From left to right: Alex Van Halen, unknown, unknown, Eddie Van Halen, David Lee Roth.
On Halloween, Alex and Edward Van Halen and David Lee Roth dress as punks (posing with two unknown people). Their disguises make it hard to identify the year of the photo, but after doing a little bit of detective work, we figured it out. On either side of the group are promo posters for the Brass Construction II album, which means this had to be 1976!
This is what we call an example of the “optical unconscious” – the camera records all sorts of details that the photographer wasn’t even pointing at, but which end up as very useful clues!
The early date of this photo makes it exceptionally cool, as pre ’78 images are extremely rare – especially off-stage shots. This was a year and a half before their debut album hit the record stores!
The location was possibly outside the Whisky A Go-Go, which was always plastered in ads for new albums, and Van Halen played there often that year.
“All Access” Van Halen photos is a weekly feature at VHND.com. Every weekend we feature a photo from a roadie, friend, or band insider. Many are never-seen-before exclusives. Tune in every weekend for more!