If there is one band that truly defines having a “good time” it’s Van Halen. Formed in 1974 in suburban Pasadena, California, brothers Alex and Eddie Van Halen were joined by bassist Michael Anthony and vocalist David Lee Roth and set forth in creating music history.
Blessed with other-worldly talent, Eddie quickly redefined the art of hard rock guitar playing via two-handed tapping and whammy bar dive bombs. Alex’s drumming, rooted in the influences of Ginger Baker and Buddy Rich, was an aggressive undercurrent to the band’s sound. Michael Anthony’s rock solid bass playing was only overshadowed by his angelic backing vocals. And David Lee Roth’s ringmaster routine; featuring high jumps and other assorted acrobatics, rounded out a band that would marry classical influences with Harlem soul to create the combustible mix that was the Roth-Era of Van Halen.
After 1984, it seemed that the spirit of original Van Halen was lost forever with Roth embarking on a long solo career and the brothers starting to work with Sammy Hagar. But, time does tend to heal all wounds and after many years of assorted will-they-won’t-they drama, the original Van Halen (sans Michael Anthony) reconvened in 2006 and released new material in 2012.
This week Aaron and Chris are joined by Nashville rock music legend Todd Austin (aka Toddzilla). Todd has been a fixture of the Nashville rock/funk music scene for many years. Known in local circles as the ‘Minister of Funk’ through his work with JonesWorld and his new project Funkhammer, Todd wanted to join us for a discussion of Roth-Era Van Halen and how it affected him as a guitar player and as a person. In this discussion we’ll discuss favorite tracks from all Roth-Era VH albums as well as indulge in some of Toddzilla’s favorite memories of Dave and the boys from back in the day. It’s a solid hour of nostalgia for debauchery and crazy concert memories of a legendary band. Don’t miss it!
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