Wed January 30th, 2002
Wed February 17th, 1999
Mon May 11th, 1998
Mon September 11th, 1995
Mon February 27th, 1995
Mon February 20th, 1995
Mon January 20th, 1992
Mon January 13th, 1992
Mon May 23rd, 1988
Mon May 16th, 1988
Mon February 20th, 1984
Mon August 9th, 1982
Mon February 15th, 1982
1984 (Remastered) (2000)
97.7 Htz-Fm Interview Disc (1999)
Van Halen 3 (1998)
Vol. 1 - Best Of Van Halen (1996)
Balance (1995)
Interview Picture Disc (1995)
David Lee Roth (1978-1985), vocals
Edward Van Halen (1978-Present), Guitar / Vocals
Alex Van Halen (1978-Present), Drums
Michael Anthony (1978-Present), Bass
Sammy Hagar (1985-1998), Vocals
Gary Cherone (1998-1999), Vocals
Alex and Edward Van Halenís father, Jan Van Halen, was a big band musician who played various reed instruments with many ensembles during the heyday of swing. He made a guest appearance on Van Halenís 1987 album, Diver Down. That's Jan playing the clarinet solo on "Big Bad Bill (Is Sweet William Now)."
Van Halen
Though Van Halen ranks among Americaís foremost metal bands, its music transcends the genre - largely thanks to the musiciansí unusual backgrounds and influences. Brothers Edward (guitar) and Alex (drums) Van Halen grew up in a musically-charged environment. Their father, a professional jazz musician from Holland had traveled extensively with a variety of big bands. During a stopover in Indonesia (which was a Dutch colony until 1945) the elder Van Halen met the boysí mother. They married and settled in Holland until 1967, when the family relocated to Pasadena, California.

Alex was 14 and Edward 12 at the time, but they had already had several years of music lessons and classical training. It was in America that they found their rockíníroll muse. At first Alex played guitar and Edward drums, but before long they had switched instruments and the nucleus of Van Halen was born.

While Edward and Alex were experimenting with early bands, David Lee Roth(a transplant from Bloomington, Indiana with a profound Al Jolson fixation) was vigorously cultivating his raunchy, rambunctious stage presence as frontman for a local Pasadena band called Redball Jet. Once he joined forces with the Van Halens and bassist Michael Anthony (coaxed into the Van Halen camp from his former outfit, Snake), the first incarnation of Van Halen was set in motion. For three years they played the L.A.-Pasadena club circuit as far north as Santa Barbara, building a steady following and a strong repertoire of original songs as well as choice covers.

In 1977, KISS bassist Gene Simmons caught Van Halen live at the Starwood club and was so impressed, he offered to cover the cost for them to cut a demo. This (and the impression they made on Warner Brothers records staff producer Ted Templeman) led to a major label record contract and a year later Van Halenís self-titled debut was released.

For the next seven years, Van Halen upped the ante for hard rock bands everywhere. Not only was the foursome formidable in terms of chops and charisma, but it was one of the hardest partying bands in rockíníroll. Edwardís incandescent guitar playing inspired a whole new generation of ax-wielders; Rothís flamboyant performance antics (as burlesque as they were athletic); Alex and bassist Anthony hammered out powerhouse rhythms that were as danceable as they were raucous.

Van Halenís first five albums generated a string of hit singles that have become rock radio staples including a supercharged rendering of the Kinksí "You Really Got Me," "Running with the Devil," "Dance the Night Away," "Beautiful Girls," "And the Cradle Will Rock," a cover of Roy Orbisonís "(Oh) Pretty Woman," "Jump," "Panama" and "Hot For Teacher." In 1983 Edward contributed some fiery guitar parts to Michael Jacksonís "Beat It." The last album of the Roth era, 1984 had just hit the streets when Van Halen made its third appearance on Rockline. The band flew Bob Coburn to Florida where he joined Roth, Alex Van Halen, Michael Anthony and an assortment of techs and roadies in the studio. The results were chaotic and have gone down in Rockline history as "The Night Van Halen Commandeered Rockline."

Roth, in top form took over the mike selectively answering, ignoring and teasing callers while trading quips with Alex and Michael. At one point a stripper joined the proceedings, only adding to the anarchy. It was Van Halen at its best and captured the appeal of Americaís number one party band. Though Van Halen would go on to make many more Rockline appearances in the coming years, none quite capture the chaotic, charismatic spirit of early Van Halen quite like this broadcast.

The following June, Roth was out of the band and Sammy Hagar had taken over as frontman. Though Van Halen fans have always remained divided over which was the better singer, the Hagar era was marked by even greater commercial success. Hagar was a very different frontman from Roth - less of a showman but with a more earnest appeal and a strong raspy voice. During his tenure, Van Halen released five more hugely successful albums. Though the raunchy raison díÍtre of the band remained unchanged (as hits like "Poundcake" and "Spanked" indicated) the band took some more adventuresome, and even thoughtful tangents. "Finish What You Started" packed a surprising touch of country twang and 1992ís uplifting "Right Now" featured an innovative video that won MTVís Best Video of the Year award.

The end of the Hagar era came with a flurry of deceptions or misunderstandings - depending on whose account of the events you believe. In 1996 a Best Of collection was in the works, featuring two new tracks recorded with Roth. When word of this got out, Hagar left the band (or was fired). Van Halen, with Roth, made an appearance on the MTV music awards and shortly thereafter (purportedly because of Rothís behavior during the telecast) any reunion plans were scrapped and former Extreme frontman Gary Cherone was announced as the bandís new singer. Roth claimed heíd been mislead into believing he was back in the band prior to recording the songs only to be dumped once the album was issued. The band claimed he misinterpreted the situation. In any case, sessions for Van Halen III commenced and the album was released in 1998.

Though it debuted at number three, it quickly slipped down the charts. A year later, Van Halen announced that it had amicably parted ways with Cherone. Rumors once more began flying about another Van Halen-Roth reunion, but no confirmations were made. In early 2001, Roth announced on his official web site that he had been involved in recording promising new material with hid former bandmates, but any reunion plans that may have been in the works remained unconfirmed, and the bandís next move remained up in the air following Edwardís public acknowledgment that he has been battling cancer.
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