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Van Halen :: Blog

Van Halen's Seat of Power

Monday, October 10: 11:30 a.m.
Posted by Howard Kramer

Van Halen burst on the rock scene in 1978 like a larger-than-life, hard rocking, non-stop party, and channeled that energy into a seminal debut. Ostensibly, the band had two frontmen: leonine lead vocalist David Lee Roth and volcanic guitarist Edward Van Halen. Both possessed the charisma and talent to be the focal point of a solid rock band, but together, they created an undeniable dynamic that quickly captivated legions of loyal fans. Anchoring the unit was the powerhouse rhythm section of bassist Michael Anthony and drummer Alex Van Halen, Eddie's brother. By the time Van Halen arrived in the studio to record their debut, they had honed their skills honestly, playing nightclubs, parties and high school gymnasiums across Southern California. It was during those formative years of touring that the band learned the value of showmanship – and how to win audiences all over the world with it.

As Van Halen grew in popularity, the production quality of their stage show followed suit as an increasingly flamboyant rock and roll spectacle. Alex Van Halen used the drum kit not only as a percussion instrument, but also as a visual art form. Working with various drum manufacturers, Alex custom designed enormous ...


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