

    And then he cut his hair. Oh, it’s so painful to even talk about. You should have seen my heart just split in half when I saw Eddie Van Halen with frosted tips. He cuts his own hair with a knife. He started wearing khakis, button-down linen shirts, a puka shell necklace, and he got tan. He had a vape pen. He put on some weight because that’s what happens when you quit drinking and you start eating food again. It was the end of an era.

    Eddie Van Halen filed an injunction for you releasing footage of him on the website 5150vault.com. It was taken down by Ed and then you launched it on another site, thefiftyonefiftyvault.com, the next day. Now it’s down again. What happened?

    I got the idea from Gene Simmons. I made it very clear to Eddie that if he paid me, I wouldn’t release it. It wasn’t a threat or anything. Ed owed me a lot of money, and I tried for 10 years to get him to pay. I told him what was on [the footage], and I waited a month before I did anything. Zero response.

    It wasn’t malicious. I kept in mind what he said to me when we first met: he wanted people to see how hard he worked. I have hundreds of hours of him in all kinds of moods and conditions. I put up just one hour of what I thought was the best rehearsal day. I wanted to sell it to hardcore fans, make back the money I was owed and move on with my life. I didn’t recoup my losses. I sold 12 copies. By the way, Sammy Hagar was the last person to buy the footage.

    Why did you sell it to him?

    I didn’t want to sell it to him. I wanted to give it to him. I know his son and have done videos for both of them. Hagar said to me, “The balls on you, kid. The balls on you.” He asked if I was still selling the [footage], and I told him I took it down. I told him I would send him a copy. He insisted on paying for it. I had no guilt, because I stand behind that footage.
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    I totally understand why Ed wouldn't want any of that footage released... what a mess.
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    We really shouldn’t be able to compare Ed to Joe Exotic in any way, shape or form. Yet...
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    “Did the man put a gun to my head and never pay me? Yes. Do I hate him? No. I f--king love him.”

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    Jesus fuck Ed, maybe work smart and not hard at Howdy Doody Mountain...
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    Has anyone read Eruption in The Canyon? I haven't got a copy yet, but apparently there are killer photos of Ed's guitars and around 5150. There are also some Dave stories in there that are real strange.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    Jesus fuck Ed, maybe work smart and not hard at Howdy Doody Mountain...
    Reminder... the author was talking about this Ed... Set the way-back machine to 2003-2004.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    Jesus fuck Ed, maybe work smart and not hard at Howdy Doody Mountain...
    Yup all those thousands of hours of work to create 'Up for breakfast' and 'It's about time' - not a good advert for cheap red wine...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seshmeister View Post
    Yup all those thousands of hours of work to create 'Up for breakfast' and 'It's about time' - not a good advert for cheap red wine...
    Or decent tequila...

    Incidentally, does anyone believe Anthony was just a live player and didn't play on the any album besides I? You can hear Ed's bass playing on Hagar's solo stuff released after 5150. Sounds nothing like the last five albums of CVH..
    Last edited by Nickdfresh; 05-16-2020 at 01:31 PM.

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    You could probably make an argument for Sobolewski not playing on 1984, since they eventually removed his name from the publishing credits on that record. Which of course was also the first album recorded at 5150 studios, which presumably left Ed with more control of the recording process.

    On the other hand if you pull up something like "Last Night" from the WB demo in 1977 and compare it to "Hang Em High" which was released in 1982 on Diver Down, it's obviously the same bass player on both versions.

    So Mikey's definitely playing on the first 5 albums at the very least. He definitely did NOT play on VDIII- that was pretty much established at the time. Which only leaves 1984 & the Van Hagar albums in dispute. To me though, it doesn't seem logical that Ed would want to play guitars, keyboards, and bass all at the same time. He ain't Paul McCartney!
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    I'm not interested to be honest. I think there are possibly still a few Van Hagar songs I haven't even heard yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FORD View Post
    You could probably make an argument for Sobolewski not playing on 1984, since they eventually removed his name from the publishing credits on that record...
    Everything I see says he's still on it...

