Tag: Romeo’s Delight
Van Halen News: Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley and Lita Ford quoted in new photo book, exclusive 1981 Fair Warning Tour Footage
Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley from KISS have contributed to two coffee table photo books on Van Halen and Eddie Van Halen, both published by legendary rock photographer Neil Zlozower. Gene Simmons said: “Once upon a time, when it meant something to be a rock star and groupies prided themselves on whom they had spent the night with, I was invited to the Starwood Club in L.A. to see a band called THE BOYZ. I took Bebe Buell, she of Playboy/Liv Tyler/etc. fame, and sat next to Rodney Bingenheimer, king of the L.A. nightlife, and waited for the opening band to come on.
“Life is what happens to you when you least expect it. I saw Van Halen. I was stunned. They killed. Within two songs I was waiting for them backstage and immediately offered to sign them and take them into the studio. It seems there was a - I kid you not - yogurt manufacturer who was waiting to finance the band. I begged them not to do that. And, in a short time, I flew them to New York, signed them to my Man Of 1,000 Faces production company and took them into Electric Ladyland Studios to do a thirteen-song demo. I also bought Dave some platform shoes and leather pants.
“I took the demo and showed it to the rest of the KISSers and Bill Aucoin, our then-manager. No one got it. I was shocked. I gave the demo back to the band, told them I had a tour to go on and afterward I would try to get them a record deal, but until then, I tore up our contract and set them free. It didn’t take them long to get on Warner Bros. Did I discover Van Halen? Nah... I was there. I saw. I knew. I am a fan.”
Paul Stanley said:
“Lita Ford and I went to see Ed play with Van Halen one night at the Starwood in 1977, and I was blown away and brought Gene with me the next night. Their charisma, stage presence, and take-no-prisoners attitude coupled with great songs, killer arrangements, and airtight playing made them undeniable. Everything about Edward, from his groundbreaking technique to his hacked-up Frankenstein guitar, made him the heart of the band, and clearly someone who was playing on all levels, by his own rules.
“So many have tried to copy his style, but it’s always just made it more obvious that although imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, it pales next to the real deal.”
Lita Ford has cited Van Halen guitarist Eddie Van Halen as a “great inspiration” to her, not just for his guitar skills but also for the advice he gave Ford early in her career.
Her comments come from rock photographer Neil Zlozower’s book ‘Eddie Van Halen.' Perhaps one of the most intense contributions to the book’s text comes from fellow guitarist Ford, who not only refers to the guitarist as “Edward” but says he was a “great inspiration to me” and christens him the “Les Paul of our day.”
Those are big words, but they are certainly not without merit! It is endearing how Ford, late of The Runaways, shares stories of the breakfast EVH would serve up to her – Carnation Instant Breakfast. Just add milk! She also reveals how he gave her advice about playing guitar, since she was a chick in a dude’s world.
Van Halen News Desk posted the essay Ford penned, which doesn’t stop short of gushing about Edward! Here is part of her tribute:
“We all know EVH is the Les Paul of today’s world. We all know Edward changed the face of rock ‘n’ roll. But it’s the person that he truly is that makes him so unique. He is an inspiration to every musician, because we all wanna be him, and some of us try real hard, but the reality of it is that there is only ONE Edward Van Halen!!! PERIOD! What makes him tick? Good question! But whatever it is, they honestly did break the mold after they made Edward!!! I love you, buddy friend! God bless you and your family! Thanks for rockin’ my world!!!” You can order the books here.
VAN HALEN News Desk reports:
Here’s an “exclusive” for you… a little gem we dug up from Van Halen’s 1981 Fair Warning tour. This is a never before heard audio recording of Van Halen playing 'Romeo's Delight' at the Tingley Coliseum in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Not your typical live version, this is an AMAZING performance, luckily captured on tape. Without going into too much detail, we’ll just say that you’ll enjoy the breakdown in the middle of the song."