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    I have to say I'm kind of indifferent about Mike losing his writing royalties since I don't think he wrote any of it.

    A more interesting argument is that my understanding of writing royalties(and I could be wrong) is that it is split 3 ways between music, vocal melody and lyrics meaning that Dave should have had 2/3rds an Ed could decide whether to split his third with his brother or not....

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    Seems like a lot of bands credit the songwriting to all the band members just to keep the paperwork easier. Even if the contributions in songwriting aren't remotely equal. I doubt that Mike or Alex ever wrote a damned thing. The fact that Van Hagar songs were put together much differently than the real Van Halen songs would suggest that Dave had a greater role in the process than just writing lyrics.

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    There's only 2 songs from 1984 that some sort of publishing/writing credits were changed with Mike being left off. But note... he had full credit when the album was originally released and then the revised writing credits mysteriously appeared with no explanation 20 years later in 2004 in the album liner notes when Best of Both Worlds was released.

    The claims of Mike not contributing... the work ethic bullshit... that crap also surfaced in 2004 when Ed had a bottle of Smoking Loon in hand more than a guitar.

    It's sad to revisit this era... which this book is capitalizing on. 2002 saw Ed's cancer battle, then divorce and crash... by 2004 he was a pathetic mess... I don't put much credible stock in any revised Van Halen history from this time.


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    It's hard to discern what the truth is regarding which Van Halen stuff Mike played on and which stuff he didn't in terms of the recordings. I've read all sorts of scenarios, including one that states the only album Mike played bass on was the first. One of the more dissembled rumors was that Ed re-recorded a lot of Anthony's bass parts during the Fair Warning sessions late at night when he was laying down the guitar overdubs and solos.

    But I don't really take much of what Eddie Van Halen says at face value, because he has misrepresented more than a few things in interviews, even as far back as the early 1980s when he claimed that when the band were recording the first album he asked Templeman if he could just play live because he didn't know how to overdub, then when you listen to the Simmons demos recorded prior to the WB first album you hear overdubs all over the recordings. Or Ed's claims that Eric Clapton was his primary influence in terms of how he developed his style, then you listen to all those pre-Van Halen 1 album club gigs and hear the band playing Rainbow and Led Zeppelin songs (I hear a lot more Blackmore and Page in Ed's playing than I ever did Clapton).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seshmeister View Post
    I have to say I'm kind of indifferent about Mike losing his writing royalties since I don't think he wrote any of it.

    A more interesting argument is that my understanding of writing royalties(and I could be wrong) is that it is split 3 ways between music, vocal melody and lyrics meaning that Dave should have had 2/3rds an Ed could decide whether to split his third with his brother or not....
    From everything I've read, Michael Anthony allowed his percentage to be whittled down, which brings to mind something Roth said in the late 1990s following the 1996 debacle along the lines of Mike Anthony willingly allowed himself to be firmly put under the Van Halen brothers thumb while [Roth] flat-out refused to allow himself to be placed in that position.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZahZoo View Post

    It's sad to revisit this era... which this book is capitalizing on. 2002 saw Ed's cancer battle, then divorce and crash... by 2004 he was a pathetic mess... I don't put much credible stock in any revised Van Halen history from this time.

    That whole 2000 to early 2007 period was just as you said...sad. Sad to see. Obviously, I wouldn't wish cancer on anybody, nor would I make a 'whatever' comment about a longtime smoker getting it (as in 'whatever, so and so smoked cigarettes and now has cancer, thus fuck him because he deserves what he got'). But as the early 2000s started unwinding, one looked at Ed's general appearance and fucked-up demeanor and - cancer to one side - couldn't help but think Ed was doing all of this to himself in terms of the booze and the (assumed) drug use, neither of which a reasonable person would conclude would be helpful if Ed already had issues with cancer.

    Ed's lifestyle was fucking him up to the point where he couldn't even play the older Van Halen material well, never mind any hopes of some cool new tunes being forthcoming. Even that first reunion tour with Roth, Ed was struggling throughout the tour with the basic mechanics of playing the set in terms of his technique and execution. As a fan, it was nice to see Ed pull himself together by the time ADKOT rolled around and remaster that old CVH stuff, but also wistful in a way that Ed had fucked himself up so bad that it took a concerted effort for him to straighten himself up to the point where he was able to decently reproduce old licks live again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    It's hard to discern what the truth is regarding which Van Halen stuff Mike played on and which stuff he didn't in terms of the recordings. I've read all sorts of scenarios, including one that states the only album Mike played bass on was the first. One of the more dissembled rumors was that Ed re-recorded a lot of Anthony's bass parts during the Fair Warning sessions late at night when he was laying down the guitar overdubs and solos.

    But I don't really take much of what Eddie Van Halen says at face value, because he has misrepresented more than a few things in interviews, even as far back as the early 1980s when he claimed that when the band were recording the first album he asked Templeman if he could just play live because he didn't know how to overdub, then when you listen to the Simmons demos recorded prior to the WB first album you hear overdubs all over the recordings. Or Ed's claims that Eric Clapton was his primary influence in terms of how he developed his style, then you listen to all those pre-Van Halen 1 album club gigs and hear the band playing Rainbow and Led Zeppelin songs (I hear a lot more Blackmore and Page in Ed's playing than I ever did Clapton).
    That's right. And the Scorpions' Uli Roth as well IMO.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    From everything I've read, Michael Anthony allowed his percentage to be whittled down, which brings to mind something Roth said in the late 1990s following the 1996 debacle along the lines of Mike Anthony willingly allowed himself to be firmly put under the Van Halen brothers thumb while [Roth] flat-out refused to allow himself to be placed in that position.
    But as Monk made clear in his book, Roth was at least as much of a prick to Mike than the sis'. I recall his issue being the mentioned here, why was Alex getting a cut of Roth's percentages then?

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    I’m kinda on the fence about ordering this book. Do I really need to see a buncha pictures of Ed being all fucked up but playing great in the studio? I think we all saw that in that stupid porno song video from the same time. I guess if I was around Wolfie’s age it might be cool to see him practicing in the studio but I’m not and I still maintain he shouldn’t have been in the band, regardless of Mikey’s departure. And as far as Mike playing on the records - the author wasn’t there for them and all he has to go by is Ed’s version. And Ed hates everybody but himself, and you can see that from him telling his brother he made him, or however he put it when he supposedly jumped on Al’s Porsche. That band, and Ed, would have been nothing without both Roth and Sam taking Ed’s little snippets of music and crafting songs out of them. And that’s not knocking Ed or his contribution - it’s just the truth.

    Part of me wants to buy the book, just for the pictures. And part of me doesn’t want it because I don’t wanna go back down that rabbit hole of Ed’s complete departure from reality. Mike and Sam “phoned it in”? Kinda hard to blame them when Ed was a snaggle toothed hobo drunk painting guitars in his back yard wearing boots he bought off a hobo in an alley after scoring some blow.

    It would be cool if this guy just had some rehearsal footage of Dave rejoining the band. I’d pay for that. But pictures and stories of Ed being trashed and going completely off the rails? I don’t know, I don’t think so. I kinda miss the old days, before the internet. Back when your heroes were Rock Stars and you didn’t know just how fucked up, and frankly, just how much they were just like us.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jérôme Frenchise View Post
    That's right. And the Scorpions' Uli Roth as well IMO.
    Yep, him, too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    But as Monk made clear in his book, Roth was at least as much of a prick to Mike than the sis'. I recall his issue being the mentioned here, why was Alex getting a cut of Roth's percentages then?
    True enough.

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    I've always surmised that a fair amount of the material far as the instrumental end went with CVH sprung from Ed and Al jamming - and Ed feeding off the interplay between the guitar and drums - whereas it always felt that Mike Anthony was by and large (but not always) just following along with what Ed was doing. At least that is to say it has always struck me as such when listening to the records. That may or may not reflect the reality of how some of the songs were created.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    True enough.
    The greedy little manager is clearly a woman scorned. If you read his book, did you notice that several times he states "I never stole any money" (paraphrase), and yet he never said anything about being accused by anyone of anything illicit.

    Al is a bona fide prick, but maybe there is a reason he took the manager to the accountant for an interrogation, soon after which he was fired.

    I wasn't there, and you weren't there. Don't take his word at face value.

    He is a woman scorned.

    Furthermore, in Sammy's book, he states that the brothers stripped MA of his royalties. Well if MA was stripped of royalties in 1984, how did he get stripped again after Ed Leffler died?

    Inconsistencies all around.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    I've always surmised that a fair amount of the material far as the instrumental end went with CVH sprung from Ed and Al jamming - and Ed feeding off the interplay between the guitar and drums - whereas it always felt that Mike Anthony was by and large (but not always) just following along with what Ed was doing. At least that is to say it has always struck me as such when listening to the records. That may or may not reflect the reality of how some of the songs were created.
    Regarding writing credits:

    Do the drum parts compose themselves? No, it was Alex.

    And what about the rehearsal efforts? The songs don't compose themselves just on paper and then magically appear on tape.

    Al and Mike obviously put in huge amounts of time and rehearsal for the songs to materialize. So why wouldn't they get writing credits?

    And it's probable they also contributed ideas and bits and pieces. Listen to MA on the bass. I doubt EVH wrote every note. MA was clearly throwing in his own chops here and there.

    If anything, DLR got short changed. He was the primary composer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DONNIEP View Post
    I’m kinda on the fence about ordering this book. Do I really need to see a buncha pictures of Ed being all fucked up but playing great in the studio? I think we all saw that in that stupid porno song video from the same time. I guess if I was around Wolfie’s age it might be cool to see him practicing in the studio but I’m not and I still maintain he shouldn’t have been in the band, regardless of Mikey’s departure. And as far as Mike playing on the records - the author wasn’t there for them and all he has to go by is Ed’s version. And Ed hates everybody but himself, and you can see that from him telling his brother he made him, or however he put it when he supposedly jumped on Al’s Porsche. That band, and Ed, would have been nothing without both Roth and Sam taking Ed’s little snippets of music and crafting songs out of them. And that’s not knocking Ed or his contribution - it’s just the truth.

    Part of me wants to buy the book, just for the pictures. And part of me doesn’t want it because I don’t wanna go back down that rabbit hole of Ed’s complete departure from reality. Mike and Sam “phoned it in”? Kinda hard to blame them when Ed was a snaggle toothed hobo drunk painting guitars in his back yard wearing boots he bought off a hobo in an alley after scoring some blow.

    It would be cool if this guy just had some rehearsal footage of Dave rejoining the band. I’d pay for that. But pictures and stories of Ed being trashed and going completely off the rails? I don’t know, I don’t think so. I kinda miss the old days, before the internet. Back when your heroes were Rock Stars and you didn’t know just how fucked up, and frankly, just how much they were just like us.
    David Bertinelli is currently going through his stash of VH photos and is going to come out with a book. He asked Ed if it was ok with him to put a VH photo book out and Ed said go for it. Dave is a very good photographer and lived in Park City, Utah when I lived there and had a photography studio there. He has some great live shots of VH that never have been seen by the public. He's trying to find the right publisher.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZahZoo View Post
    I totally understand why Ed wouldn't want any of that footage released... what a mess.
    We all got a good view of the mess when it went on tour. A monster created from cheap red wine and cocaine cut with methemphetamine and other junk. I’m sure rehab was a bitch but I saw Ed play on the last tour with Dave and he played great and his new dental implants gave him a big bright smile.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    From everything I've read, Michael Anthony allowed his percentage to be whittled down, which brings to mind something Roth said in the late 1990s following the 1996 debacle along the lines of Mike Anthony willingly allowed himself to be firmly put under the Van Halen brothers thumb while [Roth] flat-out refused to allow himself to be placed in that position.
    Roth did sue Van Halen in 2002 based on the restructuring of royalties they negotiated in 1996 with Warner Bros... None of the details of that restructure ever became public though, because Roth dropped the suit without cause sometime later. But at the time, Mike was still very much part of the Van Halen camp and I recall Dave complaining about the Bassplayer™ getting more for songs Dave wrote...

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    You can’t even fire an Uzi in a residential area within city limits in Wyoming. I guess if you are Ed Van Halen you can get away with it in Los Angeles. Phil Spector and Crazy Eddie seem to have a lot in common.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZahZoo View Post
    Roth did sue Van Halen in 2002 based on the restructuring of royalties they negotiated in 1996 with Warner Bros... None of the details of that restructure ever became public though, because Roth dropped the suit without cause sometime later. But at the time, Mike was still very much part of the Van Halen camp and I recall Dave complaining about the Bassplayer™ getting more for songs Dave wrote...
    Ah the whole Van Halen thing has been ego, alcohol and drug fueled dysfunction for a very long time. Ted Templeman said he had a hell of a time getting 1984 out. Don Landee even cracked up due to spending too much time with Eddie at 5150. Anyways we enjoyed the unique sonic exploits produced by a madman in his mountain laboratory. So far nobody has been killed but plenty have been screwed over. Only the hangers on and Uber hardcore Fans give a ratt’s ass anymore.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baby's On Fire View Post
    Regarding writing credits:

    Do the drum parts compose themselves? No, it was Alex.

    And what about the rehearsal efforts? The songs don't compose themselves just on paper and then magically appear on tape.

    Al and Mike obviously put in huge amounts of time and rehearsal for the songs to materialize. So why wouldn't they get writing credits?

    And it's probable they also contributed ideas and bits and pieces. Listen to MA on the bass. I doubt EVH wrote every note. MA was clearly throwing in his own chops here and there.

    If anything, DLR got short changed. He was the primary composer.
    You get what you negotiate for. If Dave isn’t getting the royalties he could get it’s because he was a shitty negotiator.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    That whole 2000 to early 2007 period was just as you said...sad. Sad to see. Obviously, I wouldn't wish cancer on anybody, nor would I make a 'whatever' comment about a longtime smoker getting it (as in 'whatever, so and so smoked cigarettes and now has cancer, thus fuck him because he deserves what he got'). But as the early 2000s started unwinding, one looked at Ed's general appearance and fucked-up demeanor and - cancer to one side - couldn't help but think Ed was doing all of this to himself in terms of the booze and the (assumed) drug use, neither of which a reasonable person would conclude would be helpful if Ed already had issues with cancer.

    Ed's lifestyle was fucking him up to the point where he couldn't even play the older Van Halen material well, never mind any hopes of some cool new tunes being forthcoming. Even that first reunion tour with Roth, Ed was struggling throughout the tour with the basic mechanics of playing the set in terms of his technique and execution. As a fan, it was nice to see Ed pull himself together by the time ADKOT rolled around and remaster that old CVH stuff, but also wistful in a way that Ed had fucked himself up so bad that it took a concerted effort for him to straighten himself up to the point where he was able to decently reproduce old licks live again.
    I know revenge when I see it. The guy has more orders than books to sell. It’s called smear Ed and get hopefully what he owes you plus more. People love dirt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    But as Monk made clear in his book, Roth was at least as much of a prick to Mike than the sis'. I recall his issue being the mentioned here, why was Alex getting a cut of Roth's percentages then?
    Ha! I bet Mike is selling more sauce than Dave is selling lotion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitro Express View Post
    You get what you negotiate for. If Dave isn’t getting the royalties he could get it’s because he was a shitty negotiator.
    You don't fucking know that! Dave could have negotiated a sweetheart deal, and they could have fucked him since they had control of the name...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitro Express View Post
    Ha! I bet Mike is selling more sauce than Dave is selling lotion.
    Who the fuck knows. I've never seen either...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baby's On Fire View Post
    Regarding writing credits:

    Do the drum parts compose themselves? No, it was Alex.

    And what about the rehearsal efforts? The songs don't compose themselves just on paper and then magically appear on tape.

    Al and Mike obviously put in huge amounts of time and rehearsal for the songs to materialize. So why wouldn't they get writing credits?

    And it's probable they also contributed ideas and bits and pieces. Listen to MA on the bass. I doubt EVH wrote every note. MA was clearly throwing in his own chops here and there.

    If anything, DLR got short changed. He was the primary composer.
    DLR was the primary composer?

    I'd tend to think he, along with Templeman, was one of the primary arrangers.

    I'd agree that the songs (obviously) don't compose themselves solely on paper and then magically appear on tape, and far as I can remember I didn't allude to that being the case.

    I'd agree in assuming that Al and Mike both put in their fair share of rehearsal time, both during the album pre-production process and the tour rehearsals. Wasn't there myself, but that seems logical. Far as I'm concerned, it took all four members to make CVH work, so it would seem only fitting that all four got writing credits.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baby's On Fire View Post
    The greedy little manager is clearly a woman scorned. If you read his book, did you notice that several times he states "I never stole any money" (paraphrase), and yet he never said anything about being accused by anyone of anything illicit.

    Al is a bona fide prick, but maybe there is a reason he took the manager to the accountant for an interrogation, soon after which he was fired.

    I wasn't there, and you weren't there. Don't take his word at face value.

    He is a woman scorned.

    Furthermore, in Sammy's book, he states that the brothers stripped MA of his royalties. Well if MA was stripped of royalties in 1984, how did he get stripped again after Ed Leffler died?

    Inconsistencies all around.
    I was under the impression that Hagar was referring to the Van Halens in the early 1990s whittling down Mike's percentage even more than it already had been prior to Hagar joining in 1985, including Mike's cut of the touring proceeds.

    Far as Monk goes, I wouldn't necessarily take his word (or Roth's, or Eddie's, or Al's, or Hagar's) as the whole truth and nothing but the truth on any given CVH topic: you take what all of them have said (or haven't said) and somewhere in-between all of that one assumes the truth can be found. Far as Rashomon- style inconsistencies between the various takes, I think it was T.S. Eliot who said something along the lines of in-between the Idea and Reality lies the Shadow: who the fuck knows what really happened re: CVH and the behind-the-scenes stuff? I'd even go so far as to say the principals involved might have trouble these days remembering events of 40 years ago accurately: time and memory can play tricks on us all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitro Express View Post
    I know revenge when I see it. The guy has more orders than books to sell. It’s called smear Ed and get hopefully what he owes you plus more. People love dirt.
    To be sure, people love dirt. Can't say I'm above schadenfreude, either. Whatever this guy's motivations - and I'd tend to think you are correct with the profit/revenge angle - I can't say for myself, as a fan of Ed's playing and what it meant to me, that I'd particularly want an in-depth look at the years 2000 through 2006 re: EVH. Just having seen the pics of him during that period and the clips of the 2004 tour the first time around was depressing enough, partly because Ed was spiraling downward and seemingly not giving a shit about it, and partly (and selfishly on my part, I'll freely admit) because the whole period of 1997 through 2007 was a wasted decade where Ed could have been working with Dave and possibly coming up with stuff I actually wanted to hear vs. an album with Cherone, a tour with Cherone, some new Van Hagar tracks, a tour with Hagar and some EVH Trans-Trem Super Sustainer guitar wanking for a porn flick.

    But, all of that is spilt milk under the bridge. I eventually got the tour(s) with Dave I had wanted to see for ages, and a Van Halen album with Dave. Both of which amounted to an at times good coda to the CVH era. Wasn't the CVH reunion I wanted to see, and ADKOT was hardly a killer Van Halen album from start-to-finish, but you take what you can get, I suppose. Or not if it doesn't move you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    You don't fucking know that! Dave could have negotiated a sweetheart deal, and they could have fucked him since they had control of the name...
    Dave wrote the lyrics. He’s entitled to the publishing money. Ted Templeman said Dave made a huge mistake not negotiating for more but VH went for a four way split.

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